Melbourne – Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month's Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
Tennis Australia on Friday said No 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China's Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the January 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, "is anticipated to return," Tennis Australia said.
Williams could equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams' ranking has dropped to No 22 during her break from the tour.