MELBOURNE: Roger Federer and Serena Williams have confirmed they will take part in the 2021 Australian Open, with the year’s first Grand Slam in Melbourne expected to allow fans to fill up to 50% of seats, Tennis Australia (TA) boss Craig Tiley said on Monday. The return of fans will mark a big change for Melbourne, which has been under a strict coronavirus lockdown for nearly three months. The state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, accounts for 90% of Australia’s 894 Covid-19-related deaths. Federer reached the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open but the 20-times Grand Slam winner has missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second procedure on his right knee. Williams, also 39, pulled out of her second round match at the French Open due to an Achilles injury and is still one short of Court’s record 24 Grand Slam titles. Many top players missed the U.S. Open Grand Slam due to concerns over the pandemic while Australia’s women’s world number one Ash Barty also opted to not travel to Paris to defend her French Open title.