Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek are the favourites to lift the Australian Open trophy this year – but plenty of stars are bidding to stop them…
The opening Grand Slam of 2023 gets started on Monday at Melbourne Park as Djokovic looks to add to his 21 major titles in the men’s singles.
Swiatek, meanwhile, looks to continue her dominance in the women’s singles having won the French Open and US Open in 2022.
With the draw now made, Metro.co.uk takes a look at both players as well as the other tennis stars in contention to emerge victorious Down Under…
All eyes will be on Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open this year, who has won the men’s singles title more than any other player in history.
The Serbian, currently ranked world No.5, is bidding to lift the trophy for the 10th time and doing so would move him level with Rafael Nadal on 22 major titles.
Djokovic has a point to prove, too, given that last year he was deported from Australia and barred from playing at the tournament after spending time locked up in an immigration facility in a row over coronavirus vaccinations.
The 35-year-old is in good form, too, having just won the Adelaide International 1, a traditional warm-up event on the ATP Tour before the major action begins. He will, however, need to shake off a hamstring issue he recently picked up.
Daniil Medvedev has finished as a runner-up at the last two Australian Opens and will be hoping to make it third time lucky at Melbourne Park.
The Russian world No.8 lost to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final in heart-breaking fashion but it could not have been much closer as he pushed the Spanish great to five long sets – eventually missing out 6–2 7–6 (7–5) 4–6 4–6 5–7 in a classic.
Medvedev – who held the world No.1 spot last year – has already proven he can beat absolutely anyone, having won the US Open in 2021 and ATP Finals in 2020.
That Flushing Meadows triumph was his first and only major title to date – as he denied Novak Djokovic a calendar Grand Slam – but he’s no stranger to winning tournaments, having registered 15 trophies on the ATP Tour in total so far.
One of the most fascinating players on the ATP Tour and definitely a dark horse given his stellar 2022 campaign and the fact he will be buoyed by a home crowd.
Nick Kyrgios finished as a runner-up at Wimbledon last year – his first major final – and has joked that he will retire from tennis if he wins the 2023 Australian Open.
The fiery Aussie, who has won seven ATP Tour singles titles, is notorious for his behaviour on and off the court, and like Daniil Medvedev, he is capable of beating the very best players.
The 27-year-old – who won the men’s doubles title at Melbourne Park last year alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis – is currently ranked No.21 and would be higher had Wimbledon not been stripped of its ranking points for 2022.
It is a matter of when – not if – Stefanos Tsitsipas wins a major title and the Greek 24-year-old will be hoping it is finally his time Down Under this year.
The world No.4 has won nine Tour trophies – including the ATP Finals in 2019 – and has reached the Australian Open semi-finals in three of the last four years.
Tsitsipas has reached one major final to date so far, finishing as a French Open runner-up in 2021 after pushing Novak Djokovic to five sets.
He won the Monte-Carlo Masters for the second time last year and his dramatic quarter-final victory over Diego Schwartzman saw him produce an epic comeback to demonstrate his ability to battle back from the verge of defeat.
Turning attentions towards the women’s singles, Iga Swiatek looks absolutely unstoppable at the moment and heads to Melbourne Park as the top seed.
The 21-year-old from Poland sits top of the WTA rankings with a whopping 11,025 points – 5845 more than world No.2 Ons Jabeur.
She went on an incredible 37-match winning streak in 2022 – emerging victorious at six consecutive tournaments and won both the French Open and US Open.
One player who is capable of challenging Iga Swiatek is Belarusian world No.5 Aryna Sabalenka.
The 24-year-old – who has lifted 11 WTA Tour trophies – is attempting to win her maiden Grand Slam having reached three major semi-finals in the last two years.
The two-time major doubles champion finished as a runner-up at the WTA Finals in November and is in top form having just won the Adelaide International 1 title.
Caroline Garcia was the player who beat Aryna Sabalenka to the WTA Finals title and the world No.4 is also among the favourites to secure an Australian Open triumph.
Like Sabalenka, the Frenchwoman has won two Grand Slam doubles titles but is still hunting her first major singles trophy.
Garcia has previously helped France win the Billie Jean King Cup and she has lifted 11 singles titles in total – three of which were WTA 1000 events – including last year’s Cincinnati Open.
Ons Jabeur has finished as a runner-up at the last two Grand Slams and will be hoping to make it third time lucky at this year’s Australian Open.
The 28-year-old Tunisian heads to Melbourne Park as the second seed and stands a good chance of making it three major finals in a row.
World No.2 Jabeur won the biggest title of her career to date at the WTA 1000 Madrid Open last year.
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