The 2024 Australian Open entry list and first tranche of wild cards have been announced, with former champions Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki all continuing their comebacks from maternity leave.
2019 winner Osaka and 2016 titlist Kerber have both entered via special rankings of No.46 and No.31 respectively. Osaka, who is due to start her comeback in Brisbane, gave birth to daughter Shai in July; Kerber, who will return at the United Cup, gave birth to daughter Liana in February.
The former World No.1s are two out of seven players who have directly entered the first Grand Slam main draw of 2024 using a special ranking. The other five are Jennifer Brady, Ajla Tomljanovic, Shelby Rogers, Amanda Anisimova and Caty McNally.
Caro’s comeback continues in Melbourne. Welcome back to our AO 2018 champion! 🏆 https://t.co/6XSFqp04al— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) December 6, 2023
Five out of eight wild cards have also been announced, led by 2018 champion Wozniacki. The Dane began her comeback in August, reaching the fourth round of the US Open and rising to her current No.242 after just three tournaments. Three further wild cards have been gifted to local players Kimberly Birrell, Olivia Gadecki and Taylah Preston.
A fifth wild card has been awarded to 2022 quarterfinalist and former World No.11 Alizé Cornet, under the reciprocal arrangement with the French Tennis Federation. Cornet, 33, holds the record for the most consecutive Grand Slam main-draw appearances, and will extend that number to 68.
Six former Australian Open winners will be in the main draw. Alongside Osaka, Kerber and Wozniacki, the field will feature 2020 titlist Sofia Kenin, 2012-13 winner Victoria Azarenka and defending champion Aryna Sabalenka. Eight further Grand Slam champions are also on the entry list: World No.1 Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, Marketa Vondrousova, Barbora Krejcikova, Jelena Ostapenko, Petra Kvitova and Sloane Stephens.
The last direct entrant to the main draw is No.99-ranked Claire Liu. The only players in the Top 99 (as of the week of December 4) absent from the entry list are Belinda Bencic, who is pregnant, and Bianca Andreescu, who has been out of action since August due to a back injury.
The next 12 alternates in case of withdrawals are as follows: Aleksandra Krunic, Kamilla Rakhimova, Wang Yafan, Julia Grabher, Tamara Zidansek, Emma Raducanu, Sara Errani, Kaja Juvan, Dayana Yastremska, Hsieh Su-Wei, Katie Volynets and Marina Bassols Ribera.
Krunic, Raducanu and Hsieh have all entered with special rankings of No.99, No.103 and No.106 respectively.
The 128-player qualifying entry list has also been released, based on the rankings of the week of December 18. No.99-ranked Rakhimova leads the list, and the last initial direct acceptance is No.224-ranked Dominika Salkova. Four players have entered using special rankings: Raducanu, Hsieh, Francesca Jones and Tara Wurth.
Between No.99 and No.224, two players are absent due to using special rankings for main-draw entry (McNally and Rogers) and three due to receiving wild cards for the main draw (Birrell, Gadecki and Preston). Five further players have either withdrawn from or not entered the tournament: Julia Grabher, Kateryna Baindl, Danka Kovinic, Madison Brengle and Robin Montgomery.
The next five alternates in case of withdrawal are Lea Boskovic, You Xiaodi, Tena Lukas, Selena Janicijevic and Harmony Tan.