He would also become the youngest Grand Slam champion since Del Potro won the title at the 2009 US Open aged 20 years 355 days.
The legacy of Serena Williams, who next week will compete in her first Grand Slam since her fiery clash with a U.S. Open umpire, will not be harmed by the infamous feud that tarnished the NY final, American great Chris Evert said on Wednesday.
"The fact that she dominated for so long and could break the record of Grand Slams I think that will overshadow everything at the end of the day", former world number one Evert, who will be part of ESPN's coverage of the Australian Open, told a conference call.
"I have no reason to believe that Sabalenka will not win more than one Grand Slam. Why?"
He retired in the quarter-finals against Marin Cilic a year ago in Melbourne and suffered yet another knee injury that forced him out of the US Open semi-finals before ankle surgery in November.
Wozniacki also has a question mark over her fitness after the 28-year-old Dane revealed her battle with rheumatoid arthritis last October, but has since claimed that she has learnt to live with it. You can see it in her eyes.
A second Australian Open title will be a ideal birthday gift for world number two Angelique Kerber, who turns 31 in the first week of the tournament. I feel at home here. "I enjoy Grand Slams the most", she said before last week's Brisbane International.
"In general, it's about her offensive game", Rittner told Deutsche Welle of the three-time Grand Slam champion who lost an agonising, breathless semi-final 9-7 in the final set to Halep in Melbourne previous year. "There is a certain degree of pressure, but it's from myself".
Serena Williams has been handed a challenging draw in her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, starting with Germany's Tatjana Maria in the first round.
Williams trails only Margaret Court in that category, and she came painfully close to tying her record past year in at Wimbledon and the US Open, losing in the final of both events to Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka, respectively. Yet she appears to have put the emotional turmoil experienced in NY behind her and is revelling in her status as standard bearer for the next generation of women's players. "I think keeping them a bit of a secret helps me do the best I can".
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