Australian Open 2023: All you need to know
Tennis fans have their eyes on the calendar, with the Australian Open 2023 just around the corner. The Grand Slam event will be held between January 16 and 29 at Melbourne Park. Notably, the two-time champion of the women's singles event, Naomi Osaka will miss the 2023 edition. Here's all you need to know about the gala event.
Details about the Grand Slam event
Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events held each year. French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open are the others. The upcoming competition will be the 111th edition of the tennis tournament. It was first held in 1905.
A recap of the 2022 event
The preceding edition of the event (2022) saw Spanish ace Rafael Nadal clinch his second Australian Open Men's singles title with a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 win over Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final. In the Women's category, Ashleigh Barty clinched her maiden Australian Open title after beating Danielle Collins in straight sets. Notably, Barty has retired from professional tennis.
Facts about the winners
Rodney Heath and Margaret Molesworth were the first-ever winners in the men's and women's categories, respectively. Interestingly, Ken Rosewall is both the youngest (18) and the oldest (37) player to win the Australian Open in the men's singles category. In the women's singles category, Martina Hingis (16) and Thelma Coyne (35) are the youngest and oldest winners.
Who has won the title most times?
Serbian ace Novak Djokovic owns the most Australian Open titles (9) in the men's singles category. He is followed by Roger Federer and Roy Emerson, who have emerged victorious six times apiece. In the women's singles category, Australia's Margaret Court leads the chart with 11 titles. America's Serena Williams follows the Aussie legend on the list with seven titles.
A look at the notable absentees
Osaka pulled out of the 2023 Australian Open without stating the reason. American star Venus Williams will also miss the event due to an unspecified injury. Spain's Carlos Alcaraz has been ruled out due to a leg injury. Former world number one and Romanian professional, Simona Halep will also be missing out after testing positive for a banned substance.
Who are the favorites?
Djokovic has been in fine form lately and many are backing him to clinch his 10th Australian Open title. Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Medvedev are the other notable contenders for the men's singles title. With Osaka pulling out and Barty retired, world number one Iga Swiatek is the firm favorite to taste glory in the women's singles event.