Serena Williams has accepted a place at the Australian Open and is “anticipated to return” to the tournament in January, less than five months after giving birth, organisers said on Friday. The defending women’s champion was among 98 of the 100 top women, and all of the men’s top 100, to be “confirmed” for the season’s opening Grand Slam, they said.
World number ones Simona Halep and 16-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will both be in Melbourne, but all eyes will be on Williams, who won this year’s tournament while pregnant.
Tournament director Craig Tiley said this week it was “highly likely” she will make her comeback at the opening Grand Slam of the season, and he repeated those sentiments Friday. “Last year’s tournament broke all of the records and we look forward to welcoming back new mum Serena as she attempts to equal Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slams,” he said in a statement.
“We are definitely a family-friendly event and many players including reigning champion Roger Federer travel with their children to Melbourne so we remain optimistic that she will return.”
Williams gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September and married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last month. The tournament is also set to see the return of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka, who have all been out with injuries. “We have been in regular contact with Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka, who are all set for the Aussie summer,” said Tiley.
“They will all have lower rankings meaning there’s a real chance we’ll finally see a breakthrough from one of the rising stars like Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem or David Goffin.”
The only two players within the top 100 to pull out so far are Russian world number 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who recently underwent wrist surgery, and China’s Zheng Saisai, with a right knee injury. The tournament takes place from January 15-28.
Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption
Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.
Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.
Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.
Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.
One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.
With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.
Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.
You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.
Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.
Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.
So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.