Australian Open: History beckons as Serena shoots for Slam history

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Will Serena Williams make a triumphant return to the scene of her last Grand Slam win, can Caroline Wozniacki defend her crown or is Naomi Osaka capable of back-to-back majors?

Djokovic is hoping to become the 8th man in history to win at least 7 titles at any Grand Slam event, while Federer, who has won 8 Wimbledon titles, has the chance to become the first man in history to win at least 7 titles at 2 different Grand Slam events.

With her powerful groundstrokes and potent serve the quick Melbourne courts are likely to suit her style and American great Evert is looking forward to watching her progress as part of broadcaster ESPN's coverage team.

Wozniacki proved she can still compete by winning in Beijing in October but whether she can cope with the gruelling two-week slog of a Grand Slam remains to be seen, and she was bundled out of the Auckland Classic last week in round two.

The 23 times Grand Slam title victor had last won the Australian Open title in 2017 when she was eight weeks pregnant.

Rafael Nadal holds the record for most titles at the same Grand Slam tournament with 11 Roland Garros titles.

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Wozniacki, 28, says the debilitating auto-immune condition is so bad that on some days "I wake up and can't lift my hands over my head".

She warmed up for Melbourne by making the semi-finals of the Brisbane International last week, where she blamed a poor attitude for losing to Lesia Tsurenko. "I enjoy Grand Slams the most", she said. But coming from Constanta [her home city], from nowhere, and becoming the best, is pretty huge for a Romanian, and for me as a person.

That loss left Williams, who also lost in the Wimbledon final a year ago, short of matching Margaret Court's marker of 24 grand slam titles, a record the American has another chance of equalling in Melbourne over the next fortnight. In that match, Williams infamously got into a verbal argument with umpire Carlos Ramos over his calls and his biases, while Osaka, a worthy champion, was booed and reduced to tears at the podium when she accepted the title.

"I noticed she seems fitter, which is a scary thought".

Osaka, who turned pro at just 14-years-old, is the fourth seed at the 2019 Australian Open - which begins January 14 in Melbourne.

"I think that sometimes we've gone too far", Bernard Giudicelli told a tennis magazine as the federation pledged to introduce a dress code for this year's tournament in Paris.

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