A chapter may have closed on the 2022 tennis season, but it was thrilling from start to finish. The players are currently winding down and spending time with their families, but it won’t be long before they are back on the court resuming hostilities.
The start of the 2023 campaign sees the ATP and WTA Tours head Down Under for the Australian Open, which heralds the first Grand Slam of the season.
Unsurprisingly, the Australian Open, which is commonly referred to as the ‘Happy Slam’, takes pride and place in the Australian sporting calendar along with the Australian Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup.
The Australian Open always makes for irresistible viewing, and we could see some breakthrough performances. But what should you know about this prestigious tournament? Well, in this guide, we will give you the full lowdown, including when it starts, and who the favourites are.
When does the Australian Open start?
The Australian Open is staged in Melbourne, and the first round gets underway on Monday, January 16, and it finishes on Sunday, January 29.
How can I buy tickets?
Tickets are already available for sale via Ticketmaster and the official Australian Open website, so you should hurry to avoid disappointment.
In terms of the breakdown of ticket prices, a ground pass will cost you approximately $50 which will grant you access to the outside courts, but you won’t be able to get into the stadium.
Whereas, if you want to reserve a seat on one of the show courts — the Rod Laver Arena — this will set you back around $110 to watch a full day’s play.
Who are the favourites?
Like any other Grand Slam, the Australian Open always provokes plenty of interest. It gives us a true insight into how the top players are shaping up ahead of the first big test of the season. On the men’s side, the top betting sites in Australia will be brimming with odds for the outright markets. Novak Djokovic, who captured three titles at the end of 2022, is looking to clinch a 22nd Slam and he will be eyeing a record-extending 10th Australian Open triumph. So, at Unibet, for example, Djokovic is the short-priced favourite at 11/10 to triumph.
Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaraz, who became the youngest world No.1 in the 50-year history of the ATP rankings, is trading at 5/1 with the same bookie, and he will be looking to clinch back-to-back Slam titles after his success in New York in the US Open back in September. Daniil Medvedev is the third favourite, and he is available at 6/1.
Conversely, the women’s side is usually more open, and several potential winners that could emerge. Iga Swiatek was the dominant force in women’s tennis in 2022, and she looks to be the standout player.
However, she could face stiff competition from the likes of Ons Jabeur and Coco Gauff, who have enjoyed rapid ascents over the past 12 months.
Who is the reigning Men’s Singles Champion?
Rafael Nadal is the reigning champion. In 2022, he came from two sets to love down to prevail in five absorbing sets against Medvedev.
Who is the reigning Women’s Singles Champion?
Ash Barty became the first homegrown champion in 44 years when she took out American Danielle Collins in straight sets. And just a couple of months later, Barty announced her shock retirement at the age of 25.
How can I watch the Australian Open?
For Australian residents, the Australian Open will be broadcast on Channel 9 and other associated channels.
Those living further afield will be able to tune into the Australian Open via Eurosport.
When are the men’s and women’s finals?
The men’s final will take place on Sunday January 29, with the women’s final 24 hours earlier.