Serena Williams targets Australian Open title defence, say organisers


Williams has long favored the Aussie Open, even insinuating her daughter's name, Alexis Olympia, whom she shares with fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is an ode to the Melbourne-based tournament.

"Serena, the competitor that she is, she wants to win more than the 23 Grand Slam titles that she has", Tiley revealed.

Venus is in career-best form, achieving her highest ranking since January 2011 after she finished runner-up to Serena at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open. She now leads. It is in several months and, obviously, it will be to her to determine where she is physically.

Williams beat her sister Venus in the Melbourne final 6-4 6-4 and, according to Craig Tiley, she hopes to make a quick return to competitive tennis.

Her first child's initials are the same as the first Grand Slam of the year and Williams had previously outlined her plans to defend the title they won together - despite the tournament starting just four months after she gave birth.

Speaking about the 36-year-old at a press conference confirming an increase in prize money for players taking part in the tournament, Tiley said Williams would be ready to play Down Under, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN).

"I can tell you that in talking to Andy, he has been training and he is preparing for having a great year in 2018".

Even during her pregnancy, Williams remained active, training on the court as often as possible with the idea of returning to the Australian Open in 2018.

Tiley said the winners' prizemoney had broken a barrier.

The women's trophy will be presented by USA great Billie Jean King, 50 years after she won her first Australian Open title.

The 2018 edition of the tournament marks 30 years since the tournament was first played at Melbourne Park, with the venue in the midst of a $975-million redevelopment.