Melbourne [Australia], December 8 (ANI): Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic headline stellar player fields that are set to compete at Melbourne Park for Australian Open 2022 in the entry list released on Wednesday.
Defending champion Djokovic will play for an incredible 10th Australian Open trophy -- and a men's record 21st major singles title -- and will be the favourite in a draw that showcases 49 of the world's top 50 including world No.2 Daniil Medvedev, who beat top-ranked Djokovic in this year's US Open final.
World No.1 Barty, who will attempt to become the first local player to win an Australian Open singles title in 44 years, leads a women's field featuring all of the world's top 40.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka is expected to return to action and will target a fifth career major singles title; and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu will make her Australian Open debut, with the British teenager up to a career-high ranking of No.19.
Rafael Nadal, tied with Djokovic at 20 career major singles titles, will compete for the first time since August, while AO 2020 finalist Dominic Thiem will make his comeback after a six-month break to heal a wrist injury.
A notable absentee on the men's side is 16th-ranked Roger Federer, who continues his rehabilitation following knee surgery. Fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, the AO 2014 winner, will also miss the event as he too recovers from surgery.
In the women's field, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and the 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu decided to skip the first major of the season. (ANI)