The confirmation has been made regarding the tennis players who will have Special Ranking registration status for the 2024 Australian Open, including former champions Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber.
The first Grand Slam of the year will witness the return of significant tennis players who have been absent from the courts in the past year, primarily due to serious injuries, allowing them to opt for a Special Protected Ranking when closing the entry list.
Arguably the most anticipated comeback is that of 2-times Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, who claimed the title in 2019 and 2021. The Japanese player last competed in September 2022 at the Tokyo Open and subsequently announced the arrival of her first child a few months later, leading to her absence due to pregnancy. However, the former world No. 1 has been working to make a return to the highest level.
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Another former champion and former world No. 1 who will be present is Angelique Kerber. The 35-year-old tennis player won the title in 2016 and has been away for a year due to pregnancy, welcoming her first child in early 2023. Despite her age, Kerber is eager to return to the WTA Tour without contemplating retirement.
The 2021 Aussie Open finalist, Jennifer Brady, will also be in attendance. After nearly two years without playing and without a ranking, the American returned in August 2022 and performed well in the tournaments she participated in. Additionally, American player Amanda Anisimova, who paused her career due to mental health issues, will be making a comeback at the beginning of the year.
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Local player Ajla Tomljanovic missed the 2023 edition of the Australian Open due to a knee injury that kept her off the courts for seven months. The 30-year-old tennis player will arrive with confidence after securing her first title in 10 years at the WTA 125 MundoTenis Open in Florianapolis, Brazil.
Adding to the list of tennis players who will have protected ranking status to enter the tournament are Caty McNally, Aleksandra Krunic, and Hsieh Su-wei.