Tennis: Former champion Caroline Wozniacki, six Aussies awarded Australian Open wildcards

Melbourne, Dec 6 (IANS): Former world No.1 and 2018 champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark along with six Aussie talents, have been awarded main-draw wildcards for the Australian Open 2024.

Wozniacki, who won the title at Melbourne Park in 2018, was one of seven players announced on Tuesday as wildcard recipients for the year’s first Grand Slam event.

The other six are talented Australians Kimberly Birrell, Olivia Gadecki, Taylah Preston, James Duckworth, Marc Polmans and Adam Walton – all players trending up after excellent results in 2023.

The 2018 champion Wozniacki has revealed her excitement of returning to Australia for the first time in four years, on the Australian Open’s official podcast.

The 33-year-old mother of two has said she’s planning to bring her whole family -- including children Olivia (2) and James (1) -- to Melbourne, from the Miami base she shares with husband, former NBA star David Lee.

"I have so many wonderful memories of Melbourne, and of course winning the Australian Open is an all-time career highlight,” said Wozniacki, who initially retired at Australian Open 2020.

After three-and-a-half years away, Wozniacki made an exciting comeback to tennis in August 2023. She played in Montreal and Cincinnati before making her Grand Slam return at the US Open, where she fell to eventual champion Coco Gauff in the fourth round.

"Melbourne’s one of my most favourite cities in the world, and I can’t wait to share it with my family and my kids,” Wozniacki told The AO Show podcast. "It’s obviously a tournament I feel extremely comfortable at. I love the balls, I love the court, and I love the fans.

“And I hope that I get a nice welcome back when I see everyone there - and I’m sure I will; it really is a special place. I’m truly grateful to everyone for the wildcard and having the opportunity to compete again at the AO in January," she added.

The Australian Open runs from January 14 to 28, with Aryna Sabalenka aiming to defend the women's title and Novak Djokovic looking to secure another victory in the men's category.



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Title: Tennis: Former champion Caroline Wozniacki, six Aussies awarded Australian Open wildcards

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