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World’s top players confirm AO 2020 entry

  • Tennis Australia

The world’s top players will return to Melbourne Park in January, led by Australian world No.1 Ash Barty in the women’s draw and Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the men’s.

Targeting a record eighth Australian Open crown is defending champion and world No.2 Novak Djokovic (SRB), joined by [3] Roger Federer (SUI), [4] Dominic Thiem (AUT), [5] Daniil Medvedev (RUS), [6] Stefanos Tsitsipas(GRE), [7] Alexander Zverev (GER), [8] Matteo Berrettini (ITA), [9] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) and [10] Gael Monfils (FRA) rounding out an enthralling mixture of new generation contenders and experienced Grand Slam champions in the top 10.

With main draw acceptance lists confirmed today, the women’s field is packed with Grand Slam pedigree, including defending champion [3] Naomi Osaka (JPN), reigning Wimbledon champion [4] Simona Halep (ROU), US Open champion [5] Bianca Andreescu (CAN), AO 2019 finalist [7] Petra Kvitova and seven-time AO champion [10]Serena Williams (USA). 

Missing from the field is world No.50 and two-time former AO champion Victoria Azarenka (BLR) who withdrew prior to the entry deadline. 

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) returns on a protected ranking of No. 22, following a six-month injury break and 35-year-old Russian and AO 2009 semifinalist Vera Zvonareva re-enters the big time with a protected ranking of No.78.

A total of 104 players receive direct entry into the men’s and women’s singles main draw and a further eight are awarded wildcards, while 16 places will be settled at the qualifying rounds from 14-17 January 2020.

“We are delighted to welcome this extremely strong player field to Melbourne in what promises to be a once in a generation event,” said AO tournament director Craig Tiley. 

“The very best players are back, there are records up for grabs and it is very possible we will see a new champion crowned on both sides.

“There are so many great storylines for AO 2020 … emerging players continue to break through, including our own world No.1 Ash Barty. Will it be the year for one of the young guns to stop Novak, Roger or Rafa? And can Serena win her 24th Grand Slam singles title?" Tiley continued.

In the past decade, and with the exception of Swiss Stan Wawrinka in 2014, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup has been won by Djokovic in 2019, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011 and Roger Federer in 2018, 2017, 2010 while Nadal won his first – and only – AO crown in 2009.

There have been seven different women’s champions since 2010 – Osaka (2019), Dane Caroline Wozniacki (2018), who has announced that Australian Open 2020 will be her final tournament, Serena Williams (2017, 2015, 2010), German Angelique Kerber (2016), Li Na (2014), Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (2013, 2012) and Belgian Kim Clijsters (2011).

Four other women join Zvonareva in the field on protected rankings, with [43] Catherine (CiCi) Bellis (USA), [85] Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR), [85] Katie Boulter (GBR) and [93] Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) all returning to Grand Slam competition.

No.71 Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE), [73] Vasek Pospisil (CAN), [83] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) and [95] Cedrik-Marcel Salvatore Caruso (ITA) join del Potro in the draw with protected rankings.

Eight Australians have direct entry into their home Grand Slam, with top ranked Barty joined by [51] Ajla Tomljanovicand [99] Samantha Stosur, who completed her 16th consecutive top-100 finish 20 years after turning pro in 2019.

World No.18 Alex de Minaur leads the Australian men’s contingent with (30) Nick Krygios, (48) John Millman, (63) Jordan Thompson and (97) Alexei Popyrin all confirmed for the main draw.

Now in its 115th year, the Australian Open will take place from 20 January to 7 February 2020.