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Australian Open 2023

The first of the 2023 Grand Slams kicks off down under in Melbourne on Monday 16 January and concludes Sunday 29 January.

The main draw of the Australian Open starts at 11.00am local time Melbourne (01.00am Monday CET) and 08.00am Monday Singapore time.

Only 24 hours after the release of the new streaming documentary series ”Break Point”, the tennis world is already talking about the Curse of Netflix.

On Saturday, two of the featured players from the first five episodes withdrew from the Australian Open because of injury, adding to the loss of world No1 Carlos Alcaraz a week earlier.

Saturday’s first announcement came from Paula Badosa, the Spaniard who reached the fourth round in Melbourne last year. She was forced to drop out because she damaged an abductor during a lengthy quarter-final in Adelaide.

The second withdrawal was even more disappointing for tournament  organizers, because Ajla Tomljanovic has become the leading Australian woman since the retirement in March of last year’s Melbourne champion Ashleigh Barty.

Tomljanovic said that she had been struggling with a knee injury for the past month or so.

She said, ”I’ve done absolutely everything in my power to get healthy but just ran out of time to heal and be 100% ready to compete at a high level.”

Tomljanovic had featured heavily on episode two of Break Point alongside her then boyfriend Matteo Berrettini, while Badosa was the co-star of episode four.

Alcaraz  –  who had pulled out of the Australian Open a week ago after injuring a leg during a practice match  –  is also part of the Netflix production, although his episodes come later in the series and will not be released until the summer.

The other leading participants in the first five episodes of Breakpoint are Nick Kyrgios, Berrettini, Taylor Fritz, Ons Jabeur, Casper Ruud and Felix Auger Aliassime, who were all reporting fit and raring to go at the time of writing.

Raducanu faces race to be fit as Draper faces tough test. Emma Raducanu appeared relaxed on the eve of her Australian first-round tie against Germany’s Tamara Karpatsch insisting she ”fully trusts” the ankle she injured in Auckland.

The British No1 has had an interrupted build-up to the season’s opening major after rolling her ankle at the ASB Classic earlier this month but says she expects to feel comfortable on court against Korpatsch  –  ranked one place above her at 74 WTA.

That match is first on the 1573 Arena court at 11.00am Monday local time.

Later that day compatriot Jack Draper, 21, will attempt to knock out top seed and reigning champion Rafael Nadal.

They take to Rod Laver Arena in the afternoon session beginning  4.30pm Melbourne time (04.30am CET) in the biggest match of  Draper’s career.

Nadal has been in trying form, with only one win from his past seven matches, while Draper  –  who made his top 40 debut in the rankings on Monday  –  scored a couple of impressive wins at the Adelaide International 2 this week, reaching the semi-finals.

How to watch the Australian Open 2023 on TV In Singapore use beINSports to watch live action. In the UK, Eurosport has the broadcasting rights to live action. In the US the tournament is broadcast on ESPN.

Key matches on days 1 and 2

Draper and Nadal will be followed by top women’s seed Iga Swiatek, who opens the night session on the main showcourt against  Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Germany’s Julie Niemeier.

Britons Cameron Norrie, Harriet Dart and Kyle Edmund also begin their tournament on Monday.

Former Australian Open semi-finalist Edmund  –  who is continuing his slow comeback from a series of knee injuries  –  has a tough task in Italy’s Jannick Sinner, the 15th seed in Melbourne who he lost to in straight sets last week.

An even more daunting challenge awaits Andy Murray on Tuesday, as former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini stands in his way. Italy’s Berrettini is seeded 13, beat Murray in four sets in the US Open third round last September and is one of the strongest servers on tour.

British No2 Dan Evans also plays on Tuesday, against 90 ranked Facundo Bagnis of Argentina. Novak Djokovic will begin his first campaign in Melbourne since 2021 on Tuesday too, against world No75 Spain’s Robero Carballes Baena.

He has had the best possible preparation for the first major of the  year, in winning the Adelaide International 1 last week, but has been managing a hamstring injury over the past few days.

Fellow Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios, the biggest homegrown draw in Melbourne this year, faces Russia’s Roman Safinllin.

Australian open prize money 2023

The total prize pool is $76.5 million, up 3.4% on 2022.

The singles champions will each take home $2.975 million.

Who are the defending champions?

Ashleigh Barty beat Danielle Collins to end a 44 year drought for the home nation by winning the 2022 women’s title.

Rafael Nadal fought back from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev and win his 21st grand slam title.

The latest odds  –  correct as of 14 January.

Men’s singles:                                                  Women’s singles:

Novak DJokovic  –  5/6                                     Iga Swiatek  –  23/10

Daniil Medvedev  –  6/1                                   Aryna Sabalenka  –  13/2

Stefanos Tsitsipas  –  14/1                               Jessica Pegula  –  10/1

Nick Kyrgios  –  14/1                                         Coco Gauff  –  11/1

Rafael Nadal  –  17/1                                        Caroline Garcia  –  11/1

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