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All top players set for Australian Open in January

08 December 2018

It will be the first time Williams has taken part in the competition since 2017 when she won the tournament, beating her sister Venus Williams in the final, while pregnant and clinched her 23rd Grand Slam title in the process.

Williams' straight-sets defeat at Flushing Meadows was overshadowed by a row with umpire Carlos Ramos, who she labelled a "liar" and a "thief" after being penalised with a game penalty following code violations for on-court coaching, racket abuse and verbal abuse.

Her older sister Venus is also a multiple Grand Slam victor and the Williams sisters are also known for their business nous, having collaborated to buy a stake in National Football League franchise the Miami Dolphins in 2009.

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Williams returned from giving birth to her daughter to reach this year's Wimbledon and US Open finals, but suffered losses both times to leave her stuck on 23 Slams, one shy of Margaret Court's record.

Before then, she will warm up at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, followed by the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Her return was confirmed by tournament organisers on Wednesday, with Simona Halep and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki also in the field.

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Nearly all of the world's top 100 men and women's players are also due at Melbourne Park, including Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

"I've been in touch with Rafa and he's back to full fitness and he can't wait to arrive in Australia".

All four Grand Slams will have different ways of deciding final sets of matches if the Australian Open does decide to use the proposed "super tie-break".

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With no curfew, delayed matches can often start close to midnight.

All top players set for Australian Open in January