Australian Open: Katie Boulter to join Johanna Konta & Heather Watson in main draw

4 weeks ago
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Katie Boulter playing at the Battle of the Brits event in July

Britain’s Katie Boulter is set to join Johanna Konta and Heather Watson in the Australian Open main draw after using an injury-protected ranking to enter.

Boulter, 24, has dropped to 365th in the world after a back injury.

British number one Konta, 29, and 28-year-old Watson, ranked 14th and 58th respectively, qualify automatically.

Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie are entered in the men’s draw, while former world number one Andy Murray is set to be given a wildcard.

Fit-again Boulter was ranked a career-high 82nd in February 2019 before sustaining her injury in a Fed Cup tie two months later. She did not play again until November 2019.

Australia’s world number one Ashleigh Barty leads the field in the women’s singles after missing this year’s US Open and French Open because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Only two of the women’s top 100 have not entered the tournament in Melbourne, which has been pushed back three weeks to 8 February.

The event usually starts in mid-January but players are not allowed to enter the state of Victoria until the new year and must quarantine for 14 days on their arrival.

Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic – who won a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park in February – heads the men’s singles.

All of the top 100 have entered, although there is a doubt over whether Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will recover in time from a knee injury.

While the entry lists indicate who intends to play at this stage, it is not a guarantee they will take part in the tournament.

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BBC Sport – Tennis

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