Australian Open to Have Most of World’s Top 100

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It is a nice list of players forming up for the 2018 Australian Open.

Most of the top players in the world have committed to playing, including all of the top men.

The women will be missing a few. World number 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova was forced to withdraw due to wrist surgery. Two-time winner Victoria Azarenka does not seem to be included, but she may get in as a wildcard, depending out what she does in a warm-up event in New Zealand.

Rafael Nadal will be the number one seed for the men and Simona Haley will fill that role for the women.

Other than Nadal and Federer, the top seeds in the men’s draw have been shaken a bit.

Stan Wawrinka is down at number nine; Novak Djokovic is further back at 12th. Andy Murray is even further down, at 16th. Nick Kyrgios is 21st and hopefully, the Australian Open presents no scheduling conflicts for him.

The wildcards for the men’s main draw are Tim Smyczek of the U.S., Corentin Moutet of France, Soon Woo Kwon of Korea and Thanasi Kokkinakis of Adelaide.

Two other wildcards are unfilled for the time being, but Bernard Tomic has declared that he will not be trying to gain entry via that route.

On the women’s side, the wildcards will be Kristy Ahn of the U.S., Jessica Ponchet of France, Xinyu Wang of China and Olivia Rokowska of Australia. There are three remaining wildcards to be determined.

In the main draw, Venus Williams is number five, so there has been something of a changing of the guard there, too.

Ashleigh Barty is the highest ranked Australian in the field at 17th.

Serena Williams, the defending champion, is in the process of determining her fitness after having taken time off for childbirth and her participation is a bit doubtful, although she has started hitting balls again.