The world’s finest tennis players will descend upon Melbourne to vie for glory at the Australian Open from January 17. Read on to learn more about the first Grand Slam of 2022.
When will the 2022 Australian Open Take Place?
The Australian will begin on January 17 and then run for two weeks. The women’s final will take place on Saturday, January 29, and the men’s final will be held the following day. It will also be the first time that both women’s semi-finals take place on the second Thursday of the tournament. Both men’s semi-finals will take place the next day.
Where is the Australian Open Held?
The Australian Open is held at Melbourne Park. The players will battle it out across a series of 25 hard courts, including the Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena, Margaret Court Arena, and the 1573 Arena. The 5,000-seater Show Court Arena will also make its debut in 2022, leaving Melbourne Park with five main tennis arenas. The new stadium is the main focus of a $271.5 million upgrade to the facilities at Melbourne Park.
Will Fans be Able to Attend the Australian Open 2022?
Capacity at the Australian Open was significantly reduced in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That will not be the case in 2022, as Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed sporting events can now welcome capacity crowds once more. “The Australian Open will be back in all its glory in January and provide a massive boost to the city, the state and the country as it plays a major role in helping Melbourne roar back to life,” said Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley.
What is the Prize Money for the Australian Open?
Tournament organisers announced a 4.5% increase in total prize money for the 2022 Australian Open. That takes the total prize pool to $75 million. The singles winners will receive $4.4 million, the runners-up will get $2.2 million, and the beaten semi-finalists will each receive $1.1 million, while even the players that lose in the first qualifying round will take home $24,000. The doubles champions will receive $800,000. All figures are in AUD.
Who are the Defending Champions at the Australian Open?
Novak Djokovic cemented his status as the most successful male player in Australian Open history by winning his ninth title at Melbourne Park last year. He is now just two behind Margaret Court’s overall record of 11. The Serb went on to win the French Open and Wimbledon, leaving him level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slams apiece as the most decorated players in the history of men’s tennis. He has the opportunity to move out in front if he takes part in the Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka is the reigning women’s champion after she beat Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 in the final last year. That was Osaka’s fourth Grand Slam, but she subsequently withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon after refusing to conduct post-match interviews, citing mental health issues. She returned to action at the 2021 US Open, and tournament organisers hope to welcome her to Melbourne to defend her title.
Will Any Big Players Miss the 2022 Australian Open?
Seven-time champion Serena Williams is out of the Australian Open, as she revealed she is not “where I need to be physically to compete”. Her sister Venus, a two-time Australian Open winner, is also absent from the entry list, while Bianca Andreescu – the world number four, who won the 2019 US Open – will miss out too. Six-time men’s champion Roger Federer is still injured, as is compatriot Stan Wawrinka.
Will Players Have to be Vaccinated?
Tiley, the tournament director, has confirmed that players must be vaccinated against Covid-19 if they want to compete in the Australian Open. That caused Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a former men’s doubles champion, to announce his withdrawal. Speculation has raged that Djokovic will miss the tournament. He has refused to reveal his vaccination status, calling it a private matter, and he has not yet committed to playing at the Australian Open. Yet he is on the list, leading some fellow pros to assume he will be in Melbourne to defend his title.
Who is the Favourite to Win the Australian Open?
Djokovic is the favourite to win the men’s singles tournament in the fixed-odds betting and in the spread betting. Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Djokovic in last year’ final and then went on to win the US Open, is the second favourite, ahead of Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who is still chasing a first Grand Slam. Nadal is fourth in the betting.
World number Ashleigh Barty is the favourite to win the women’s singles tournament on home soil. She is narrowly ahead of Osaka in the betting, followed by Garbine Muguruza, Arya Sabalenka and Emma Raducanu, the young Brit who stormed to victory in the 2021 US Open.