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Who Will be the 2023 Australian Open Singles Champions?

by Steve Ashfield | by Steve Ashfield

image Who Will be the 2023 Australian Open Singles Champions?
January sees the first Grand Slam of the year take place. The Australian Open is going to be a fascinating tournament and unlike last year, Novak Djokovic is taking part. Can he win another title and can Iga Swiatek win the Australian Open for the first time?

Who Will be the 2023 Australian Open Singles Champions?

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From January 16-29 it's the Australian Open tennis championships. This is the first Grand Slam tournament of the year and an exciting fortnight lies ahead of us. We could well see records equalled and extended and possibly a first-time champion. Let's now look at who might be the singles champions in the 2023 Australian Open Championships.

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Title Number 10 for Djokovic?

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Not since 2018 has Novak Djokovic lost a match in the Australian Open. His last three visits to Melbourne have all ended with him lifting the trophy. After being unable to defend his title last year, the Serb is back in Australia and looking to win a tenth Australian Open title. If he does win the men;s singles, he'll draw level with defending champion Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slam titles.

Everything is pointing towards another Djokovic triumph in 2023. He's already shown impressive form by winning the first of the two Adelaide International tournaments. He beat Daniil Medvedev in that tournament and the only set dropped was in the final against Sebastian Korda. Since losing in the French Open last year, Djokovic has won 30 out of 31 matches in singles tournaments. The only loss incurred was to rising star Holger Rune in the Paris Masters final. Five of his last six singles tournaments have been won and that includes Wimbledon and the ATP Tour Finals.

He's still only ranked fifth in the world but that's due to his not being able to play in two Grand Slams last year and losing his points from Wimbledon. One bonus for him in the past few days has been the withdrawal of world number one Carlos Alcaraz due to injury. That doesn't just remove a key rival but Djokovic can expect to be seeded fourth for the Australian Open. If he'd been fifth then the quarter finals would have potentially seen him up against one of the top four seeds in the last eight. With such an impressive record in this tournament, Djokovic is the man to beat.

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The Contenders

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Casper Ruud can go top of the world rankings if he reaches the Australian Open final. He was the losing finalist in Paris and New York last year but has never made it past the fourth round in Melbourne. Ruud played in the recent United Cup and won one match and lost the other. He won't be seen for a while after this tournament. Ruud isn't happy about how long the ATP season goes on for, so isn't going to be playing in February.

Rafael Nadal is the defending champion and will be top seed for the Australian Open. He's going to have to improve his form if he wants to win a 23rd Grand Slam title. He lost both of his matches in the United Cup and 2022 ended for him with four losses in five matches. The Spaniard has actually lost four matches in his tast two tournaments (ATP Tour Finals/United Cup) and there's always the possibility some injury might suddenly appear.

Daniil Medvedev lost to Novak Djokovic in the Adelaide International but has a good record in the Australian Open. He's reached the final in the past two years but is likely to be seeded only seventh this year so will face some tough opponents from the quarter finals onwards.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has reached the semi-final in three of the past four years. The Greek made it to two finals and a semi-final in his last four tournaments of 2022. This year got off to a good start with him winning all four of his singles matches in the United Cup.

Outsiders include Holger Rune who won the Paris Masters in 2022 and is now a top ten player. Felix Auger-Aliassime is often a threat and won four ATP Tour tournaments last year. Alexander Zverev is back from injury but lost both of his singles matches in the United Cup. There are plenty of contenders but they all have their work cut out to beat Djokovic.

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New Women's Champion Guaranteed

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The women's singles are often unpredictable affairs. One thing that we can safely forecast for the 2023 Australian Open is we'll see a new women's singles champion. That's because the 2022 winner Ashleigh Barty retired just a few months later. Who'll win in 2023? Well, Iga Swiatek is the new world number one and the favourite to win her first Australian Open title. The Pole reached the semi-finals last year, her best ever performance in Melbourne. 2023 hasn't started too well though with a straight sets loss inflicted on her by Jessica Pegula in the United Cup.

Caroline Garcia has to be on the shortlist to win this title. Last year saw the French player reach the semi-finals of the US Open, her first last four appearance in a Grand Slam. Garcia won four titles last year on three different surfaces. The highlghts were her victories at the Cincinnati Open (a WTA1000 event) and the WTA Tour Finals 

Aryna Sabalenka has returned to form in recent months. The Belarusian lost to Garcia in the WTA Tour Finals and began 2023 by winning the Adelaide International. Ons Jabeur lost in the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open last year.  Jessica Pegula will be the third seed (one below Jabeur) and showed plenty of good form when helping the USA to victory in the United Cup. 2022 saw her reach three Grand Slam quarter finals, she'll be looking to build on that in 2023.

The women's singles looks to be an open affair. Swiatek is the player to beat if she's in top form. If not, then Garcia looks to have a good chance of winning her first Grand Slam title.

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