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Australian Open 2023 predictions: Males’s and girls’s singles champions, darkish horses, early exits

The 2023 version of the Australian Open is sort of right here, with the world’s finest tennis gamers to descend on Melbourne Park for a packed fortnight.

Ash Barty’s retirement means Iga Swiatek is the favourite to take out the ladies’s singles, however can the world No. 1 get the job executed?

Within the males’s draw, Novak Djokovic will probably be seeking to win his tenth Australian Open title following his 2022 deportation saga.

Forward of the opening spherical in Melbourne, three writers from The Sporting Information‘ have given their predictions for this yr’s first Grand Slam match…

MORE: The eight males who’ve topped Djokovic Down Underneath

Champion – Ladies’s singles

Iga Swiatek – The world No. 1 has dominated girls’s tennis because the retirement of Ash Barty. She additionally confirmed her prowess on the laborious courts by profitable the US Open. Swiatek wants somebody to problem her however I am undecided the place that is going to come back from. (Kieran Francis, Australia)

Coco Gauff – It is fairly laborious to look past Iga Swiatek for many of this yr’s slams, however she’s solely as soon as gone past the final 16 in Melbourne. If anybody can reap the benefits of a Swiatek slip-up, it is Gauff: she received in Adelaide with out dropping a set and loves laborious courts, and with a title below her belt to start out the yr, stress on {the teenager}’s shoulders could have dropped. (Joe Wright, UK)

Veronika Kudermetova – Kudermetova has quietly labored her approach as much as the world No. 9 rank, showcasing her versatile and well-rounded skillset. Having entered the highest ten for the primary time in her profession, the momentum is unquestionably on the 25-year-old’s aspect. She has by no means gone previous the third spherical at Melbourne Park, however she completely has the instruments to go on an Angelique Kerber-esque run and win all of it. (Joshua Mayne, Australia)

Champion – Males’s singles

Novak Djokovic- The boring reply is Novak Djokovic, however who’s going to problem the Serbian? Nadal is struggling, Alcaraz is out injured and Medvedev seems to nonetheless be off his finest kind. 10 Australian Open titles could be an outstanding achievement. (KF)

Novak Djokovic- After the chaos of final yr, profitable a tenth title in Melbourne – and drawing degree with Nadal on the all-time majors record – could be very particular for Djokovic. He was spectacular in Adelaide and his closest rivals are both injured or off their sport. Solely his personal hamstring fear is prone to get in the best way. (JW)

Novak Djokovic- Except his hamstring damage worsens and he’s compelled to withdraw, it’s laborious to see anybody else however Novak Djokovic taking out the boys’s singles at Melbourne Park. He clearly meant enterprise on the Adelaide Worldwide 1 and will probably be extra decided than ever to choose up one other Australian Open title after final yr’s deportation. In 2023, it is Novak’s to lose. (JM)

Darkish horse – Ladies’s singles

Jessica Pegula- Perhaps not an enormous shock contemplating she is fourth favorite, however Pegula has by no means been previous the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam. This might change in 2023 and the American is looming as one of many solely hopes to beat Swiatek. The truth is, she even beat the Pole on the United Cup. (KF)

Aryna Sabalenka – It appears unfair to label the world No.5 an out of doors wager, however Sabalenka hasn’t gone past the final 16 in Melbourne and has by no means obtained to a Grand Slam last. Nonetheless, the 24-year-old is likely one of the kind gamers on the WTA Tour, profitable 16 of her previous 22 matches and claiming the title in Adelaide. She additionally took Swiatek to 3 units within the US Open semi-finals earlier than beating her on the similar stage of the WTA Finals final November. (JW)

Elena Rybakina – Rybakina’s latest kind is not overly promising, however her Australian Open probabilities have been underestimated. Being in the identical quadrant of the draw as Iga Swiatek is way from best, however the world No. 1’s show on the United Cup proved that she is human and beatable. Importantly, Rybakina has expertise profitable a Grand Slam match (Wimbledon, 2022), so she may go additional at Melbourne Park than anticipated. (JM)

Elena Rybakina

Darkish horse – Males’s singles

Jannik Sinner – It would not be an enormous shock if Sinner wins a slam someday, however getting one this early is feasible. His latest duels with Alcaraz have proven he can go toe-to-toe with the world No.1. With a number of favorites below damage clouds or kind points, why cannot the Italian expertise swoop in? (KF)

Felix Auger-Aliassime – He might need misplaced within the first spherical in Adelaide, however Auger-Aliassime closed out 2022 with 4 titles to his title and took Canada to Davis Cup glory. He was two units up within the quarter-finals final yr in opposition to Medvedev in Melbourne and is certainly one of simply three gamers to take Nadal the space in a French Open match. If he can study to carry his nerve at essential moments, a primary main will not be far-off. (JW)

Felix-Auger-Aliassime-012422-Getty-FTR

Frances Tiafoe- Usually, a possible fourth-round conflict with Rafael Nadal is a one-way ticket out of Melbourne Park. However with the Spaniard off form, there may be each likelihood Tiafoe may get pleasure from a deep match run. The American beat Nadal eventually yr’s US Open, happening to achieve the semi-finals in New York. No cause he cannot do it once more. (JM)

Shock early exit – Ladies’s singles

Danielle Collins- Do not anticipate final yr’s finalist to hold round for lengthy at Melbourne Park. She has struggled with damage since shedding to Ash Barty within the finale in 2022. Collins has additionally failed to achieve the extent she confirmed early final season. (KF)

Emma Raducanu – Simply as preparations have been going properly, Raducanu sprained her ankle in Auckland and is battling to be match. Even when she recovers absolutely, the 2021 US Open champion will face a second-round match in opposition to both Coco Gauff or Katerina Siniakova, who beat her in Miami final yr. (JW)

Emma Raducanu

Iga Swiatek – I would remorse making this prediction since Swiatek is able to beating any participant on the WTA circuit. Nonetheless, if there’s a match that she struggles in, it might be this one. She’s going to start her marketing campaign with a tough first spherical conflict in opposition to Jule Niemeier earlier than final yr’s Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina is projected within the fourth spherical. The likes of Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula and Barbora Krejčíková may then all stand in her technique to the ultimate. A loss in opposition to any a kind of high quality gamers is definitely possible. (JM)

Shock early exit – Males’s singles

Rafael Nadal – Having misplaced six of his previous seven matches, it is going to be mighty laborious for Nadal to defend his Australian Open title. He won’t be a primary spherical exit however as quickly as he will get a tricky opponent, Nadal goes to be in hassle based mostly on his present kind. (KF)

Casper Ruud- Ruud will be very tough to foretell. Finalist on the French Open and US Open final yr, he misplaced 4 of eight matches after defeating Carlos Alcaraz in New York, then promptly obtained to the decider of the ATP Finals earlier than shedding to Djokovic. The No.2 seed might be an actual challenger in Melbourne, however he may simply as simply exit in spherical two to Jenson Brooksby. (JW)

Felix Auger-Aliassime – Auger-Aliassime is such an thrilling expertise, so this can be a tough prediction to make. Nonetheless, he confirmed in 2022 that he generally is a little bit of a ‘growth or bust’ kind of participant, exiting Wimbledon and the US Open within the first and second spherical, respectively. He’s additionally coming off a primary spherical loss in opposition to Alexei Popyrin in Adelaide. (JM)

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