AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2023: Swiatek is No. 1; Gauff seeks 1st Slam

Top women to watch at the Australian Open, which begins at Melbourne Park on Monday morning (Sunday night EST):



Ranked: 1

Career-Best Ranking: 1

Country: Poland

Age: 21

2022 Record: 67-9

2022 Titles: 8

Career Titles: 11

Grand Slam Titles: 3 — French Open (2: 2020, 2022), U.S. Open (1: 2022)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2022-Lost in Semifinals, 2021-Lost in 4th Round, 2020-4th, 2019-2nd, 2018-Did Not Play

Aces: Made debut at No. 1 in the WTA rankings last April following 2022 Australian Open champion Ash Barty's retirement at age 25 and has remained ever since. ... In 2022, became first woman since Serena Williams in 2013 with at least eight titles in a season and first since Angelique Kerber in 2016 with two Grand Slam trophies in a year. ... 37-match winning streak from February to July last season was longest in women’s tennis since 1997.

She Said It: “For the future, I know I still have a lot to improve on court. That’s something that I’m excited for, because maybe it’s just going to get easier to play these matches.”



Ranked: 2

Career-Best Ranking: 2

Country: Tunisia

Age: 28

2022 Record: 47-17

2022 Titles: 2

Career Titles: 3

Grand Slam Titles: None — Best: Runner-Up, Wimbledon (2022), U.S. Open (2022)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2022-DNP, 2021-2nd, 2020-QF, 2019-1st, 2018-1st

Aces: After a surprising first-round French Open loss, turned things around to reach her first career Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. ... She was the first woman since Serena Williams in 2019 to get to the title matches at both the All England Club and Flushing Meadows in the same season. ... She is the woman from North Africa and first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final. ... Recently signed on with the management company founded by Naomi Osaka (who is sitting out the Australian Open) and her agent. ... Her husband is her fitness trainer.

She Said It: “Definitely I’m not someone that going to give up. I am sure I’m going to be in (a Grand Slam) final again."



Ranked: 3

Career-Best Ranking: 3

Country: United States

Age: 28

2022 Record: 42-21

2022 Titles: 1

Career Titles: 2

Grand Slam Titles: None — Best: QF, Australian Open (2021, 2022), French Open (2022), U.S. Open (2022)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2022-QF, 2021-QF, 2020-1st, 2019-DNP, 2018-DNP

Aces: Beat Swiatek — first victory over the No. 1 player — while helping the United States win the United Cup this month in Australia. ... Reached the WTA Finals for the first time last season after cracking the top 10 for the first time. ... Breakthrough season included three Slam quarterfinals before a loss to the No. 1 seed and eventual champion: Barty at Australian Open; Swiatek at French Open and U.S. Open. ... Coached by David Witt, who used to work with Venus Williams. ... Parents own NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

She Said It: “The goals reset a little, but I also think it’s important to keep challenging yourself. Even though I had a great year, still hitting goals is always something that keeps you motivated and keeps you wanting to improve.”



Ranked: 4

Career-Best Ranking: 4

Country: France

Age: 29

2022 Record: 43-20

2022 Titles: 4

Career Titles: 11

Grand Slam Titles: None — Best: SF, U.S. Open (2022)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2022-1st, 2021-2nd, 2020-2nd, 2019-3rd, 2018-4th

Aces: Revealed in a recent interview with French newspaper L'Equipe that she dealt with bulimia, triggered by losses and pain from a lingering foot injury. ... Won the biggest title of her career at the season-ending WTA Finals in November. ... Did not drop a set en route to her first Grand Slam semifinal at New York in September, before a 13-match winning streak ended with a loss to Jabeur. ... Got to a career-best ranking of No. 4 in 2018, but slid after that, finishing last season at No. 74.

She Said It: “You feel so empty, so sad, that you need to fill yourself up. It was the distress of not being able to do what I wanted to do on the court, not winning and suffering physically. Eating soothed me for a few minutes."



Ranked: 6

Career-Best Ranking: 3

Country: Greece

Age: 27

2022 Record: 40-23

2022 Titles: Zero

Career Titles: 1

Grand Slam Titles: None — Best: SF, French Open (2021), U.S. Open (2021)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2022-4th, 2021-1st, 2020-4th, 2019-2nd, 2018-1st

Aces: Victory over defending champion Swiatek at 2021 French Open put Sakkari in the semifinals of a major for first time, although she was eliminated at that stage after holding a match point against eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova. ... Says in the new Neftlix docuseries “Break Point” that she “retired for four days” after that loss. ... Also got to the final four at the U.S. Open that year. ... Took a step back at the majors in 2022, only once making it as far as the fourth round. ... Saved 63.1% of break points she faced in 2022, third-best on tour.

She Said It: “There were moments in the season I was panicking. I didn’t know what to do. But the most important thing for me was that I had the same people — and the people I trust — next to me.”



Ranked: 7

Career-Best Ranking: 4

Country: United States

Age: 18

2022 Record: 38-22

2022 Titles: Zero

Career Titles: 3

Grand Slam Titles: None — Best: Runner-Up, French Open (2022)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2022-1st, 2021-2nd, 2020-4th, 2019-DNP, 2018-DNP

Aces: Tuneup title at Auckland this month was her first trophy at a hard-court tournament since 2019. ... Seems like she's been around forever, but still just 18 and Australian Open is only her 14th Grand Slam appearance. ... Made it to first major singles final at the French Open last year before losing to Swiatek. Also teamed with Pegula to reach the doubles final there. ... Last season, became the youngest American woman since 1994 to earn a singles berth at the WTA Finals. Also qualified in doubles.

She Said It: “When it comes to these statistics and stats about my age ... it’s cool, but I feel like it’s my life, so I don’t look at it as amazing or outstanding, (the way) other people look at it.”


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