The road to the Australian Open has begun, with international tennis stars set to finetune their games across 17 tournaments before the main event at Melbourne Park. Check out the full schedule.
The Australian tennis summer is upon us again and here’s everything you need to know to get up to speed ahead of the grand slam, which starts on January 17 at Melbourne Park.
Which tournaments are on?
A record 17 events will be staged before the Australian Open, including men’s, women’s, junior and wheelchair competitions. Matches will be played in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Bendigo and Traralgon. But the Brisbane International, Hobart International and Kooyong Classic won’t be played this year.
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Where are the stars playing?
Most of the world’s best men – besides Rafael Nadal, who is entered in the ATP 250 event in Melbourne – are competing in the ATP Cup in Sydney. The WTA 500 Adelaide International has five of the top-10 women, while Gael Monfils is playing in the adjacent men’s tournament. Naomi Osaka headlines next week’s WTA 250 events in Melbourne but Simona Halep and Emma Raducanu are also in the fields.
How about the Aussies?
World No.1 Ash Barty will start in Adelaide then complete her Australian Open preparations in Sydney. Ajla Tomljanovic is following the same schedule, while Australia’s other top-100 woman, Astra Sharma, is playing in Melbourne then Sydney. Alex de Minaur and James Duckworth will spearhead the ATP Cup assault in Sydney. De Minaur will also play in the Sydney Tennis Classic the following week, along with John Millman, Alexei Popyrin, Jordan Thompson and Nick Kyrgios. Millman is beginning his year in Adelaide, while Thompson, Popyrin and Kyrgios will be in Melbourne. Duckworth is playing in South Australia after the ATP Cup.
Who is out?
The lead-in tournaments have suffered from a raft of withdrawals but many of those players will be ready for the Australian Open. However, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, Guido Pella, Jeremy Chardy, Kyle Edmund, Aljaz Bedene and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won’t play at all this summer. On the women’s side, Karolina Pliskova, Serena and Venus Williams, Jennifer Brady, Karolina Muchova, Bianca Andreescu, Nadia Podoroska, Su-wei Hsieh and Svetlana Kuznetsova also won’t be at Melbourne Park.
Who is in doubt?
It remains to be seen whether all of the players who contracted the virus recently will be fit for the first grand slam of the year. The biggest storyline revolves around world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who pulled out of the ATP Cup but remains on the Australian Open entry list. Djokovic has refused to reveal his vaccination status or if he sought a medical exemption. Japanese star Kei Nishikori (back) skipped his last few events in 2021 then withdrew from the Melbourne ATP 250 event.
Who’s had Covid-19?
Rafael Nadal, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, Ons Jabeur and Belinda Bencic tested positive after competing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event. Emma Raducanu withdrew from the same tournament after also contracting the virus but, like Nadal, is healthy again and in Melbourne. Other high-profile players to test positive in recent weeks include Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Aslan Karatsev and Benoit Paire.
Who didn’t want to get vaccinated?
Nothing is confirmed around world No.1 Djokovic’s vaccination status but speculation continues to rage. Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Queensland teenager Olivia Gadecki are two players who chose not to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and can’t play this summer.
What are the Covid rules?
Players, support staff, officials, fans and anyone who wants to attend the tennis – and is aged at least 12 years and two months – must be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption. Tennis people who test positive in Australia must isolate for 10 days and be negative before leaving, while close contacts have to isolate only until they return a negative test. International players had to present proof of a negative test in the 72 hours before travelling to Australia then isolate until returning a further negative test on arrival. Shapovalov and Pavlyuchenkova were two players who tested positive after landing in the country.
Will Melbourne Park be broken into zones again?
No, people will be able to move freely around the venue and won’t have to buy tickets only for specific zones. The catch is all ticketholders must be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption but there will be no crowd caps. Fans aged eight years or older must wear a fitted face mask – this does not include a face shield – at all times, unless they are seated outdoors; eating or drinking; speaking to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing; or asked to remove the mask to verify their identity. Further information is available at https://ausopen.com/covid-safe.
ATP Cup, January 1-9
Adelaide International 1 (WTA 500/ATP 250), January 2-9
Melbourne Summer Set (2 x WTA 250, 1 x ATP 250), January 3-9
Sydney Tennis Classic (WTA 500/ATP 250), January 9-15
Adelaide International 2 (WTA 250/ATP 250), January 9-15
ITF Wheelchair, ATP Challenger and ITF Women
Bendigo International (Challenger 80/ITF W60), January 2-9
Traralgon International (Challenger 80/ITF W60), January 2-9
Victorian Wheelchair Open, January 8-12
Melbourne Wheelchair Open, January 15-19
Qualifying, January 10-14
Main draw, January 17-30
Juniors, January 22-29
Wheelchair, January 23-27
Originally published as Australian Open 2022: Full schedule for summer of tennis, dates, tournaments, star players