Who Are Four Former Champions On Comeback Trail At 2024 Australian Open

Who Are Four Former Champions On Comeback Trail At 2024 Australian Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Dubbed the "Happy Slam," there is a good reason to flash a smile as we inch closer to the 2024 Australian Open, which will have a historic Sunday start next season.

Several big names will mark their return to competition either from injury or a leave of absence in the opening week of January, playing a warm-up tournament in preparation for the year's first Grand Slam.

On that note, let us list the four former champions braced to make a comeback in Australia’s biggest sporting bonanza next year, and unsurprisingly, these players might still possess the knack to go all the way again.

Rafael Nadal

Undoubtedly, the biggest name on the list is 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal. The Spanish lefty hadn’t played since the corresponding tournament in 2023 when he sadly succumbed to a career-threatening hip injury that proved a lot more serious than on first look.

Nadal was forced to shut down his season in late May despite concerted efforts to make himself available to play the French Open. Having won the Australian Open twice and feeling positive about his physical well-being, it would be foolhardy to write him off entirely in Melbourne.

Naomi Osaka

Second on the list is Naomi Osaka, who is a two-time champion of the Australian Open women's tournament. The Japanese star announced on the eve of the 2023 tournament that she was withdrawing for undisclosed reasons. But days later, Osaka shared a "life update" on her social media platform stating she was pregnant.

After giving birth and resuming full-time training in the second half of 2023, the 26-year-old's comeback tournament will be in Brisbane, which begins on New Year's Day. Osaka will use her Special Ranking to play in the Australian Open and intends to play "way more tournaments" during her exclusive reveal on ESPN.

Angelique Kerber

Another returning former champion, Angelique Kerber, will aim to follow in the footsteps of some of the most successful mothers on tour. But only three players have won a Grand Slam title as a mother on the WTA tour, the last of whom was Kim Clijsters, who incidentally did it at the 2011 Australian Open.

Kerber, who gave birth to daughter Liana in February, will play at the United Cup for her country, which would be an ideal way to ease herself into action.

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki's crowning moment of her career was at the 2018 Australian Open, where she memorably saved two match points in the early rounds and before coming full circle at the end of the fortnight. In 2020, tennis fans thought they'd seen the last of the tenacious Dane.

Life can be more than cozy at home, and Wozniacki felt she had more to give and inspire and thought, why not stand from the back seat and retake center stage?

As it turned out, that decision has already bore fruits, with Wozniacki surpassing expectations in her most recent Grand Slam appearance at the US Open. Wozniacki is now going to prioritize playing one of the most important tournaments of her career in 2024.


You may also like