Serena's participation in Australian Open 2019 confirmedLast updated on Oct 09, 2018, 08:29 pm
Seven-time champion Serena Williams is set to be back at the Australian Open in 2019.
Notably, she missed the event last year after giving birth to her child in September 2017.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles winner, had earlier won the event in 2017, while being pregnant.
She will be joined by two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, who also missed out in 2018.
Tournament director Tiley in awe of Serena
Australian Open tournament director, Craig Tiley praised Serena and stated that nobody knew that she was pregnant while lifting the trophy in 2017.
"I'm delighted to announce that Serena Williams will return to the Australian Open in January. Of course what we didn't know at the time was that she was already eight weeks pregnant with baby Olympia," said Tiley.
Serena a Slam away from equaling Margaret Court
Serena reached two Grand Slam finals in 2018 and lost on both accounts.
She is one Slam away from equaling Margaret Court for the most number of Slam wins (24).
"Serena loves coming to Melbourne and I know she's excited about returning in January, it's definitely a very special place for her," said Tiley.
Tiley added that Serena will be super-focused on winning here.
Australia Open to welcome both Azarenka and Serena
Tiley also stated that the Grand Slam tourney was gearing up to welcome back both Azarenka and Williams.
"Vika (Azarenka) is also a new mum to toddler Leo and I'm looking forward to showing her, and Serena, our new creche facilities. I'm sure they'll be appreciated."
Besides the two ladies, Andy Murray is also set to make a return.
He missed out in 2018.
More info about the Australian Open 2019
The prize money in 2019 Australian Open will be increased to Aus$60.5 million ($42.9 million) from Aus$55 million.
The money will be split equally between men's and women's tournaments.
In 2018 we saw singles winners Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki picking up cheques for Aus$4 million ($2.83 million).
To speed up play, an introduction of a 25-second serve clock will also be witnessed.