Australia Open 2023, the first Grand Slam of the year, is here. The event will commence on January 16 and will continue till January 29 at Melbourne Park in Victoria, Australia.
The sports event is the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments to be held each year, preceding the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Currently, Rafael Nadal is the men’s singles champion, while Ashleigh Barty is the women’s singles champion. While Nadal is participating in this year’s tournament, Barty has officially retired from the sport.
Now let’s take a look at the 2023 Australia Open schedule, important dates, information about the venue and athletes to watch out for.
Australia Open 2023: Important dates and tournament schedule
The 2023 Australian Open began yesterday with the first-round matches. While most of the fixtures ended expectedly, there were a few upsets that also took place, including veteran Andy Murray stunning Matteo Berrettini to knock him out in the first round.
Here is a lowdown of the important dates for the rest of the tournament.
January 16 1st Round
January 17 1st Round
January 18 2nd Round
January 19 2nd Round
January 20 3rd Round
January 21 3rd Round
January 22 4th Round
January 23 4th Round
January 24 Quarterfinals
January 25 Quarterfinals
January 26 Women’s semifinals
January 27 Men’s semifinals
January 28 Women’s singles final
January 29 Men’s singles final
Players to watch out for at the 2023 Australian Open
With 22 trophies, Nadal holds the record for winning the most Grand Slam titles in men’s tennis, followed by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with 21 and 20 titles, respectively. Whereas, in women’s tennis, Margaret Court holds the record for the most Grand Slam trophies with 24 titles to her name.
Top seeds to take part in the 2023 Australian Open men’s singles division include Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz from Spain, Casper Ruud from Norway, Stefanos Tsitsipas representing Greece and Novak Djokovic from Serbia. In women’s singles, Iga Swiatek from Poland, Ons Jabeur from Tunisia, Jessica Pegula and Sofia Kenin from the United States and Caroline Garcia from France will be participating in the tournament.
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Why are Russian flags banned at the 2023 Australian Open?
In other news, Russian and Belarusian flags have officially been banned from the Australian Open 2023 after a courtside incident. Earlier, spectators had permission to bring the flags into Melbourne Park provided they did not cause any sort of disruption. However, the organisers reversed that decision on January 17. This reversal took place after a few fans displayed a Russian flag during a match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova. According to BBC, the Ukrainian fans called the police during the first-round match on January 16, claiming that the Russians were “taunting” Baindl.
Tennis Australia released a statement after this incident saying, “We will continue to work with the players and our fans to ensure the best possible environment to enjoy tennis.” In 2022, Russian and Belarusian players were banned from playing at Wimbledon. They are now able to compete as individual athletes without any national affiliation at the 2023 Australian Open.
Where to watch Australia Open 2023 in Malaysia?
Fans can watch the Australian Open 2023 live on ESPN networks. All these matches will be broadcasted live on the ESPN app and ESPN.com. If viewers are unable to watch these matches live, they can also check the live scores and updates on the official social media handles of the Australian Open, ATP and WTA.
(Hero and feature image credit: Courtesy Instagram/ Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic)