The preliminary lists are complete for next month’s Australian Open, after the deadline for entry passed Monday.
And the good news is that Serena Williams is on the women’s singles entry list.
The inevitable withdrawals are still to come. But already, some notable names are missing on the women’s side.
Victoria Azarenka is first on the MIA list.
The former No. 1, currently ranked No. 210, hasn’t entered with either her true ranking or with the protected ranking she could use to play a second Grand Slam event (she used it at Wimbledon last summer).
Azarenka officially remains in the WTA warmup event in Auckland, NZ, for what that’s worth. And the Australian Open no doubt would give their two-time champion a wild card.
But it’s clear the Belarussian’s ongoing child custody issues back home in California seem not to have a short-term resolution, no matter how positive she has been publicly about an imminent return.
No. 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who said last week the Australian swing was likely a no-go because of wrist issues, also is not on the entry list.
China’s Saisai Zheng, ranked No. 94, also is missing.
Three players entered with protected rankings: Anna-Lena Friedsam (No. 50), Margarita Gasparyan (No. 62) and Kristina Kucova (No. 96).
That puts the initial cutoff at No. 107.
The next player in would be Anna Tatishvili, with a protected ranking of No. 107. American teenager Sofia Kenin and Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova come after that.
In the “good news” department, Bethanie Mattek-Sands entered the singles. With her ranking of No. 123, she would have to play the qualifying, although the American has not yet entered that.
Sara Errani and Switzerland’s Patty Schnyder, who turns 39 next week and hasn’t played the Australian Open since 2011, will play the qualifying.
Everyone in from the ATP top 100
On the men’s side, the initial cutoff is even tougher – right at No. 100.
Chile’s Nicolas Jarry is therefore the last one in on the initial list.
Andreas Haider Maurer (No. 63), Yoshihito Nishioka (No. 66), John Millman (No. 81) and Ricardas Berankis (No. 93) have used protected rankings to enter.
Every single player currently ranked in the top 100 is entered.
Next in if players withdraw are Gerald Melzer, Rogerio Dutra Silva, Marcos Baghdatis, Nicolas Mahut and a trio of players: Taylor Fritz, Pablo Andujar and James Duckworth. All three are at No. 105; the latter two are protected rankings, which gives Fritz priority.