Serena handed tough draw in quest for record 24th Slam

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The first Grand Slam of 2019 sees world number one Novak Djokovic aiming for his third consecutive slam title, and seventh Australian Open.

While Evert thinks Serena is "raring to go" as she looks to equal Margaret Court's all-time Grand Slam title record of 24, she predicts strong challenges from the players who stopped the American reaching that tally past year - Japan's Naomi Osaka, who beat Williams in the U.S. Open final, and Angelique Kerber who trounced her in the Wimbledon title match.

Former US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe, brother of the legendary John and who will also be part of ESPN's Australian Open coverage, echoed Evert's sentiments.

The 28-year-old Dane insists she can manage the debilitating auto-immune condition, which sometimes leaves her so exhausted she cannot raise her arms above her head.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand during her first round match against Laura Siegemund of Germany at the ASB Classic on January 02, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand.

In an interview to The Guardian, the world No. 1 Simona Halep recalled the tough times she went through after losing a three-set Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniacki past year. He expects her to be in the title mix going forward.

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Halep, however, may be reluctant to look beyond the first round, having drawn her U.S. Open nemesis Kaia Kanepi.

Schuttler will add more "daring" to the 2016 Australian Open champion's game, said the German Tennis Association's Barbara Rittner, who helped develop Kerber as a teenager.

Osaka suffered a straight-sets loss to Lesia Tsurenko in the semi-final of the Brisbane International and withdrew from the Sydney International in frustration.

The American was eight weeks pregnant when she won her 23rd title at Melbourne Park in 2017 and returned to action a year ago where she reached finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. I feel at home here. 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. "Don't be surprised if you hear about a part-time job I've picked up at a local nail salon", she wrote.

"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.