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Serena Williams not on Australian Open 2022 entry list; Djokovic registered

The 23-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon with a right hamstring injury; Djokovic enters name despite speculation over non-participation due to strict COVID-19 vaccination rules.

AP Reported by: AP
Melbourne Updated on: December 08, 2021 13:22 IST
Serena Williams
Image Source : AP PHOTO

File photo of Serena Williams.

Highlights

  • Novak Djokovic was on the men's entry list at No. 1 in a further indication that he'll be playing
  • Earlier Djokovic's father suggested his son might skip Australian Open over COVID vaccination policy
  • Novak is tied with Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal for the men's record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles

Serena Williams was absent from the entry list released on Wednesday for next month's Australian Open in a move that suggests the seven-time champion could skip the 2022 edition of the season-opening major.

Williams hasn't played since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon with a right hamstring injury and her ranking has slipped to No. 41. She won the last of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at the 2017 Australian Open, and was beaten in the semifinals this year by Naomi Osaka in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic was on the men's entry list at No. 1 in a further indication that he'll be playing at Melbourne Park beginning Jan. 17 despite Australia's strict regulations requiring all players, officials and fans to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Djokovic has declined to comment on his vaccination status in recent months, although he was included last week on the Serbian team for the ATP Cup which starts Jan. 1 in Sydney.

The nine-time Australian Open champion is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the men's record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal is also entered for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 17, but Federer is skipping the tournament as he continues his recovery from surgery.

Daniil Medvedev, who ended Djokovic's bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam with a victory in the U.S. Open final, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev are listed above No. 6 Nadal, who is not playing for Spain at the ATP Cup.

Ash Barty tops the women's entry list and will continue her quest to end a long drought for Australian women at the tournament. No Australian woman has won the singles title since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

Defending champion Osaka is listed at No. 13, one place below 2020 champion Sofia Kenin. 

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