Serena Williams, Osaka drawn in same half at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams pulled out of a tuneup tournament after being been drawn into the same quarter at the Australian Open as second-ranked Simona Halep and the same half as Naomi Osaka in her latest bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title. Osaka will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round and has major champions Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza, Venus Williams and Bianca Andreescu in her quarter. Defending champion Sofia Kenin is in the top half with top-ranked Ash Barty. Novak Djokovic’s bid for a third consecutive Australian title has Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev in his quarter and U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem as a projected semifinal opponent.