A Preview of the Australian Open


Nadal lifting the Austrailian Open trophy after defeating Daniel Medvedev in the 2022 Austrialian Open Final. Photo Credit: usatoday.com

It has been a long time since the last major tournament in Tennis. Ever since Wimbledon ended in July, not much has happened because there has not been a major tournament since. After a long wait, the Australian Open is finally coming in the next couple of days. It will take place between January 16th – January 30th with the final being played at the famous Rod Laver Arena. 

Since Australia is 16 hours ahead of us, most of the games will be later in the day. The first set of games will be from 2-5pm. The second set will be from 7-9pm. The third set is from 9:00-11:30 pm. The last set of games is from 11:30pm-7am. All of the games will be on ESPN.

The Australian Open is one of the four major tournaments in tennis and will likely be the last for Rafael Nadal who is 36 years old. He has won this tournament twice as well as winning 20 other Grand Slams which is the most of any player of all time. He has had many injuries over his career and with the recent birth of his baby it will likely be his last Australian Open. A big name that recently announced that they would not play the Australian Open is Carlos Alcarez.

He pulled out of the tournament only two weeks before the tournament. Only at 19 years of age he is the youngest player ever to win the US Open since Nadal in 2005. After winning the US open earlier this year, people compared him to Nadal because of their similar play style and nationality. The person with the best odds to win this tournament is Novak Djokovic because he has dominated this tournament historically. He has won this tournament 9 times and is still playing at a very high level. His strong backhand and ability to return serves is exceptional and his all around game makes him super threatening to opponents. Some other contenders include Daniel Medvedev (1 grand slam),Casper Ruud (French Open Finalist) and Nadal (22 grand slams). 

The good thing about tennis is there are many upsets. The king of upsetting opponents is Nick Kyrois. Known for his generational talent and crazy persona, he has taken over the scene this year. He finished in the quarter finals in the US Open, the finals in Wimbledon and won the doubles title in the Australian Open last year. With all of that he only ranks 22nd in the world due to his failure to play in the French Open last year. Other dark horses are Francis Tiafoe (US Open Semi Finalist) and Alexander Zverev (Olympic Gold Medalist).

Some tennis fans might be wondering where Federar and Djokovic are. In Roger Federar’s case, he retired a couple months ago after playing his final match with longtime rival and friend Rafael Nadal. He won 20 grand slams in his career. As for Djokovic he has had lots of controversy around him for the past two years. He has been suspended from many major tournaments because he has refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Most notably he was suspended from the 2021 Australian Open and the 2022 US Open. This year is different though. He has been reinstated after his 3 year ban from the country was overturned. He is now granted a Visa by the Australian government. With this news he will likely be one of the favorites at this tournament.  

For the Women’s tournament it will be a lot different than before. With the retirement of 23 time champion Serena Williams, this tournament will have new favorites. An example is Ons Jabour. The Tunishian is the only Arab to go to the finals of a major tournament and is 2nd in the world rankings. Another crowd favorite is Coco Gauff. She is currently the best American player and is only 18 years old. She turned pro at only 14 years old when she beat Venus Williams in Wimbledon 2019. The best of them all is Iga Swiatek. At 19 years old she has already won 3 grand slams but has failed to win a single grand slam at the Australian Open. 

When the tournament ends, there are some big records that may be broken. The most exciting record is the record for most grand slams. Rafael Nadal currently holds the record for the most grand slams with 22 and with one more he would extend the lead of most grand slams of all time. Right behind him is Novak Djokovic who has won 21 grand slams . If he were to win he would be tied for the most grand slams. Speaking of Novak Djokoic, he may also become the first tennis player to win 10 Australian Opens in a career. The most impressive record is the youngest player to win the Australian Open.

The Australian Open is an incredible sight to see. We may never see the great Rafeal Nadal play this tournament again so it will definitely be an interesting tournament this time around. This could also be the last time we potentially see Nadal and Djokovic play each other.