Dates, tickets, Djokovic: Everything you always wanted to know about the 2023 Australian Open (but never had time to find out) – updated with wild cards

The Australian Open kicks off the annual Grand Slam calendar in tennis. Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 edition of the tournament as things stand right now

Australian Open logo Australian Open logo Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

When will the 2023 Australian Open take place?

The Australian Open is usually held every year in mid-January. The 2023 edition is scheduled to start on January 16 and to end on January 29.

Who are the defending champions?

In singles, the defending champions are Rafael Nadal – who beat Daniil Medvedev in five sets – and the now-retired Ash Barty, who beat American Danielle Collins in straight sets to become the first Australian to win the title since Chris O’Neil in 1978. Barty will not be defending her title, though. She announced her retirement from the sport in March, 2021.

The other 2021 champions were as follows:

  • Men’s doubles: Nick Kyrgios/ Thanasi Kokkinakis
  • Women’s doubles: Barbora Krejcikova/ Katerina Siniakova
  • Mixed doubles: Kristina Mladenovic/ Ivan Dodig
  • Wheelchair men’s singles: Shingo Kunieda
  • Wheelchair women’s singles: Diede de Groot
  • Wheelchair quad singles: Sam Schroder
  • Wheelchair men’s doubles: Alfie Hewett / Gordon Reid
  • Wheelchair women’s Doubles: Diede de Groot / Aniek van Koot
  • Wheelchair quad doubles: Andy Lapthorne / David Wagner
  • Boys singles: Bruno Kuzuhara
  • Girls singles: Petra Marcinko
  • Boys doubles: Bruno Kuzuhara / Coleman Wong
  • Girls doubles: Clervie Ngounoue / Diana Shnaider

Do players need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to play the 2023 Australian Open?

No. All Covid-19 restrictions on entering Australia have been lifted, which is good news for any players who are not vaccinated, including Novak Djokovic.

Will Novak Djokovic play at the 2023 Australian Open?

Yes. Having been banned from entering Australia for three years, after his visa was revoked in 2022 because he refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19, a change in government and some lobbying behind the scenes means that Djokovic’s ban has been lifted.

On November 16, Djokovic said he was relieved at the news and that it means he will be able to plan for 2023 with renewed certainty.

“I was very happy to receive the news yesterday,” Djokovic said. “It was a relief obviously knowing what I and people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post Australia obviously. I could not receive better news for sure.”

Who have been awarded wild cards for the Australian Open?

Former world no 1 Venus Williams is among those who have been awarded wild cards for the singles draw at the 2023 Australian Open.

Among local players, Alexei Popyrin, Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijikata in the men’s draw and Storm Hunter, Talia Gibson and Olivia Gadecki in the women’s draw have neem handed out wild cards.

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 Melbourne, 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 to hard courts until 1988, when it relocated to the new Melbourne Park complex, then called Flinders Park.

Where is the tournament 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.

Does the tournament have a social media presence?

You can follow all the updates from the tournament on Twitter (1.7 million followers), Instagram (2.1 million), and Facebook (2.2 million).

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