| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

The 2012 Australian Open, set for Jan. 16-29, 2012 at Melbourne Park will be the richest tournament in Grand Slam tennis history, with the winners of both the men’s and women’s singles to pocket $2.2 million U.S. and a total of $25 million U.S. will be paid out at the event.

French Open Director Craig Tiley expects defending champion Kim Clijsters and 2011 U.S. Open finalist Serena Williams to participate on the women's side of the draw, in addition to Australia's own Samantha Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion.

“We know that Kim’s been out for most of the year, but she’s planning on being back to defend her title,” said Tiley. “We’ve still got three months to go, but the last communication is she’s planning on being back. The same thing with Serena, she unfortunately missed this year’s Open with her injury, but she’s back playing, we all saw at the finals of the U.S. Open, and she’ll be here too.”