MELBOURNE, Australia ( Associated Press) – A look at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2022:
The tournament begins in Australia on Monday morning (Sunday evening EST). The women’s singles final is on January 29 and the men’s singles final on January 30; Both are scheduled to begin at around 7:30 pm local time in Melbourne (3:30 am EST). Like the US Open, the day and night sessions are separate. The tournament is being played at its regular place on the calendar after starting at the end of three weeks last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ash Barty is seeded No. 1 in the women’s draw; Novak Djokovic is seeded No. 1 in the men’s draw. Seeding follows the WTA and ATP rankings.
2021 Women’s Singles Champion
Naomi Osaka, Japan
2021 Men’s Singles Champion
Novak Djokovic, Serbia
Osaka improved to 4-0 in the Grand Slam finals, winning six games in a row to beat Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3. Reaching 122 mph (197 kph) and producing six aces, and with a service return helping to make six breaks, Osaka became the first woman to win her first four finals in a Grand Slam tournament. Brady had to undergo a difficult 15-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia because someone on his flight tested positive for COVID-19. Djokovic relied on his relentless return and baseline excellence to win 11 of 13 games at once to beat Daniil Medvedev 7–5, 6–2, 6–2 for the Australian Open trophy for the third time in a row and on aggregate. His record was ninth.
who is missing
Six-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer has been ruled out due to a prolonged recovery from surgery on his right knee. Dominic Thiem, who lost to Djokovic in the 2020 final, is out with a right wrist injury. Former champion Stan Wawrinka has been ruled out following foot surgery and Milos Raonic will miss the Australian Open for the first time since 2011 due to an Achilles injury. On the women’s side, the 2022 Australian Open will be the first since 1997 that neither of the Williams sisters will participate in the tournament. Serena is out with a hamstring injury and Venus hasn’t played since August with a leg injury. Other absentees include Brady, who has a left leg injury, Karolina Pliskova (a right arm injury) and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who said she would take time off from the game to address mental health concerns.
1978 – Last time an Australian woman won the Australian Open singles title (Chris O’Neill). Barty, a two-time majors champion, is looking to end that streak, although she could face defending champion Osaka in the fourth round. Barty beat Coco Gauff, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofin Kenin, and 2020 French Open winner Inga Swietek to win her 14th WTA title at the Adelaide International this month.
Total: 75 million Australian dollars ($54.6 million). The single winners each take home 4.4 million Australian dollars (about $3.15 million).
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