Defending men's singles champion Novak Djokovic will not be in action in Melbourne, but the Australian Open will see tennis' global stars fighting it out for the season-opening Grand Slam titles. The world number one lost his visa case. Here's all you need to know. (More Tennis News)
Australia Open 2022 starts January 17 and will end on January 30. It will be played in Melbourne Park, Melbourne in Australia. It features iconic courts like Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena, Margaret Court Arena and other show courts. And here's how to watch Australian Open 2022 on TV and digital devices.
It is one of the two, of the four Grand Slams, to be played on hard courts. US Open is played on acrylic hard court, while the Australian Open is played on the synthetic hard court often known as GreenSet. French Open and Wimbledon are played on clay and grass respectively.
There are separate day and night sessions with the featured matches played at the main 15,000-seat Rod Laver Arena and the 7,500-seat Margaret Court Arena. The women's singles final is scheduled for January 29 and the men's singles final on January 30. Both the finals are scheduled to begin at about 7:30 PM local time in Melbourne (2:00 PM in India).
WHO REPLACES DJOKOVIC
The Serbian was scheduled to play in the second match on Rod Laver Arena Monday night against countryman Miomir Kecmanovic. Djokovic has been replaced by 150th-ranked 'lucky loser' Salvatore Caruso. And the match has been moved to a smaller court. Third-seeded Alexander Zverev's opener against Daniel Altmaier will be played onto Rod Laver Arena.
With COVID-19 cases increasing by the tens of thousands each day in Melbourne and the rest of Victoria, the state government officials late last week placed a cap of 50% attendance. And all fans must be double vaccinated and show proof to attend the matches.
However, fans who have already bought tickets will have those honored, regardless of any capacity restrictions. But all future sales of tickets will be kept to a maximum of 50%.
WHO PLAYS ON MONDAY
With nine-time champion Djokovic out of the tournament due to his visa cancellation, sixth-seeded Rafael Nadal will begin his quest for a record 21st Grand Slam singles title when he takes on American Marcos Giron. No. 3-seeded Alexander Zverev plays Daniel Altmaier.
In the women's singles section, top-seed and local favourite Ash Barty plays her first-round match against Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko and defending champion Naomi Osaka of Japan is also in action. The former world number faces Colombian Camila Osorio.
WHO ELSE IS MISSING
Six-time Australian Open champion and another 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is out as he continues his long recovery from right knee surgery. Dominic Thiem, who lost to Djokovic in 2020 final, is out with a right wrist injury.
Former champion Stan Wawrinka is out following foot surgery and Milos Raonic will miss the Australian Open for the first time since 2011 because of an Achilles injury.
On the women's side, the 2022 Australian Open will be the first since 1997 that the tournament will not include either of the Williams sisters. Serena is out with a hamstring injury and Venus hasn't played since August due to a leg injury.
Other absentees include 2021 finalist Jennifer Brady, who has a left foot injury, Karolina Pliskova (right-hand injury) and 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who said she would be taking time away from the sport to address mental health concerns.
1978 — The last time an Australian woman won the Australian Open singles title (Chris O'Neill). Two-time major champion Barty wants to end that streak, although she'll possibly meet defending champion Naomi Osaka in the fourth round.
Barty is coming off a win in the Adelaide International this month, beating Coco Gauff, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofin Kenin and 2020 French Open winner Iga Swiatek en route to her 14th WTA title.
Nadal is bidding to become the second man in the Open Era — and only the fourth man — to win each of the four Grand Slam singles titles twice, after Djokovic completed the double by winning his second title at Roland Garros in 2021.
Australians Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only other players to have won each Grand Slam on two or more occasions. (While Laver completed the feat in 1969, some of the titles were won before the start of the Open Era in 1968.)
Total: 75 million Australian dollars ($54.6 million). Singles winners each take home 4.4 million Australian dollars (about $3.15 million.)
2000 points each for singles and doubles winners, 1200 each for men's singles and doubles finalists, 1300 each for women's singles and doubles finalists. 720 points for semi-finalists in men's singles and doubles, and 780 in women's events.
(With AP inputs)