The 2014 Australian Open is underway. As the first Grand Slam event of the tennis season, the Aussie Open is a must-see spectacle for fans around the globe.
That feat is much easier said than done, especially for American viewers thanks to the time differentials, but savvy fans can and will find a way to catch all the action—as they do each year.
Novak Djokovic was the big winner in 2013, as expected, but this year he enters as the No. 2 seed behind Rafael Nadal. Like Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka won last year, but she is ranked behind Serena Williams.
Be sure to catch the remainder of what is destined to be a classic tournament. What follows are daily television listings and storylines set to unfold en route to the finish line.
|2014 Australian Open TV Schedule|
|Monday, Jan. 13||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Early Round||ESPN2|
|Monday, Jan. 13||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||First round||Tennis Channel|
|Monday, Jan, 13||9 p.m. - 7 a.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Jan. 14||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Jan. 14||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||Second round||Tennis Channel|
|Tuesday, Jan. 14||9 p.m. - 7 a.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Jan. 15||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Jan. 15||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||Second round||Tennis Channel|
|Wednesday, Jan. 15||9 p.m. - 7 a.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Thursday, Jan. 16||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Thursday, Jan. 16||7 p.m. - 11 p.m.||Third round||Tennis Channel|
|Thursday, Jan. 16||11 p.m. - 7 a.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Friday, Jan. 17||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Friday, Jan. 17||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||Third round||Tennis Channel|
|Friday, Jan. 17||9 p.m. - 7 a.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Jan. 18||9 a.m. - 12 p.m.||Early round||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Jan. 18||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||Round of 16||Tennis Channel|
|Saturday, Jan. 18||9 p.m. - 2 a.m.||Round of 16||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Jan. 18||3 a.m. - 7 a.m.||Round of 16||ESPN2|
|Sunday, Jan. 19||11 a.m. - 3 p.m.||Round of 16||ESPN2|
|Sunday, Jan. 19||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||Round of 16||Tennis Channel|
|Sunday, Jan. 19||9 p.m. - 2 a.m.||Round of 16||ESPN2|
|Sunday, Jan. 19||3 a.m. - 6:30 a.m.||Round of 16||ESPN2|
|Monday, Jan. 20||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||Quarterfinals||Tennis Channel|
|Monday, Jan. 20||9 p.m. - 2 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN2|
|Monday, Jan. 20||3 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Jan. 21||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Jan. 21||7 p.m. - 9 p.m.||Quarterfinals||Tennis Channel|
|Tuesday, Jan. 21||9 p.m. - 2 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Jan. 21||3:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Jan. 22||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Jan. 22||7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.||TBA||Tennis Channel|
|Wednesday, Jan. 22||9:30 p.m. - 2 a.m.||Women's semifinals||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Jan. 22||3:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.||Men's semifinal #1||ESPN|
|Thursday, Jan. 23||2 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Men's semifinal #1||ESPN2|
|Thursday, Jan. 23||11 p.m. - 3 a.m.||Women's doubles final||Tennis Channel|
|Thursday, Jan. 23||3:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.||Men's semifinal #2||ESPN|
|Friday, Jan. 24||2 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Men's semifinal #2||ESPN2|
|Friday, Jan. 24||3 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.||Women's championship||ESPN|
|Saturday, Jan. 25||5:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.||Men's doubles final||Tennis Channel|
|Saturday, Jan. 25||9 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Women's championship||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Jan. 25||3 a.m. - 6:30 a.m.||Men's championship||ESPN|
|Sunday, Jan. 26||9 a.m. - 2 p.m.||Men's championship||ESPN2|
|Sunday, Jan. 26||12 a.m. - 2 a.m.||Mixed doubles final||Tennis Channel|
Can Serena Williams Surpass Victoria Azarenka?
That sounds funny, right? Williams is the best women's player in the world, won the Associated Press' Female Athlete of the Year a season ago, went 78-4 and won 11 of the 16 singles tournaments she entered.
Not only that, some believe she can become first woman since 1988 to win all four Grand Slams, per BBC Sport:
But to do so, Williams must overcome Azarenka. Williams has won the Australian Open five times, but she has hit a dry spell since 2010. She was pitifully eliminated last year by Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals.
Azarenka has been more successful as of late and has won in Melbourne the past two seasons. While Williams owns Azarenka via a 15-3 all-time advantage, Azarenka still managed a 2-2 record against the sport's best player a year ago.
Williams is off to the right start if she is to get this monkey off her back, defeat Azarenka and win her first Aussie Open since 2010. In her opening match, Williams won her 23rd consecutive match dating back to last season by moving past Ashleigh Barty, 6-2, 6-1.
It was a good warm-up Williams certainly did not need given her recent tear. The path to dethrone Azarenka at Melbourne has officially begun.
Will Anyone Prevent Novak Djokovic From Making History?
To say Djokovic likes to play at Melbourne would be an understatement.
Djokovic has won the last three Aussie Opens, and as the tournament's Twitter illustrates, he is set to make history if he can string together a fourth win this season:
There are no signs of slowing down—Djokovic is now on a 22-match winning streak at Melbourne after he downed Lukas Lacko in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 to open the tournament.
The win was a bit close for comfort, but Djokovic says he simply had to work the rust out, per Dennis Passa of the Associated Press: "It is the first competitive match I've had this season, I haven't played for five or six weeks. I was a bit rusty on the court the first two sets. Afterwards it was all working well."
Perhaps the man most ready to end Djokovic's string of dominance is Nadal, who ended 2013 on a hot streak and stole the No. 1 seed after wins at the French Open and U.S. Open. The potential for a rematch of the 2012, five-set thriller that lasted almost six hours in the Aussie Open final is here this season, but Djokovic won that outcome, too.
If not Nadal, Djokovic detractors can look to Andy Murray (who lost to Djokovic in last year's final) or the slumping Roger Federer for help. Perhaps even Juan Martin del Potro could accomplish the feat, but there is one problem—they are all on the other side of the draw this season.
Djokovic is well on his way to history unless someone intervenes.