10 questions about the 2022 Australian Open: Protocols, schedule, Djokovic and entry lists

The Australian Open kicks off the annual Grand Slam calendar in tennis. Find out everything you need to know about the 2022 edition of the tournament — at least as it stands right now

A general view of Australian Open flags in Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2021. A general view of Australian Open flags in Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2021.

When will the Australian Open take place in 2022?

The Australian Open is usually held every year in mid-January (with the exception of a delay until February in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic). The 2022 edition is scheduled to start on January 17 and to end on January 30.

The next tournament will for the first time feature both women’s semi-finals during the second Thursday’s night session, with the men’s semi-finals the following day. The tournament announced this schedule change in November 2021.

Was the Australian Open delayed in 2021?

In 2021, the tournament (originally scheduled for January 18 to 31) was delayed due to the Coronavirus and eventually took place from February 8 to 21.

The men’s qualifying event was held in Dubai, while women’s qualifying action took place in Doha in 2020. As of now, no changes have been announced to the schedule for the 2022 tournament, although a similar arrangement has been hinted at. It is likely the qualifying events will begin before Christmas, so that the main draw can begin as scheduled. These tweaks are in order to reduce the number of people going into Australia, where the borders are still closed to international travellers.

Who are the defending champions?

In singles, the defending champions are Novak Djokovic – who beat Daniil Medvedev in straight sets – and Naomi Osaka. A straight-sets win over Jennifer Brady gave Osaka her second title in Melbourne. Djokovic won for the ninth time Down Under.

Novak Djokovic
Naomi Osaka, Australian Open, 2021

The other 2021 champions were as follows:

  • Men’s doubles: Ivan Dodig / Filip Polásek
  • Women’s doubles: Elise Mertens / Aryna Sabalenka
  • Mixed doubles: Barbora Krejčíková / Rajeev Ram
  • Wheelchair men’s singles: Joachim Gérard
  • Wheelchair women’s singles: Diede de Groot
  • Wheelchair quad Singles: Dylan Alcott 
  • Wheelchair men’s doubles: Alfie Hewett / Gordon Reid
  • Wheelchair women’s Doubles: Diede de Groot / Aniek van Koot
  • Wheelchair quad doubles: Dylan Alcott / Heath Davidson

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the junior events and the legends events were not held in 2021.

Are any big names missing from the 2022 Australian Open?

Seven-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams will miss the 2022 Australian Open following advice from her medical team. 40-year-old Williams has not played since retiring in her first-round match at Wimbledon in June.

Williams is one of three Grand Slam winners on the women’s side who will not be in Melbourne. Bianca Andreescu has announced that she will not be starting her season in Australia, and will instead be taking a slightly longer break from the tour to recover from the stresses of the past two years. Two-time Major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova is also not entered, and 2021 runner-up Jennifer Brady is absent due to a continuing foot injury.

2021 women’s semi-finalist Karolina Muchova has also withdrawn from the tournament.

Defending champion Djokovic is currently in the midst of an unedifying legal battle to establish his right to play. He entered Australia with a medical exemption, meaning he thought he was able to play despite not being vaccinated against Covid-19, a pre-requisite for visiting the country.

20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer and three-time Major winner Stan Wawrinka are among the big names on the men’s side who are not going to be in Melbourne as they continue their recovery from knee and foot surgery respectively.

Who are the trophies named after?

The men’s singles trophy is named after Norman Brookes, a three-time Grand Slam and six-time Davis Cup champion as well as a former president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia. The women’s singles trophy is named after Daphne Akhurst, a five-time Australian Championships winner (the name of the tournament prior to the Open Era) who died during pregnancy at the age of 29.

Who has won the most titles at the Australian Open?

Djokovic has won nine men’s singles titles at the Australian Open, picking up his first in 2008. Margaret Court has won 11 women’s singles titles at her home slam, with her first coming before the Open Era in 1960. In the Open Era, it’s Serena Williams who holds the most Melbourne crowns, with seven — the first coming in 2003 and the most recent famously coming in 2017, when she was pregnant with daughter Olympia.

When was the first Australian Open held?

The first Australian Open was held in 1905 — on grass courts. It didn’t move on to hard courts until 1988, when it relocated to the new Melbourne Park complex.

Where is the Australian Open held?

The Australian Open is held at Melbourne Park. Its most famous courts include Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena, named for the country’s legendary tennis stars — plus Melbourne Arena and two other show courts.

Who is the Tournament Director of the Australian Open?

Craig Tiley is the Tournament Director of the Australian Open. Tiley was named Tournament Director in 2006. In 2013, he was also named as CEO of Tennis Australia.

In November 2021, Craig Tiley confirmed that the tournament would welcome fans at full capacity – and that players would have to be vaccinated.

“It’s been made very clear, when the premier announced several weeks ago that in order to participate at the Australian Open, to come into Victoria, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated,” he said. “Immediately we communicated that to the playing group. It is the one direction that you take that can ensure everyone’s safety.

“All the playing group understands it. Our patrons will need to be vaccinated, all the staff working the Australian Open will need to be vaccinated, when you’re in a state where there is more than 90 percent of the population fully vaccinated, it’s the right thing to do.”

Tiley was referring to previous discussions in October, when a report in the Age on Sunday newspaper on October 3 said players were likely to need to be fully vaccinated to be allowed in to Australia. State premier Daniel Andrews then confirmed that he thought it probable that players will require full vaccination against Covid-19 if they wished to gain a visa to enter the country.

Speaking to reporters at the end of August, Tiley had said players will not have as strict conditions for their quarantine as they had in 2021, but also said vaccinated players will have more freedom than those who are not.

“As far as vaccinations, we’re hoping as a nation that we’ll be at the target of 80 percent-plus by the time we get to November, and that will certainly help the situation for the event in January,” Tiley told reporters. “There’s a lot of time between now and when we get going, but at this point of time we’re planning on having a bubble, a two-week bubble, where the players will be able to move freely between the hotel and the courts.”

Will the Australian Open have electronic line-calling?

According to The Herald Sun, electronic line-calling will be in place at the 2022 edition of the Australian Open as well as the lead-in tournaments as part of Tennis Australia’s CovidSafe plan.

Does the Australian Open have a social media presence?

You can follow all the updates from the tournament on Twitter (1.6 million followers), Instagram (1.7 million), and Facebook (2.1 million).

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3 responses to “10 questions about the 2022 Australian Open: Protocols, schedule, Djokovic and entry lists

    1. The qualifying round for the Australian Open would run from January 10-14 2022 and would be held in Melbourne itself.

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