Australian Open 2022: Draw Date, Time, Live Stream Info and MoreJanuary 10, 2022
The buildup to the 2022 Australian Open has been dominated by the controversy surrounding Novak Djokovic's eligibility for the season's first major.
As of Monday morning, Djokovic is still in Australia, but there is still the potential for him to be deported because of the country's COVID-19 policies, per Sky News.
Djokovic's presence, or lack thereof, in the Australian Open draw is a game-changer for the men's singles players already preparing for the event, which begins January 17.
The Serb is the reigning champion and will be viewed as the favorite on the men's side if he plays. Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas would all benefit if he does not participate.
The women's singles draw is gearing up to be a fantastic competition. Reigning champion Naomi Osaka and No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty headline the list of contenders.
Barty won her second major at Wimbledon last year, and the home crowd could motivate her to take home another title. Osaka and others in the draw will have something to say about that, though, which could make it more exciting than the men's singles event, wherein the pre-competition favorites are expected to make deep runs.
Australian Open Draw Information
The Australian Open draw is expected to be held Thursday. All of the results will be found on the tournament's official website.
Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty are the No. 1 seeds in their respective brackets, while seven American players have been seeded for the season's first major.
Novak Djokovic is not playing any tennis while a decision about his status is determined by the Australian government.
That could have an affect on the men's draw if the top-ranked Serb is allowed to participate in Melbourne.
The other Australian Open contenders on the men's side have been warming up for the tournament over the past two weeks. Still, Djokovic has tremendous skill and could work his way into fitness against weaker opposition in the first few rounds of the competition.
Daniil Medvedev lost to Djokovic in the 2021 Australian Open final, and he should be considered the top threat to the 20-time major winner again. Medvedev beat Djokovic on a hard court to win the 2021 U.S. Open and, as the No. 2 seed, will be on the opposite side of the bracket to the Serb.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal will have to go through Djokovic or Medvedev just to reach the championship match.
Medvedev should be considered the favorite if Djokovic does not play. And the holder's absence would open up one side of the bracket for another one of the top seeds to make it to the final.
Only one unseeded player reached the Australian Open men's semifinals in the past three years—Aslan Karatsev in 2021—so expect the bracket to go to chalk and few, if any, upsets to affect the top five or six seeds.
That should set up some heavyweight clashes in the second week of the tournament as Tsitsipas and Zverev chase their first major titles.
As always, the women's singles bracket at a major is more wide-open than the men's draw.
That lends itself to a more competitive run of matches from the start.
Ashleigh Barty should be the favorite as the No. 1 seed playing in her home country. She advanced to the quarterfinals a year ago before she was bounced by Karolina Muchova.
Barty and Naomi Osaka are the only women to have won multiple Grand Slam events in the past three years. A dream final would pit the two stars against each other.
Osaka has won all four of her major titles on hard courts, taking the 2019 and 2021 titles in Australia. She is the No. 13 seed this time around and will thus have to navigate a tougher draw than Barty.
Previous Australian Open champions Sofia Kenin and Angelique Kerber could be dangerous in Melbourne. As could No. 14 seed Simona Halep, who reached the final eight as the No. 2 seed a year ago.
Aryna Sabalenka, who is the No. 2 seed this year, could use the Australian Open as a springboard to a fantastic 2022. Sabalenka finally broke through into a Grand Slam semifinal at last year's French and U.S. Opens, and she could be the biggest challenger to Barty or Osaka.
Seven of the top-10 seeds in the women's draw have experience at the semifinal or final stage of a major, and then you have Osaka, Kenin, Kerber and Halep among the other seeded players.
Barty and Osaka should be viewed as favorites, but it would not come as surprise for an unlikely winner to emerge from such a deep bracket.