Naomi Osaka has surpassed Serena Williams as the world's highest-earning female athlete.

The two-time grand slam winner accumulated a total $37.4million combined from prize money and endorsements over the past year, according to Forbes.

Osaka, who won her first major title at the 2018 US Open where she defeated Williams, earned $1.4m more than the American great, who was top of the female rankings for the past four years.

Her accumulated earnings are the biggest total over a 12-month period for a female athlete, beating the previous tally of $29.7m Maria Sharapova achieved in 2015.

Osaka ranks 29th in the overall list, with Williams 33rd marking the first time since 2016 two women have made the 100 highest-paid athletes.

"To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great back story," David Carter, a sports business professor at USC's Marshall School of Business, told Forbes. 

"Combine that with being youthful and bicultural, two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences, and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon."

After making her major breakthrough at Flushing Meadows, Osaka went on to win the next slam at the 2019 Australian Open but a dip in form has seen her slip from world number one to 10th in the WTA rankings.

Osaka has major sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike, Nissan Motors, Shiseido and Yonex.

Naomi Osaka has given her "100 per cent" backing to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 and says the "Olympic spirit" is needed to combat coronavirus.

The upcoming Olympic Games were pushed back from 2020 to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in close to 30,000 deaths worldwide, with more than 645,000 confirmed cases.

The decision was widely welcomed earlier this week, and tennis star Osaka is also on board, even if it means a delay to her hopes of turning out at a home Olympics.

The Japanese two-time grand slam champion wrote on her Instagram page: "I've been thinking about how to articulate my thoughts on this for a couple of days now, so here goes.

"Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country.

"Of course, I am disappointed that it won't happen this year, but we'll all be ready to go stronger than ever in 2021!

"I support prime minister [Shinzo] Abe's brave decision and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] 100 per cent. Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.

Lionel Messi and Liverpool are among the front-runners for prizes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday.

Liverpool are up for two gongs after a wonderful year, as they won the 2018-19 Champions League and took a massive leap towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp's side look set to break a host of records this season, as they have dropped points in just one of their 25 matches and hold a remarkable 22-point lead over defending champions Manchester City in second.

The Reds are in the running for two prizes in the Laureus Sports Awards' 20th anniversary gala – World Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year, the latter on account of their astonishing Champions League semi-final turnaround at the expense of Barcelona.

Among those challenging Liverpool for the former are the United States' Women's football team and the Toronto Raptors, who became the first Canadian franchise win an NBA championship.

A selection of sporting superstars are up for the Sportsman of the Year award, with Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi among them following his record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or.

Also in the running is Eliud Kipchoge after the Kenyan became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours last October, covering the 26.2 miles in one hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds in Vienna.

Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Megan Rapinoe is among those in the hunt for the Sportswoman of the Year gong, although gymnast Simone Biles also has a compelling case.

The 22-year-old last year won five gold medals at the World Championships to become the most decorated gymnast in the event's history, and has won this award twice before, in 2019 and 2017.

The event will take place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin on Monday. Below is a complete list of the awards up for grabs and the athletes nominated.

Sportsman of the Year

Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics
Lewis Hamilton – Formula One
Lionel Messi – Football
Marc Marquez – MotoGP
Rafael Nadal – Tennis
Tiger Woods – Golf

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix – Athletics
Megan Rapinoe – Football
Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
Naomi Osaka – Tennis
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics
Simone Biles – Gymnastics

 

Team of the Year

Liverpool – Football
Mercedes-AMG – Formula One
South Africa – Rugby Union
Spain – Basketball
Toronto Raptors – Basketball
United States Women – Football

Breakthrough of the Year

Andy Ruiz – Boxing
Bianca Andreescu – Tennis
Coco Gauff – Tennis
Egan Bernal – Cycling
Japan – Rugby Union
Regan Smith – Swimming

 

Comeback of the Year

Andy Murray – Tennis
Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union
Kawhi Leonard – Basketball
Liverpool – Football
Nathan Adrian – Swimming
Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Alice Tai – Swimming
Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis
Jetze Plat – Triathlon
Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing
Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing
Omara Durand – Athletics

 

Action Sportsperson of the year

Carissa Moore – Surfing
Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
Italo Ferreira – Surfing
Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding
Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams gave the United States a 2-0 lead over Latvia in their Fed Cup qualifier on Friday.

Kenin blitzed Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-2 to get the USA up and running in Everett, while Williams battled past 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3).

Barely a week after breaking through for her first grand slam title in Melbourne, Kenin was in the American state of Washington to represent her country.

The world number seven and 21-year-old surged past Sevastova before 23-time major winner Williams eventually saw off Ostapenko in the second rubber to improve her win-loss record at the Fed Cup to 14-0.

"It's been a long journey. It wasn't easy," Kenin said. "But I was super happy to come here and play with the team."

It was a tough day for former world number one and two-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka, who was reduced to tears after losing to unheralded Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Osaka, whose title defence at Melbourne Park was sensationally ended by teenager Coco Gauff in the third round, was swept aside 6-0 6-3 against Sorribes Tormo.

Japan trail Spain 2-0 in the tie after Carla Suarez Navarro accounted for Misaki Doi 6-3 6-4.

Switzerland, led by Belinda Bencic, Germany and Slovakia also boast 2-0 leads against Canada, Brazil and Great Britain respectively.

The other ties – Netherlands against Belarus, Romania versus Russia and Belgium against Kazakhstan – are deadlocked at 1-1.

Naomi Osaka suffered a torrid 6-0 6-3 defeat to world number 78 Sara Sorribes Tormo as Spain took charge of their Fed Cup qualifying tie against Japan.

Last month saw Osaka surrender her Australian Open crown when she lost to American teenager Coco Gauff in round three, and Friday's loss was a further blow in the early stages of 2020.

The 10th-ranked Japanese star lost 12 of the first 13 points on her serve on the La Manga clay and dropped the opening set in just 27 minutes.

She broke Sorribes Tormo's serve to establish a 2-0 lead in the second set but soon surrendered that advantage and was broken to love on her way to a sorry loss.

Spain captain Anabel Medina Garrigues said, according to the Fed Cup website: "We knew that Sara had the tools to make it very uncomfortable for Naomi. She stuck to the game plan perfectly."

Osaka let her emotions show by the final game and served a double fault on match point.

Spain went 2-0 ahead in the tie when Carla Suarez Navarro beat Misaki Doi 6-3 6-4 in the second rubber.

Suarez Navarro is set to face Osaka on Saturday's reverse singles, when Spain will need one more victory to book a place in the 12-team finals, to be played in Budapest in April.

World number one Ash Barty made serene progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams suffered shock exits.

Coco Gauff claimed another famous scalp in the form of defending champion Osaka to join Williams' conqueror Qiang Wang in the next round.

In a mixed day for the American contingent, Alison Riske and Sofia Kenin also went through, but Madison Keys was knocked out in straight sets.

Petra Kvitova was in commanding form as she progressed, while Caroline Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with defeat.

OSAKA DEFENCE ENDS AS SERENA WAIT GOES ON

Gauff got revenge for a rout at the hands of Osaka at the US Open last year to claim the biggest win of her fledgling career, seeing off the number three seed 6-3 6-4.

Beaten 6-3 6-0 in just 65 minutes at Flushing Meadows, 15-year-old Gauff made the most of 30 unforced errors from her opponent to set up a meeting with compatriot Kenin, who defeated Shuai Zhang 7-5 7-6 (9-7).

Williams' wait for a 24th grand slam singles title goes on, the American beaten in 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 by Wang in a gripping encounter.

The 38-year-old, who hit 56 unforced errors to Wang's 20, confessed afterwards: "I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today."

OMINOUS SIGNS FROM BARTY AND KVITOVA

There were no such concerns for Barty, who dispatched Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2 in 78 minutes.

The home favourite will face Riske in the fourth round, the American outlasting Julia Goerges 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Last year's runner-up Petra Kvitova progressed in similarly imperious fashion, seeing off Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1 6-2.

Kvitova, who is yet to drop a set at this year's event, will now face Maria Sakkari after her impressive 6-4 6-4 defeat of Keys.

 

TEARFUL WOZNIACKI BOWS OUT

Former world number one Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with a three-set defeat to Ons Jabeur.

The 2018 champion lost 7-5 3-6 7-5 to the Tunisian, who will play a fourth-round match at a major for the first time against Wang.

An emotional Wozniacki, who fought back from 3-0 down in the decider but was decisively broken in the 11th game, said afterwards: "I want to be out there fighting. I fought like my life depended on it."

Two-time grand slam winner Naomi Osaka claimed she still does not have a "champion's mentality" following her stunning defeat to 15-year-old Coco Gauff at the Australian Open.

Osaka's defence of her Melbourne Park crown crumbled at the third-round stage amid a sea of unforced errors as she went down 6-3 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.

American teenager Gauff appeared the more composed player throughout and Osaka conceded her fragile mindset was holding her back.

She said: "It was one of those days where I couldn't do anything right.

"I don't really have the champion mentality yet, which is someone that can deal with not playing 100 per cent. I have always wanted to be like that, but I guess I still have a long way to go.

"There are moments when you don't play 100 per cent and you still win the match because you don't have to play perfect to win sometimes.

"It's just something that I think some people are born with and some people have to [undergo] trials and stuff to get it."

Osaka described her life as "full of tests" and admitted she is sometimes "overwhelmed".

She added: "I feel like I get tested a lot, like life is just full of tests and unfortunately for me, my tests are tennis matches. So I just have to find a way to navigate through it.

"I feel like there are moments where I can handle them and then there are moments like this where I get overwhelmed and I don't really know what to do in the situation."

Osaka's misery and self-reflection was in stark contrast to Gauff who felt she had learned the lessons of her hammering at the hands of the same opponent at the 2019 US Open.

Asked what she had taken on board from that chastening New York experience, Gauff said: "Definitely the pace of her ball.

"She definitely plays faster than most players. I think at the US Open I wasn't really prepared for that. And today I definitely showed that I worked on that in the offseason."

Following their last meeting, Gauff broke down in tears and was consoled in moving scenes by Osaka.

And the youngster, who meets Sofia Kenin next, will always be grateful for the Japanese's considerate reaction.

"I'm forever thankful for that moment," she said.

"It was a great moment for me, but also the people watching. In sport, sometimes people think we're enemies, and we're not. Some of us are, but most of us, we're all friends.

"Obviously on the court, we take things intense, but a real athlete can absolutely hate you on the court, but off the court they're nice.

"That's what true champions are, and that's why she has two grand slams, because of her on-court personality and off-court personality."

This time there were no tears, no consoling embraces, no emotional speeches, it all seemed crushingly routine. And that was the most remarkable thing of all.

Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff breezed past defending champion Naomi Osaka and into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a ridiculously accomplished display on Friday.

The last time they met, at the 2019 US Open, Osaka was a 6-3 6-0 victor with the teenager's uncontrolled disappointment at the end met with compassion and grace by the Japanese.

This was no way to repay her, Gauff gaining ruthless revenge – winning 6-3 6-4 in just 67 minutes on Rod Laver Arena - to set up a clash with either Zhang Shuai or Sofia Kenin.

Osaka started well, her blazing groundstrokes threatening to overpower Gauff but the American gradually started to impose her game and, as she did, the errors started to increase from the other side of the net.

Three successive missed backhands handed Gauff a break and a 5-3 lead and, aided by two more mistakes from Osaka's backhand wing, she served it out to love.

Osaka's mental time-out continued at the start of the second, a wild forehand seeing her broken again.

But, finally, the third seed regrouped to hit back immediately and level at 1-1 and then move 2-1 up.

If there was a time for self-doubt it was now, but Gauff never wavered, her consistency from the back of the court in stark contrast to Osaka, who racked up 30 unforced errors in the match.

The majority came on the backhand and it broke down again as Gauff claimed the Osaka serve to edge 4-3 up.

Osaka did, at least, make Gauff serve it out but then handed her the win on a silver platter with another error-strewn game as the world number 67 powered through.

Ash Barty and Serena Williams moved through at the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff set up a third-round showdown.

Home favourite and world number one Barty was untroubled on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, continuing her run in Melbourne.

Williams was below her best but still advanced during the night session as her bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title continued.

There is also the prospect of a mouthwatering showdown between two of the game's leading lights on Friday.

 

BARTY, SERENA UNTROUBLED

Barty brushed past Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-4 in just 66 minutes on the back of a consistent performance.

The Australian mixed 16 winners – nine of those from the forehand side – with 16 unforced errors, setting up a clash with Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina.

Williams was left frustrated during the second set of her 6-2 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek.

The American star was pushed before advancing in one hour, 18 minutes, having committed 28 unforced errors, including 17 in the second set.

Next up for Williams is Wang Qiang, the Chinese 27th seed having rushed past Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2.

 

OSAKA, GAUFF SET UP BLOCKBUSTER CLASH

Osaka's title defence stayed alive with a 6-2 6-4 victory over China's Zheng Saisai.

The Japanese third seed faces her biggest test yet in the third round, where Gauff awaits after the teenager's comeback win.

Gauff looked set for an exit, trailing Sorana Cirstea 3-0 in the final set.

But the 15-year-old fought back to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory and reach the third round at a grand slam for the third straight time.

Osaka crushed Gauff 6-3 6-0 when the pair met at last year's US Open.

 

WOZNIACKI STAYS ALIVE AS KVITOVA, KEYS ADVANCE

Caroline Wozniacki stretched her professional career for at least another match by beating Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, who is retiring at the end of the tournament, came from 5-1 down in the first set and 3-0 behind in the second.

Last year's runner-up, Petra Kvitova, was tested in a 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain's Paula Badosa while Madison Keys also had moments of concern in her 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over Arantxa Rus.

Petra Martic (13) and Aryna Sabalenka (11) were among the seeds to fall, with the latter beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in their opening-round clash.

Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka corrected an on-court interviewer over a mistake about the WTA's number one ranking. 

Osaka's title defence continued with a 6-2 6-4 win over Saisai Zheng in the second round at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

Seeded third for this year's opening grand slam but ranked fourth in the world, Osaka was dethroned as the WTA's number one by Ash Barty following the US Open.

When it was put to her that she could return to the top of the rankings with back-to-back Australian Open titles, Osaka - who has points to defend - looked on quizzically.

"Get through where to be number one in the world?," the confused Japanese star replied to the interviewer.

Top seed Barty has 8,017 points, well ahead of Osaka's 5,496.

Pressed again on the possibility of returning to the summit, Osaka said: "Oh really?

"No I thought because Ash [Barty] is like 2,000 points ahead of me and I have to defend this, that I'm going to drop out of the top 10 for real. OK that's good news for me... I guess."

Osaka overcame warm but breezy conditions to advance to the third round of the slam in Melbourne, not before her frustrations spilled over in the second set.

After dropping serve, Osaka dropped her racquet and kicked it before storming through to the next round.

"I definitely got very frustrated in the second set, and it's something that I knew would happen, but I didn't know the scale, like, what she would do to make me frustrated," Osaka told reporters in her post-match news conference.

"I think that I just really have to focus on knowing that I'm going to have really tough matches and I have to find a way to go around it and just be consistently level-headed."

Osaka added: "She was slicing and dicing and getting everything. I was, like, 'Can I just hit a winner already?' She was, like, 'No, I'm going to get everything'. That's basically what happened."

Defending champion Naomi Osaka sailed into the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Saisai Zheng. 

In warm but breezy conditions in Melbourne, third seed Osaka defeated China's Zheng 6-2 6-4 on Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday.

Japanese star Osaka will next face either teenage sensation Coco Gauff or Sorana Cirstea at Melbourne Park.

Osaka made a strong start in front of a healthy Japanese contingent, breaking in the second game for a 2-0 lead, only to be broken back immediately after firing a forehand long.

Zheng managed to get back on serve, however, consecutive double faults handed the break back to Osaka, whose power and precision helped wrap up the set in 34 minutes.

Osaka fended off two break points in the opening game of the second set, but Zheng continued to have her chances on the two-time grand slam champion's serve.

Zheng, who also saved a break point to hold for 1-1, finally broke at the fifth time of asking as she moved ahead 2-1.

The disciplined approach from Zheng frustrated Osaka, who threw and kicked her racquet before claiming the break back instantly. The pair traded breaks as Osaka's unforced errors grew, until the latter composed herself to see out the match after one hour, 20 minutes.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Naomi Osaka [3] bt Saisai Zheng 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Osaka – 20/30
Zheng – 7/20

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Osaka – 0/2
Zheng – 0/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Osaka – 6/12
Zheng – 3/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Osaka – 59
Zheng – 68

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Osaka – 63/50
Zheng – 50/29

TOTAL POINTS
Osaka – 61
Zheng – 46

World number one Ash Barty was relieved to come through the "chaos" of a first day of few shocks at the Australian Open.

Home favourite and top seed Barty had to come from a set down to progress in Melbourne, beating Lesia Tsurenko 5-7 6-1 6-1.

The Queenslander ensured she joined several other big names in advancing, with defending champion Naomi Osaka triumphing along with Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova - straight-sets winners over Anastasia Potapova and Katerina Siniakova respectively.

Venus Williams did not follow her sister into round two, though, as she fell to 15-year-old Coco Gauff once again.

Gauff had already beaten fellow American Williams at Wimbledon last year and pulled off a repeat on Monday.

Sloane Stephens crashed out 2-6 7-5 6-2 to Zhang Shuai, while Barbora Strycova lost to Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, but fellow seeds Petra Martic, Sofia Kenin and Ekaterina Alexandrova all advanced.

Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire at the end of the tournament, prolonged her career by easing past Kristie Ahn 6-1 6-3.


BARTY GETTING BETTER AT EACH SLAM

Barty won the French Open last season and feels she is improving with the experience of every major.

"It's always a little bit different, I think," she said. "Slams always feel like there's a lot of chaos going because there's so many people.

"It's busy with singles and doubles players, mixed players, families, coaches, everyone underneath. It's just chaos.

"When you're able to separate that from when you step on the court is when you can do a little bit better, play a little bit better, feel a little bit more comfortable.

"I feel like we've been able to do that better and better with each slam that I've played. It's an experience thing. You have to learn how to deal with it, but it's getting better."

Reflecting on her role as a home favourite and the top seed, Barty added: "I feel like I'm doing it the best way that I know how. I'm doing it with my team. We're doing it as a team.

"We're loving it. We're embracing it. There's no other way to approach it. I think we're just going along for the ride, trying to play some good tennis."


VENUS: THE SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR COCO

Seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams knows a thing or two about champions, and she expects new nemesis Gauff to go all the way to the top.

Asked if the teenager has a "champion's mentality", Williams replied: "She clearly wants it, works very hard, is extremely mature for her age. I think the sky's the limit for her."

The veteran was impressed by Gauff's mentality, adding: "She just played very focused and put a lot of balls in the court. That's what you have to do.

"She'll play well for the rest of the event."


WOZNIACKI 'TRYING TO ENJOY THE MOMENT'

Knowing her career is coming to an end, Wozniacki acknowledged she found it difficult to keep her emotions in check.

But the 2018 champion is determined to enjoy her final days at the top of the sport.

"I feel good, having won my first match here. It's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament," she said. "There's a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today.

"I think I'm just really trying to enjoy every moment. I don't know that there is one particular moment, but there is once in a while where you're like, 'Wow, this really is my last one'.

"You never know, it [could be] still two weeks from now. But every match you go out there, I'm just going to give it everything that I have, because it could be the last."

Naomi Osaka has found a happy place in Melbourne, saying it was strange how upbeat she was at the Australian Open.

Osaka was too good for Marie Bouzkova 6-2 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena on Monday, beginning her title defence with a comfortable win.

The 22-year-old Japanese star said it was unusual just how happy she was in Victoria's capital.

"For me it's really odd here. I just feel really happy," Osaka told a news conference.

"I don't really have this mentality of defending now. It's really weird. But I'm very thankful for it, because I think if I did go into the match with that, I would have been tense."

Osaka, who faces Zheng Saisai in the second round, revealed her dad watched her from the players' box for the first time at a grand slam during her victory over Bouzkova.

"He's just superstitious. Before when he used to sit in my box I would just look at him and complain a lot, but I have matured over the past three or four years he hasn't sat in my box," she said.

"He was like my coach during Tokyo and Beijing. He was sitting in my box the entire time. He has a good winning streak by sitting in my box."

Naomi Osaka started her Australian Open title defence with a straight-sets win over Marie Bouzkova on Monday.

Osaka was too strong for Bouzkova in a 6-2 6-4 win on Rod Laver Arena in the first meeting between the pair.

The Japanese star was the aggressor throughout and her ability to take her chances proved crucial against Czech Bouzkova.

Osaka, 22, has never lost in the opening round in Melbourne and the third seed will face Zheng Saisai next.

The two-time grand slam champion was tested early before breaking in the fifth game of the first set.

Osaka went on a run of five straight games to finish the first set, but Bouzkova found hope by taking a 4-2 lead in the second.

However, Osaka stepped up again, breaking back and winning the last four games to advance.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Naomi Osaka [3] bt Marie Bouzkova 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Osaka – 29/28
Bouzkova – 12/13

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Osaka – 7/2
Bouzkova – 1/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Osaka – 4/9
Bouzkova – 1/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Osaka – 70
Bouzkova – 51

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Osaka – 74/53
Bouzkova – 66/43

TOTAL POINTS
Osaka – 64
Bouzkova – 49

The 108th edition of the Australian Open begins on Monday as the world's best tennis players battle it out at the first grand slam of 2020.

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka will return to defend the titles they won last year, adding to the event's storied history.

The pair will face stiff competition from stacked fields in the men's and women's draw as a host of players seek glory in Melbourne.

To whet your appetite for the forthcoming feast of tennis, here is a selection of the best Opta facts related to the Australian Open.

 

- The last three years have seen the 12 women's grand slam tournaments being won by 10 different players; only Simona Halep and Osaka have won twice in that span.

- Djokovic won his seventh Australian Open title in 2019, the most of any male player in the history of the tournament. He has won the event every time he has reached the semi-finals.

- Of the last 14 editions of the Australian Open, 12 have been won by either Djokovic (7) or Roger Federer (5) – Rafael Nadal (2009) and Stan Wawrinka (2014) are the only other winners in that period.

- Victoria Azarenka (2012, 2013), Serena Williams (2009, 2010) and Jennifer Capriati (2001, 2002) are the only women to have won successive titles at the Australian Open since 2000.

- Federer won his sixth Australian Open title in 2018, 14 years after his first win at the event; no player has won multiple Australian Open titles over a longer period in the Open Era. It is his last win in a grand slam tournament to date.

- Since 2005 only Williams (2010, 2015) and Azarenka (2013) have won the title at the Australian Open as the number one ranked player in the world.

- Williams has not won any of the last 11 grand slams, with her last victory coming at the Australian Open in 2017 when she was pregnant – this is the American's longest span without a major title.

- Petra Kvitova lost in the final of the Australian Open last year, the only time she went further than the quarter-finals in her last 19 grand slam appearances, since winning Wimbledon in 2014.

- Either Nadal or Andy Murray has been the runner-up in nine of the last 10 Australian Open men's finals, Murray losing five times and Nadal four. Marin Cilic in 2018 is the only other player to lose an Australian Open final in that span.

- The last time an Australian made it to the men's final at the Australian Open was Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and the last Australian to win the title was Mark Edmondson in 1976 (against fellow Australian John Newcombe).

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