Tennis stars from around the world are all set to compete in the first of the four Grand Slam events that take place every year.
Following the early tournament in Melbourne, the French Open (or Roland Garros) takes place in late May or early June before the players hop over the channel to compete at Wimbledon in June/July.
The final major tournament of the year is the US Open which takes place in late August and September.
The Australian Open is the newest of the tournaments and was introduced to the circuit in 1905.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have all won 20 Grand Slams a piece and Djokovic had been hoping to finally break away from this number heading into the Australian Open as the reigning Champion and the most successful player with nine titles to his name in Melbourne. His appearance at the tournament has been under severe threat as, despite receiving a medical exemption to participate, on arrival the star faced deportation by the Australian Government.
A Judge has now ruled that the tennis champion had provided the correct documentation and should be allowed to compete.
With the emergence of the Omicron variant, it has made COVID-19 protocols even more necessary and it has led to certain upsets amongst the players and fans.
Calls have been made for the Serbian World Number one to reveal why he is not vaccinated in order to quell fans fears and now it would appear that his unvaccinated status was not for a good enough reason according to the Australian Government.
Here is all you need to know about who is likely to be competing and when the draw for the tournament is.
When is the Australian Open tournament?
The Tournament is set to start on Monday 17 January 2022 and will be played until Sunday 30 January 2022. The event takes place on outdoor hardcourts in Melbourne Park.
When is the draw?
Usually, the draw takes place around two weeks before the event. However, there has not been any movement yet and it is likely that this is partly due to the COVID-19 vaccine exemptions that some players have requested.
With the confusion and upset surrounding Djokovic’s entrance, it is highly likely that the draw will now take place even later than thought,
The qualifying stages are currently underway and a confirmed draw will take place once all these matches have been played.
When is the Qualifying stage?
The qualifying round for the Australian Open will take place from Monday 10th January 2022 and conclude on Friday 14th January 2022.
The top seed for the Men’s qualifying stages will be World Number 111 Carlos Taberner and will be joined by Britain’s Liam Broady amongst others.
Broady will play America’s J.J. Wolf tomorrow at 1.30am GMT as he continues his qualifying campaign.
World Number four, Fiona Ferro is headlining the women’s qualifying stages. Britain’s Katie Boulter was knocked out of the stage during her first match against America’s Emina Bektas.
Who will be in the Men’s Draw?
As it would now appear that Djokovic will be able to compete at the Happy Slam, he will be this year’s top seed.
The other top ten seeds for the competition are likely to be:
- Daniil Medvedev
- Alexander Zverev
- Stefanos Tsitsipas
- Andrey Rublev
- Rafael Nadal
- Matteo Berrettini
- Casper Ruud
- Hubert Jukarcz
- Jannik Sinner
Nick Kyrgios is currently unlikely to feature at the Open after contracting Covid-19 on Monday 11 January.
Who will be in the Women’s Draw?
Naomi Osaka will return to Melbourne and has been competing in the Melbourne 1 ahead of the Grand Slam.
The Japanese former World Number one won the tournament in 2021 and will hope to have an equally strong start to her 2022 season.
Serena Williams will once again miss out on a big Grand Slam as she continues to follow advice from her medical team. The injured 23-time title winner has not played tennis since retiring from the first round in Wimbledon 2021.
British star and US Open Champion Emma Raducanu will also be appearing at the Australian Open. Raducanu finished 2021 19th in the WTA rankings and will hope to capitalise on last year’s achievements.
The Australian and Current World Number one Ashleigh Barty will return to the court and looks set to be joined by:
- Aryna Sabalenka
- Garbine Muguruza
- Karolina Pliskova
- Barbora Krejcikova
- Maria Sakkari
- Anett Kontaveit
- Paula Badosa
- Iga Swiatek
- Ons Jabeur
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.