We are only days away from the Australian Open. Qualifying is currently underway with the main draw set to start on Sunday. The event is held in Melbourne, Australia.
On the men's side, Novak Djokovic holds the record for number of wins with 10. He has not lost in the tournament since 2018. He was not allowed to play in 2022, though, due to his vaccination status.
One player most tennis fans were likely hoping would be participating is Rafael Nadal. Nadal, however, had to withdraw after aggravating the hip he hurt in the 2023 Australian Open. While watching Nadal play would have been great, he would not have been one of the favorites due to his recent injury. But here is what we know about the Australian Open and who I think will win.
When and where is the Australian Open?
The Australian Open takes place over 15 days for the first time in the tournament's 119-year history. The first ball bounces on Sunday, January 14. The women's final will be played on Saturday, January 27. The men's final will take place on Sunday, January 28. The finals will take place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
What are some potentially intriguing matchups?
The draw for the Australian Open was announced on Thursday. The top seeds are in order from one through five, Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner, and Andrey Rublev. None of those seeds will play an opponent who who give them many issues. Perhaps Alcaraz faces the trickiest opponent in the first round when he takes on veteran Richard Gasquet.
Djokovic, however, could potentially face three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray in the third round. Medvedev could potentially take on Dominic Thiem or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round. Rublev might play red-hot Alex de Minaur in the fourth round. Sinner might get a chance to play Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round which would be highly entertaining for tennis fans. Besides Murray, Djokovic might have to play three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka on his way to the semifinals.
A prediction about what happens on the men's side
Somewhere and somehow there is going to be an upset in every tournament so I might as well be bold, right? For starters, I don't think Carlos Alcaraz gets by the quarterfinals. I think Alexander Zverev beats him there. I do think Medvedev will take care of Zverev in the semifinals, though. That means Medvedev makes it through to the finals.
On the other side of the bracket, Djokovic breezes through to the semis. The real battle on Djokovic's part of the bracket is between Sinner and de Minaur who meets in the quarters. Sinner gets through in a tough five-set match. This means the semis include Djokovic, Sinner, Zverev, and Medvedev.
Sinner will shockingly defeat Djokovic, though. Medvedev will dominate Zverev in straight sets. Sinner will then win his first major and defeat Medvedev in four sets in the Australian Open final.