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Top players set for Australian Open in January

Caroline Wozniacki

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki shows the lipstick mark on her Australian Open trophy, the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, after a photo shoot in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 28, 2018, the day after defeating Romania’s Simona Halep in the final. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australian Open officials say the world’s top 102 women and top 101 men have confirmed they will compete at the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2019.

World No. 1 Simona Halep heads up the women’s field and Novak Djokovic, seeking his record seventh Australian Open title, is the No. 1-ranked male player.

The tournament begins Jan. 14 at Melbourne Park with Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki as singles defending champions.

Serena Williams, ranked No. 16, plans to make her return to Melbourne Park for the first time since winning in 2017 while eight weeks’ pregnant with baby Alexis Olympia.

Tournament officials said Wednesday that Andy Murray, who is returning after an injury layoff, has entered using a protected ranking.