Caroline Wozniacki will return to the scene of her greatest hour when she defends the Australian Open at Melbourne Park over the next fortnight.
The world number three defeated Simona Halep in a classic final 12 months ago and is aiming to join an elite cast of female players to retain the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
Halep herself became a first-time major winner in 2018 and knows she will have a target on her back as world number one, while Serena Williams will again go for grand slam number 24.
With the women's draw once more set to be wide open, we have taken a look at the best Opta Facts for the biggest players ahead of the tournament.
WOZNIACKI LOOKING TO REIGNITE GRAND SLAM FIRE
- Wozniacki has failed to reach the quarter-finals in any grand slam since she won the Australian Open in 2018.
- The Dane triumphed in Melbourne but had failed to reach the last eight in her previous five appearances in the tournament.
- Wozniacki is aiming to become the first woman to win successive Australian Open titles since Victoria Azarenka (2012 and 2013).
- Only Azarenka, Williams (2009, 2010) and Jennifer Capriati (2001, 2002) have won the Australian Open in consecutive years since 2000.
HALEP AIMING TO JOIN SELECT TOP-RANKED GROUP
- Since 2005 only Williams (2010, 2015) and Azarenka (2013) have won the Australian Open as the top-ranked player in the world.
- Halep reached the final last year but failed to pass through the first round in her two previous appearances in the tournament.
- The Romanian has made it to the quarter-finals in four of her last seven grand slam appearances; she has also made it to three major finals in that span.
- There were three new women's grand slam winners in 2018 (Wozniacki, Halep and Naomi Osaka), the most there had been in seven years.
SERENA STILL COURTING MARGARET'S RECORD
- Williams' next grand slam victory will be her 24th, equalling Margaret Court for the most of all time in women's tennis.
- The American has not won any of the last seven grand slams, with her last triumph coming at the Australian Open in 2017 – this is her longest span without a major title since 2012.
- Williams has participated in eight Australian Open finals, more than any other player in the Open Era, including three of the last four.
OSAKA OUT TO GO BACK-TO-BACK, KERBER A CONTENDER
- Osaka is aiming to become the first woman to win successive grand slams since Williams (US Open in 2014 followed by the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2015).
- US Open champion Osaka has never reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne, falling in the fourth round to Halep in 2018.
- Angelique Kerber has made the last eight in three of her last four grand slam appearances, including the semi-finals at the 2018 Australian Open.
- The German has reached the semi-finals in two of her last three appearances at Melbourne Park and won the title in 2016 but had failed to reach the quarter-finals in any of her previous runs in the tournament.
23. Januar 2019
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