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On January 16th, the Australian Open 2023 will be hosting hundreds of players bidding for glory in their individual events. But who are predicted to be getting their hands on the silverware this year?
The Australian Open in 2022 was surrounded with controversy after Novak Djokovic was deported due to his Covid vaccination status. At the time, he was also barred from re-entering Australia until 2025.
So will Djokovic play the Australian Open 2023? The answer is yes. A new government in Canberra reversed the ruling and the Serb is now gunning for a tenth title at his most successful Grand Slam venue.
“Over the years I’ve been really fortunate to start very strong in Australia and I love playing there,” said the world number five in Dubai last week.
“After obviously what happened earlier this year, hopefully I can have a decent reception there and hopefully that can help me play some good tennis.”
In the women’s event, last year’s winner Ashleigh Barty retired two months after claiming her Aus Open title, the first Aussie woman to do so in 44 years. With a host of other retirements in 2022, including Serena Williams, the field is looking a lot more open in the women’s game.
Top sporting action returns to Melbourne after the Melbourne Cup, with the Australian Open Grand Slam. Before we look at the main combatants, here are some details regarding the tournament.
The tournament runs from 16th to 29th January 2023.
The Australian Open is played at Melbourne Park in Melbourne.
Tickets are already on sale via the official Australia Open 2023 website.
Tickets vary depending on the experience you’re after, and which courts you want to see play on. Ground Pass tickets start at $59 in the first week, increasing to $27,500 for an on-court seat with dinner during the Men’s Final.
The 2022 winners of the Australian Open were setting records in more ways than one.
In the men’s game, Rafael Nadal clinched the title with his 21st Grand Slam, taking him ahead of both Federer and Djokovic. Will he be the professional tennis GOAT? He followed it up with a 22nd Grand Slam in France, but Djokovic has almost caught up with 21 Slam titles.
In the women’s tournament, Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian woman to take home the silverware in 44 years. Not only that, but Barty is a member of the Indigenous Australian Ngaragu people, the Aboriginal people of southern New South Wales and northeastern Victoria. Barty retired two months after winning the trophy.
We look at the favourites for the title in Melbourne, with odds for Australian betting.
After ending 2022 with a record-equalling sixth ATP Tour Finals crown, and being allowed back onto Australian soil, Novak Djokovic is just about everyone’s favourite to clinch this year’s Aussie Open. He’s also looking to equal Nadal’s record 22 Grand Slams, then moving on to more Grand Slams in order to grab that all-important GOAT moniker.
Fast becoming the Spanish successor to Rafa Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz is young, fit and currently ranked no.1 in the world. His sensational win at the US Open was a highlight of the 2022 tennis year. He has the perfect all-court game for hardcourts. It would be surprising if he didn’t make it to at least the semi-finals.
He may be 36 years old and been suffering from an abdominal injury but Nadal is a fighter. I mean, he won his 14th French Open with no feeling in his left foot! As defending champion, you have to give Nadal a chance, but he looked tired at the end of the season in 2022. The fast courts may be too much for him this year.
Temperamental he may be, but he has class in his strokes. As a local lad, the Aussie would love to lift the trophy on home soil, especially as it would be the equivalent of giving two fingers to Tennis Australia after they awarded the 2022 Newcombe Medal to his compatriot Ash Barty, who retired in March 2022. Kyrgios accused the association of having ‘no respect’ for him.
Rafael Nadal has backed Kyrgios to lift a Slam in 2023 telling reporters this week: ‘He can win in any tournament that he’s playing. He has all the talent, the weapons to win against any player. Of course he can.’
Many a tour player has underestimated Ruud and suffered the consequences. Off the back of a phenomenal 2022, Ruud could be ready to grab his first Grand Slam title. In 2022, he made it to 2 Slam finals, was runner up at Tour Finals, won 3 ATP titles, and is at a career high ranking of #3. He has a good all-round game for the hard courts.
Swiatek won 47 hard-courts matches in 2022. She also finished the 2022 season with 11,085 ranking points, more than double No.2 Ons Jabeur’s total. That’s the most since Serena Williams in 2013. The Pole reached the semi-final of the Australian Open last year, but bounced back to win both the French Open and US Open.
Garcia ended 2022 with victory at the WTA Finals, topping off an impressive season. She reached a grand slam semi-final for the first time at the US Open in September and is now ranked fourth in the world. She has the attributes to win on a hard court, and whilst riding high there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be in the running for the title.
The Tunisian player had an incredible run in 2022 finishing with the no.2 world ranking. She pulled out of the Aus Open in 2022 with a back injury, but went on to reach the Wimbledon and US Open finals, losing to Elena Rybakina and Swiatek repectively. She may well come up against Swiatek again, which pushes her odds out a little.
Sabalenka has also not got her hands on any Grand Slam silverware, yet. However, she reached the WTA Finals, defeating Swiatek en-route, before falling to Garcia. Sabalenka has three Slam semi-finals, most recently at the US Open when she lost to Swiatek. Her serve was a little flakey during 2022, but she has been working hard on that area of her game, so it may just pay off.
Sitting at number 7 in the WTA rankings, Coco Gauff made her first Grand Slam final in 2022 at the French Open. This was backed up with a quarter-final appearance on home turf at the US Open. Gauff has the potential to do well at the Australian Open 2023, and at only 18 she still has youth, as well as hats full of skill, at her disposal.
As the days tick down to the start of the tournament, whether you choose to place a bet – cryptocurrency or Australian dollars – or not, it’s always good to know which players are seen as in the running for the title.
The women’s tournament looks far more open, despite Swiatek’s dominance in 2022. Meanwhile, there would be few who would not back Djokovic on his seemingly relentless pursuit to be seen as the GOAT, topping Nadal’s 22 Grand Slam titles.
All odds correct as of date of publication