The 2023 Australian Open is fast approaching and it’s time to take a look at who the favourites are to win the singles tournaments.
Last year, Ash Barty became the first Aussie to win the title since 1978, and Rafael Nadal added his 21st Grand Slam to his ever-growing trophy cabinet.
But who will emerge victorious at Melbourne Park this year? Will the clear favourites triumph, or are we in for a surprise result to kick off the new tennis year?
Let’s take a look at some potential contenders for the 2023 Australian Open title.
Read more: Australian Open 2023: Dates, tickets, live stream, odds & everything we know so far
Who are the favourites to win the Australian Open?
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates after defeating Jessica Pegula of the United States during their Women’s Singles Quarterfinal match on Day Ten of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 07, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
After her unstoppable year, there is no way any Grand Slam favourites list can exist without Świątek.
The world number one is in staggering form and will definitely fancy her chances at bagging her first Australian Open title this month.
Before last September, Świątek had only ever won a major title on clay, suggesting this was her preferred surface. However, she cruised to the US Open final, where she beat Ons Jabeur in straight sets to claim her first title at Flushing Meadows.
The Australian and US Open are both hard court tournaments, and with Świątek dropping just two sets throughout her New York run, she is clearly comfortable on the surface.
It’s worth noting she also won the title at Indian Wells, the Miami Open, and the San Diego Open, which are all hard courts as well.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 10: Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates winning a game against Iga Swiatek of Poland during their Women’s Singles Final match on Day Thirteen of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jabeur is yet to win her first Grand Slam title but she is continuously knocking on the door.
Last year, Tunisia’s number one player reached six finals and came away with a win at the Madrid Open and the German Open.
She was snubbed at the last hurdle of the US Open and Wimbledon however, despite an impressive performance in both finals.
Jabeur is currently the closest player to world number one Świątek, although she is still a hefty 5,845 points adrift of the Pole.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 04: Coco Gauff of the United States reacts against Shuai Zhang of China during their Women’s Singles Fourth Round match on Day Seven of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
While she is still yet to win her first Grand Slam title, Gauff is one of, if not the most, exciting young talents on the WTA Tour right now.
The 18-year-old rising star enjoyed a breakthrough 2022 which saw her reach the final of the French Open and the quarter-final of the US Open.
Gauff has since reached a career high of seventh in the world rankings and it’s only a matter of time before she delivers a huge upset and snags her first major title.
She also just won the ASB Classic in New Zealand as she prepares for the Australian Open, so she is already on a winning streak this year.
Novak Djokovic is a nine-time champion at the Australian Open
After being ruled ineligible to compete last year, Djokovic missed out on the chance to defend the title he had held for three years straight.
However, now he is back in Melbourne and ready to take back his crown. It’s fair to say he is the outright favourite to do so.
No player in history has won more Australian Open titles than the Serbian during the Open Era.
With his nine trophies making up a significant chunk of his 21 major titles, Melbourne Park is Djokovic’s bread and butter tournament.
And after being away for a year, the hunger for glory will undoubtedly be stronger than ever.
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 06: Daniel Medvedev
hits a backhand against Karen Khachanov during day six of the 2023 Adelaide International at Memorial Drive on January 06, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Medvedev’s story in Melbourne is starting to become a case of ‘always the bridesmaid and never the bride.’
For the last two years, the 26-year-old has been the runner-up at the tournament and will be hoping that 2023 will finally be his year to lift the trophy.
In 2021, he missed out to Djokovic. With the Serbian not competing last year, Medvedev must have thought it was the perfect time for him to come out on top.
But of course, he was snubbed again, this time by Nadal. Can he finally go one better in 2023 and add his second Grand Slam to his tally?
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – DECEMBER 01: Rafael Nadal reacts during the match against Casper Ruud at Plaza Mexico on December 01, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
In the absence of Djokovic, Nadal claimed the title for himself after beating Medvedev in the final.
But despite the Spaniard’s handsome title count, he has only ever won in Australia twice in his career.
As the reigning champion, he simply has to be considered a favourite to defend his crown, but history suggests luck is more often against him than it is with him on the day.
Nadal won his first Australian Open title back in 2009 and it took him 13 years to do it again.
In that time, the 36-year-old reached the final on four other occasions but came up short each time.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 21: Nick Kyrgios of Eagles in action against Grigor Dimitrov of Falcons during day three of the World Tennis League at Coca-Cola Arena on December 21, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Kyrgios is down as our outsider shout for the 2023 Australian Open.
The Aussie has always showcased a good standard of tennis, but it was only in 2022 where fans were able to see just how far he can go with it.
He reached his first ever Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and put in a valiant effort against Djokovic, but in the end he was unable to keep up with the seven-time winner.
Kyrgios will be competing on home soil and with the backing of the crowd behind him, it could be what he needs to finally better his quarter-final finish in 2015.
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Quiz: Have these tennis stars won 10 or more Grand Slams in their career?