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MELBOURNE: Showstopper Nick Kyrgios and former US Open champion Emma Raducanu were notable absentees Thursday from the 2024 Australian Open entry list, but Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka are set for their Grand Slam comebacks.

Fiery Australian Kyrgios, the one-time world number 13, had knee surgery in January and then aborted plans to return at Wimbledon after tearing a ligament in his wrist.

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley recently said he expected Kyrgios to be at the opening Grand Slam of the year in “some form” and he could be granted a wildcard.

Briton Raducanu was also missing from the automatic entry list.

The 21-year-old, who stunned the tennis world when she won the US Open as a qualifier aged 18, has been out of action since April after undergoing operations on both wrists and an ankle.

She pulled out of her scheduled comeback at an exhibition tournament in Macau this month, but was targeting the beginning of 2024 for her return.

Raducanu only has a protected ranking of 103, meaning she missed out on entry to Melbourne Park and will have to go through qualifying to earn a start or rely on other players dropping out.

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She could also get a wildcard.

These are often reserved for Australians, but Dane Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, was handed one when the first batch of seven were announced on Wednesday.

Nadal and Osaka, as expected, will make their Grand Slam comebacks after both entered the lead-up Brisbane International.

Spain’s 22-time Grand Slam winner Nadal has not played since this year’s Australian Open due to injury, and has a protected ranking of nine.

Japan’s Osaka gave birth to daughter Shai in July and has not played since September 2022, having also struggled with her mental health.

She has a special ranking – used by the Women’s Tennis Association for players returning from pregnancy leave – of 46.

The Australian Open runs from January 14-28, with Aryna Sabalenka defending the women’s title and Novak Djokovic the men’s.

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