The 2022 Australian Open: When does it take place, high-profile absentees, TV channels, prize money
The first Grand Slam of the year, the 2022 Australian Open, is upon us and we give you the lowdown on the important things ahead of the hard-court major.
When is the 2022 Australian Open?
Following last year’s delayed tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 110th edition of the Australian Open will revert back to its traditional time slot as it will kick off on the third Monday in January.
The official date is January 17-30.
About the venue for the season-opening Grand Slam…
Melbourne Park, situated in the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, has hosted the Australian Open since 1988.
There are 35 outdoor tennis courts on site and the three main courts – Rod Laver Arena (14,820), John Cain Arena (10,500) and Margaret Court Arena (7,500) – each come with its own retractable roof.
Redeveloped of the Show Court Arena, which cost about A$271.5m, was completed ahead of the 2022 Australian Open.
Who are the defending champions?
Novak Djokovic won a record-extending ninth title Down Under in 2021 when he brushed aside Daniil Medvedev in the final, winning 7–5, 6–2, 6–2 to take his Grand Slam tally to 18.
Naomi Osaka, meanwhile, won her second Australian Open crown and a fourth major as she defeated first-time finalist Jennifer Brady 6–4, 6–3 in the women’s final.
Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek won their first title as a pair when they defeated defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6–3, 6–4 in the final while Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka beat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6–2, 6–3 in the women’s final.
Barbora Krejcikova and Rajeev Ram were crowned mixed doubles champions after beating Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden 6–1, 6–4.
Who are absent from this year’s tournament?
Six-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer will for the second year in a row not feature at Melbourne Park as he withdrew due to a right-knee problem while 2020 runner-up Dominic Thiem is still struggling with a wrist injury.
The 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, fan favourite Kei Nishikori and Canada’s Milos Raonic are also among those who will miss the event on the men’s side.
There are also some big names missing from the women’s main draw with Serena Williams the biggest name as the 23-time major winner is still recovering from injury.
2021 runner-up Jennifer Brady as well as 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and former world No 1 Karolina Pliksova are also absent.
When is qualifying?
After last year’s men’s and women’s qualifying matches were held in Doha and Dubai respectively due to Covid-19, the events move back to Australian soil this year.
The tournament kicked off on Monday January 10 at Melbourne Park with the final qualifying matches taking place on Friday January 14.
Sixteen men and 16 women will reach the main draw through qualifying and some of the notable names in the men’s draw include Radu Albot from Romania and Great Britain’s Liam Broady.
Gilles Simon from France and the controversial Bernard Tomic from Australia lost in the first round.
Great Britain’s Harriet Dart, Katie Boulter, Francesca Jones, Samantha Murray Sharan and Jodie Burrage were all in the draw, but only Dart and Swann made the second round.
What about the seeds?
After weeks of drama and court cases it has been confirmed that Novak Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title. Although it might also not be the end of the saga, but for now we are going on the last court ruling from Judge Anthony Kelly that his medical exemption is valid.
It means Djokovic is the top seed followed by Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas Andrey Rublev, Rafael Nadal, Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud, Felix Auger Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz.
#AusOpen Men’s seeds
1 Novak Djokovic SRB
2 Daniil Medvedev RUS
3 Alexander Zverev GER
4 Stefanos Tsitsipas GRE
5 Andrey Rublev RUS
6 Rafael Nadal ESP
7 Matteo Berrettini ITA
8 Casper Ruud NOR
9 Felix Auger-Aliassime CAN
10 Hubert Hurkacz POL pic.twitter.com/ZXFiTo7tTu
— Lorenzo Ercoli (@Ladal17) January 11, 2022
World No 1 Ashleigh Barty leads the way on the women’s front ahead of Aryna Sabalenka, Garbine Muguruza, Barbora Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari, Anett Kontaveit, Iga Swiatek, Paula Badosa, Ons Jabeur and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka is seeded 13th while US Open champion Emma Raducanu is 17th for the first major since her Flushing Meadows success, which should make her draw a bit easier.
Speaking of the main draw…
The draw will take place on Thursday January 13 with 8am GMT the set time.
Which TV channels will broadcast the tournament?
Eurosport will air the season-opening Grand Slam in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe while qualifying from Melbourne Park will be available through Eurosport Player.
ESPN, Tennis Channel and TSN will broadcast the event in North America with Bein Sport airing the tournament in Africa and the Middle East.
The BBC usually provides commentary and text through BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website while from the second week they show highlights on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and online.
What about the prize money?
There has been a 4.5% increase in total prize money for 2022 with the pool now sitting at a record A$75m AUD (about £40m). The men’s and women’s winners will take home (about £2,3m) each.
Full breakdown (A$1 = £0.53)
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