This week marks the beginning of Australia’s 2023 kickstart bid campaigns for
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in Adelaide and Sydney, respectively. The superstar rivals are aiming for yet another Australian Open victory.
The two players have a combined total of 43 Grand Slam championships;
Djokovic has 21 and Nadal has 22, setting up a historic matchup at Melbourne Park in January.
While Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times, Nadal is the current champion.
Djokovic returns to Australia for the first time following his shocking detention and deportation ahead of 2022 Australian Open due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Amid a difficult and shortened year in which he was unable to compete in two major tournaments due to his vaccination status, he begins his quest for an amazing tenth
Australian Open championship at the Adelaide International on Sunday.
A new administration in Canberra overturned the ban on Djokovic traveling to Australia before 2025, and he is now aiming for additional victories at his most prosperous Grand Slam location.
After finishing 2022 with a record-tying sixth ATP Tour Finals victory, the world number five remarked in Dubai last week, “Over the years I’ve been incredibly lucky to start very strong in Australia and I love playing there.”
After what occurred earlier this year, of course, I expect to receive a decent welcome there, and I hope that will help me play some excellent tennis.
In Adelaide, he will compete against a strong field, including the top-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev, and Andrey Rublev.
In Djokovic’s absence this year, Spanish great Nadal defeated Medvedev in an epic five-setter to win the Australian Open, then followed it up with a 14th French Open victory.
‘A lot of hours on court’
Nadal will start his preparations in Sydney for the United Cup, a brand-new mixed-teams competition, where a titanic matchup with Australian showman Nick Kyrgios will test his mettle.
From Thursday through 11 days, 18 nations will compete in the event. Group matches in round-robin fashion will take place in Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane.
Two men’s singles matches, two women’s singles matches, and one mixed doubles match make up ties.
Sydney will host the finals series.
Casper Ruud, the third-ranked player in the world, and Alexander Zverev,
a German who is recovering from a terrible ankle injury will compete.
From January 10 to 12 in Melbourne, Carlos Alcaraz, currently, number one,
will warm up as he tries to recover from a stomach ailment that forced
him to cut short his pre-season training block.
The 19-year-old Spanish player, who poses a danger to Djokovic and Nadal,
had to withdraw from the season-ending ATP Finals and Davis Cup Finals due to a torn muscle. However, he is certain that he will return soon.
This month, he stated,
“I would say the key is to practice a lot and spend a lot of hours on the court.
“I’ll be all prepared and going to Australia.”
Players like the ninth-ranked player in the world, Taylor Fritz, and the Italian Jannik Sinner
will fine-tune their strategies using Kooyong.
Iga Swiatek, the top-ranked woman in the world, and her Polish teammates will adjust to Perth’s climate at the United.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, who last year lost to Danielle Collins in the semifinals and Ashleigh Barty
in the final, is aiming for her first Australian Open victory.
After Barty’s unexpected resignation in March, Swiatek took over the top spot and has held it ever since.
The third-ranked American in the world,
Jessica Pegula, and the fourth-ranked Frenchwoman, Caroline Garcia,
who just defeated Aryna Sabalenka to win the WTA Finals, are also competing in the United Cup.