Confirmed WTA comebacks for Australian Open – who’s heading down under?

The list of WTA comebacks for Australian Open 2024 is growing. In recent weeks, the confirmed WTA Australian Open 2024 entry list has been published. And this has sparked plenty of excitement among tennis fans around the world.

This is perfectly understandable since this is the first Grand Slam of the 2024 season. However, you’ll no doubt have a good idea of the big names who are heading to Melbourne for a shot at glory in January. Names like Swiatek, Sabalenka, Pegula, Gauff, Rybakina, and plenty of others are on the confirmed entry list.

WTA comebacks for Australian Open 2024
Photo by Icon Sport

But with that said, there are several WTA comebacks for Australian Open tennis that few would have predicted. Of course, this will be the focus today, and I aim to inform you of all of the comebacks that are likely to take place in Melbourne in January 2024.

WTA comebacks for Australian Open 2024 – who’s returning to the WTA Tour in Melbourne?

In order for something to be considered a ‘comeback’, this means they must have been away from the WTA Tour for a considerable length of time. Additionally, I’d consider it a comeback if a particular player hasn’t participated in the Australian Open for a fair length of time. So on that note, I’d like to clarify that all of the players listed below fit the profile of WTA comebacks for Australian Open tennis. 

But who are these individuals who are setting their sights on a comeback at the 2024 Australian Open? Let me guide you through the list right now.

Emma Raducanu

The former US Open champion, Emma Raducanu, is the first player I’d like to draw your attention to today. Of course, Raducanu shot to fame after winning the US Open in 2021, yet she’s had a string of unfortunate injury woes since then. To stress just how unfortunate and detrimental this has been for Raducanu – she only managed to compete in 10 matches during the 2023 season.

Not only that, but Raducanu has been forced to undergo surgery in 2023 to rectify issues relating to her wrists and ankle. Since then, Raducanu has returned to the practice court, and it looks as though she is eager to compete in Australia in January. But given that her ranking has taken a major tumble, she isn’t on the confirmed entry list for the main draw.

Therefore, it’s likely that of all the WTA comebacks for Australian Open tennis, Raducanu will be one of the few names who must go through qualifying.

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka has been the ‘darling’ of the WTA Tour just a few years ago. While she was a ferocious player on the court, she had an underlying element of shyness, which made her a huge favourite with fans around the world. However, while she won multiple Grand Slams between 2019 and 2021, it all became a bit overwhelming for Osaka, at the time.

She spoke publicly about her mental health struggles, and this forced her away from the WTA Tour on several occasions. Yet in 2023, she was absent from the tour as she was pregnant, and she has since given birth to a baby girl in 2023. This puts her in a unique category already, as there aren’t too many top players who have made a return to tennis after becoming mothers.

Nevertheless, Osaka is firmly on the list as one of the most exciting WTA comebacks for the Australian Open in January.

Caroline Wozniacki

While the first two players I’ve highlighted fit the typical description of a comeback due to their long period of absence from the tour, Wozniacki fits a different profile. I say this because Wozniacki made a return to the WTA Tour in August 2023, so she’s already back on the scene. Additionally, she is set to make an appearance at the Australian Open for the first time since 2020.

Not only that, but Wozniacki won her first and only Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, which came back in 2018. So for me, the fact that she is a former champion here, as well as a former world number one, makes her a hugely exciting prospect in Melbourne. 

Angelique Kerber

Here we have the third mother in a row who looks set to be one of the WTA comebacks for Australian Open participation in 2024. As you might remember, Angelique Kerber is also a former world number one. This was back in 2016, at the height of her career – a season in which she won both the Australian Open and US Open.

Of course, Kerber then went on to win Wimbledon in 2018, which turned out to be her last major title. And when it comes to her career in recent times, she missed the 2023 season after giving birth to her daughter. However, she’s now primed for an exciting comeback at the 2024 Australian Open. 

Ajla Tomljanovic

Finally – some huge news for Australian tennis fans. Alja Tomljanovic, now in her 30s, has endured an incredibly frustrating season in 2023. She managed to compete in just two matches throughout the entire season due to a persistent knee injury. 

Despite making a return at the 2023 US Open, winning her opening round, she was forced to withdraw after that triumph. However, Tomljanovic is right there on the confirmed entry list for the 2024 Australian Open – set to compete under a ‘special ranking’.

Of course, she will have the full force of Australian tennis fans behind her, assuming she does compete in the main draw. And given the way that she plays, with such power on both wings, she’s not a player that anyone will want to see next to them in the draw.

Garbine Muguruza

Last but not least, I’m excited to share some news about the possible return of the Spaniard, Garbine Muguruza at the 2024 Australian Open. Much like others in this rundown of WTA comebacks for Australian Open with regard to the main draw entrants, Muguruza is a former world number one and multiple Grand Slam winner.

She was absent from the WTA Tour for the majority of 2023, however, as she felt she needed a break from the pressures and stress of professional tennis. And based on the fact that she’s entered the 2024 Australian Open, I’d say that this break has served her very well indeed.

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