Australian Open 2022: When does the Grand Slam start and what is the latest news?

Emma Raducanu makes her first slam appearance since winning the 2021 US Open

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

The world’s best tennis players are beginning to arrive in Australia ahead of the opening Grand Slam of 2022 – the Australian Open. But Covid cases rising Down Under, uncertainty surrounds the tournament.

From a British perspective, all eyes will be on Emma Raducanu as she looks to make her mark again following his victory at the US Open last September.

Raducanu tested positive for Covid earlier this month but is understood to have recovered and will kick start her preparations in the Melbourne Summer Set – which is two WTA 250 tournaments scheduled to run from January 3-9.

There is, however, much more uncertainty regarding defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic and whether the Serbian, who refuses to reveal his vaccination status, will be present for the opening Grand Slam of the year.

Latest news

Naomi Osaka arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday to defend her Australian Open title as returns to professional tennis following a break over mental health fears. The defending champion has not played since she lost to Leylah Fernandez in the third round of the US Open in September. After the defeat, the 24-year-old tearfully announced she would take an indefinite break from the sport to focus on her mental health. 

But it appears her hiatus is set to come to an end as Osaka touched down in Melbourne ahead of next month’s Australian Open. The major has proved a happy hunting ground for Osaka who has won the competition twice in 2019 and last year. The former world number one was among several players to arrive in Australia. Seventeen charter flights have been organised by Tennis Australia to transport players and support staff from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Los Angeles, Santiago, Tokyo and Singapore.

Defending women's champion Naomi Osaka makes her return to professional tennis

Credit: REUTERS

Alex Zverev and 2021 Australian Open semi-finalists Stefanos Tsitsipas and Aslan Karatsev were due to arrive in Sydney, while Matteo Berrettini and Coco Gauff also touched down. Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem has withdrawn from the Australian Open as he continues his recovery from a wrist injury. The 28-year-old Austrian, who was runner-up in 2020, has not played competitively since suffering an injury in June, which meant he was unable to defend his US Open title. Thiem suffered a setback in his recovery during a recent training camp in Dubai and, although he says he is fully fit again, the former world number three will skip Melbourne Park. 

Thiem, now ranked 15 in the world, wrote on Twitter: "I am now feeling well again, my wrist is in optimal condition and I am practising normally with a very good intensity. After the short holidays, my team and I have assessed all matters and we have decided to make some changes to my initial tournament schedule. I will start the season in South America at the Cordoba Open in Argentina at the end of January, and will therefore not play this year at the Australian Open."

Thiem was beaten by Novak Djokovic in five sets in the 2020 final, and there remains considerable doubt surrounding whether the three-time defending champion will compete for a 10th title in Melbourne.

The 34-year-old, who is opposed to vaccinations, repeatedly declines to say if he has been innoculated against Covid-19. With the organisers of the Grand Slam confirming that all players and participants at Melbourne Park must be vaccinated or have a medical exemption granted by an independent panel of experts, it remains to be seen if Djokovic will appear. On Wednesday he withdrew from the Serbian team for the season-opening ATP Cup in Sydney, casting further doubt on his involvement in Melbourne.

When is the Australian Open?

The tournament gets underway on January 17 and concludes with the men’s final on January 30.

Where is the Australian Open?

The Australian Open takes place at Melbourne Park in Victoria.

Who is missing at the Australian Open?

Two of the sport’s biggest names – Roger Federer and Serena Williams – will not be in Melbourne next month as they continue to recover from injuries that disrupted their 2021 seasons. 2014 winner and Federer’s Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka is also out.

2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu is also missing as she takes a break from the tour while former British No 1 Jo Konta announced her retirement from tennis in November.

Australian Open match dates 

  • January 17 – Men’s and women’s singles first round
  • January 18 – Men’s and women’s singles first round
  • January 19 – Men’s and women’s singles second round
  • January 20 – Men’s and women’s singles second round
  • January 21 – Men’s and women’s singles third round
  • January 22 – Men’s and women’s singles third round
  • January 23 – Men’s and women’s singles fourth round
  • January 24 – Men’s and women’s singles fourth round
  • January 25 – Men’s and women’s singles quarter-finals
  • January 26 – Men’s and women’s singles quarter-finals
  • January 27 – Women’s semi-finals
  • January 28 – Men’s semi-finals
  • January 29 – Women’s final
  • January 20 – Men’s final

How to watch the Australian Open 2022 on TV

Eurosport has the rights to broadcast live action from Melbourne.

Coverage begins at midnight on January 17 for the opening session of the tournament.

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