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Australian Open 2022: Neither Serena Williams nor Roger Federer feature at the Grand Slam in 24 years

Roger Federer and Serena Williams are both set to miss the Australian Open after the entry list of the Australian Open 2022 was released earlier in the day.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams

With the player’s entry list announced for the Australian Open 2022, despite the buzz and excitement for the Grand Slam, there is certain sadness amongst tennis fans as well. Former champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams are missing from the list and it has been confirmed that both the players are confirmed out from the tournament.

While Federer had already announced that he will be missing the tournament after he underwent surgery on his knee on the injury he picked up at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, Serena’s withdrawal from the tournament has come as a shocker to everyone as the American was expected to return to Grand Slam action.

Similar to Roger, Serena was injured at the Wimbledon but she was forced to retire after the pain was unbearable for the 23-time Grand Slam champion during her 1st round match where she slipped on the Center Court where Federer’s opponent Adrian Mannarino was also injured and forced to retire in a similar accident a few hours earlier.

There was a little glimpse of hope for fans to see Serena back in action during the 2021 season but acting on the advice of her medical team, the former World No.1 decided to skip the US Open and now the Australian Open next year.

“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete. Melbourne is one of my favourite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level,” said Serena announcing her withdrawal.

Atleast one of them has been playing at the Australian Open since 1998

Roger Federer and Serena Williams with their respective 2017 Australian Open Trophies

Serena made her debut at the Slam in 1998 when she reached the 2nd round and was absent from the Slam for the first time in 2002 before winning her first title in Melbourne in 2003. She missed the tournament again in 2004 but came back and won the title in 2005. After back to back wins in 2009 and 2010, Serena missed 2011 Australian Open and then missed the 2018 edition as she was returning from her maternity break.

As for Roger, he made his competition debut in 2000 reaching the 3rd round and had to wait till 2004 to win his first title there. He did not miss a single edition of the Slam till the 2021 edition as his operation after the 2020 Australian Open kept him on the sidelines and saw the 20-time Grand Slam champion return to action only in March 2021.

The two champions won their respective disciplines together on 3 occasions having won the title together in 2007, 2010 and 2017. Coincidentally, the last Slam won by both the players came at the Australian Open, Serena’s win in 2017 was her 23rd Slam while Roger’s successful title defence in 2018 was his 20th Slam making him the first-ever man to reach the 20 Slam mark.

Also Read: Australian Open 2022: Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal return, Novak Djokovic to lead the Men’s singles field