Craig Tiley: It's always special to see our defending champions

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Craig Tiley: It's always special to see our defending champions

With the Australian Open list coming out recently, Tournament Director Craig Tiley took out time to welcome players. "It's an exciting time of year and we can't wait to welcome this exceptionally strong player field to Melbourne for Australian Open 2019," he said.

He further added, "It's always special to see our defending champions - Caroline had her first grand slam win here last year so will be keen to start 2019 on a high and of course Roger Federer has special memories of Melbourne, having won here six times, something only Novak and Roy Emerson have done in the past." "After an incredible end-of-season run this year Novak will be full of confidence.

He's a fan favourite here and loves the conditions in Melbourne.” "I've been in touch with Rafa and he's back to full fitness after cutting his season short after Paris and can't wait to arrive in Australia.” Speaking about young guns and rising stars, Tiley said, "And there are so many contenders who have the game, fitness and ability to break through on the men's side.

On the women's side, we've seen a number of new champions in 2018.” "Naomi Osaka started her path to grand slam glory right here in Melbourne, reaching the fourth round, and building to win the US Open.

And after making the final here it was wonderful to see Simona win at Roland Garros, and our own 2016 champion Angie Kerber win at Wimbledon." ALSO READ Alex de Minaur: I feel like I'm refreshed and ready to go