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The first of the four annual Grand Slams is almost upon us. The Australian Open, which sees the world’s best male and female tennis players duke it out in Melbourne, Victoria for the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup respectively, takes place between 16-29 January 2023. 

This is the 111th edition of this historic tournament. This preview will take a closer look at the Men’s and Women’s singles tournaments. Check out this tennis betting option at Thunderpick.

Australian Open Men’s singles tournament

In 2022, Rafael Nadal defied the odds – and being two sets down – to defeat Daniil Medvedev to win the Australian Open title. Along with being his second Australian Open title, it was Nadal’s 21st Grand Slam championship – a record he has since extended to 22 majors.

Yet coming into the 2023 tournament with middling form and persistent injuries (along with a tricky first round tie against rising Jack Draper), Nadal is not favorite to retain the Australian Open. His great rival, Novak Djokovic, back after having his three-year ban from the tournament overturned, is odds-on to extend his record number of Australian Open titles to ten. 

Medvedev, the beaten finalist at the last two Australian Open’s, will have something to say about that. A hard-court specialist, the seventh seed will be a dangerous opponent for anyone. Other contenders to watch include Stefanos Tsitsipas, Taylor Fritz, Matteo Berrettini, and Felix Auger Aliassime. 

The wildcard, as always, will be the controversial Nick Kyrgios. A player that has always had the talent but not the right temperament, Kyrgios came close to winning a Grand Slam for the first time, reaching the final of Wimbledon in 2022 (losing in four sets to Djokovic). With home support and one of the best serves on the tour, he’ll be hoping to go beyond the quarters for the first time at the Australian Open. 

Australian Open Women’s singles tournament

After winning the Australian Open Women’s title in 2022, hometown favorite Ash Barty made the shock announcement she was retiring from tennis at the age of 25. While there won’t be a defending champion at this year’s Australian Open, there are plenty of players who will be aiming to succeed Barty.

The favorite to do so is Iga Swiatek. The world number one had a wonderful 2022, securing both the French Open and US Open, along with putting together a 37-match winning streak. Swiatek will be hoping her dynamic playstyle will take her two steps beyond the semi-final she reached at the Australian Open in 2022. 

Beyond Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka is seen by plenty as the second favorite for the title. The world number two has a fearsome aggressive playstyle, but Sabalenka’s record of never going beyond a Grand Slam singles semi-final could play against her.

Other contenders for the Australian Open Women’s singles championship include Jessica Pegula, Ons Jabeur, Caroline Garcia, and Coco Gauff.

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