The Grand Slam Tennis circuit is beginning next week in Australia. This will be the 123rd Australian open hosted at Melbourne Park. Rafael Nadal will be there to defend his crown as champion, and the women will have a new champ, as last year’s winner, Ashleigh Barty has retired.
The Men’s tennis world will feel a little bit different this year, as we no longer have the pleasure of watching Roger Federer play this beautiful game. Instead, we get to see Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and newly minted #1 Carlos Alcaraz take center stage.
Nadal and Djokovic are widely considered two of the best 5 tennis players of all time, and with Federer out of the way, they have more opportunity to separate themselves in the race for all-time grand slam titles.
Nadal is the defending champion of this event, but that is not without controversy. Novak Djokovic was sent home last year after failing to get vaccinated for covid before the tournament. Djokovic has owned Melbourne Park. He has won 8 of the last 12 Australian Opens.
However, there is a new player in town that looks to start their own pursuit of history. Carlos Alcaraz, the defending US Open champion, is now ranked #1 in the world. That ranking for the last 15 years has almost exclusively been in the hands of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. Can Alcaraz continue his accent into tennis greatness and pick up a second consecutive Grand Slam title?
The Women’s draw is much more open than the men’s draw. The Women’s game has been without a dominant star for a few years. The presence of the most dominant player ever, Serena Williams, has left a massive hole in the game.
World #1 Iga Swiatek, who is coming off her best season ever with 2 grand slams in 2022, looks to win her first Australian Open but will face tough tests throughout. Ons Jabeur is on the other side of the bracket and Jessica Pegula, Caroline Garcia, and Aryna Sabalenka all offer massive hurdles for Swiatek to overcome to continue her climb up.
The Australian Open has been a site of controversy the last couple of years as well. As mentioned before, Djokovic was sent home and other players were required 2 weeks of quarantine in their hotel rooms with no access to training.
Some were allowed to train outside and others were not allowed to leave their rooms. This seems to have been fixed, and the tournament should be back to its regularly scheduled terrific theatre.
After almost five-and-a-half hours, what a way to complete the most incredible of comebacks – and achieve a Grand Slam record 🏆
@RafaelNadal v @DaniilMedwed@Kia_Worldwide • #MovementThatInspires • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/3C93zmxh1D
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 10, 2023
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| Title: Australian Open
| Author: Matt Catton
| Date: Jan 11, 2023