Serena Williams, Halep and Osaka join Nadal and Djokovic in Adelaide

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem will spend their quarantine time in Adelaide instead of Melbourne. WTA stars Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep will join them for two weeks.

Changing their original plans and clearing some space in Melbourne hotels (they will gather almost 1300 people next week), the organizers have sent the leading stars from both Tours to Adelaide. The six players (with two more to be confirmed, most likely including Ashleigh Barty) will embrace a two-week quarantine similar to the one in Melbourne and play "A Day at the Drive" exhibition event at the city's Memorial Drive Tennis Centre on January 29.

Serena, Naomi and Simona will flight to Melbourne after that and enter one of two WTA 500 events ahead of the Australian Open, where they should be among title contenders. Serena is a seven-time Melbourne champion, while Osaka won the title in 2019, just a couple of months following her first Major triumph at the US Open.

"These two tournaments are a real coup for South Australia. This is a real show of support for the way that South Australia has managed the COVID-19 pandemic and underlines our ability to attract world-class events," state Premier Steven Marshall said.

Australian Open starts on February 8, with all leading WTA players battling for the trophy.

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