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Australian Open: Djokovic aims for 22, Swiatek favorite, where are the Blues ... What you need to know about the tournament


The 2023 season really begins this Monday with the opening of the first Grand Slam of the season. Will it be as rich in emotions as



The season really begins this Monday with the kick off of the Australian Open.

With still in mind the images of a unique 2022 tournament in more ways than one, from the (non) vaccine psychodrama of Djokovic to the stunning triumph of the ghost Nadal.

In terms of emotions, the 2023 vintage will have a lot to do to reach the level of the previous edition.

But it promises to be exciting and can also be historic...

Who can beat Djokovic?

It's (almost) written.

In two weeks, 35-year-old Novak Djokovic will have joined Rafael Nadal on tier 22 of the Grand Slam count.

The Serb is aiming for a 10th crown in Melbourne and remains on 34 consecutive victories on Australian soil where he has not lost since 2018… Since the end of the American tour (which he had been deprived of due to non-vaccination), the World No. 5, recent winner in Adelaide, has resumed its infernal rhythm as a winning machine.

23 successes in his last 24 outings (including the Masters) with the only hitch being the Bercy final (won by Rune).

There is one who is particularly happy to find Melbourne!

🕺 @DjokerNole

(🎥 @AustralianOpen)

— We Are Tennis France (@WeAreTennisFR) January 15, 2023

Suffice to say that even with hamstrings that seem to squeak a little, the Belgradois acts as a big favorite.

"Without a doubt it's him," slips Nadal.

In the absence of Carlos Alcaraz, injured, a new coronation in the State of Victoria would even allow him to regain the place of world No. 1, which he has already occupied for 373 weeks!

When we look at the potential painting of the "Djoker", we say to ourselves that good fairies have bent over the draw.

On paper, he should indeed rule out Carballes (75th), Dellien (132nd), Dimitrov (29th), Carreno Busta (15th), Rublev (6th) and Ruud (3rd) on the way to the final…

In addition to the big question mark Nadal, the other contenders are dotted with a Medvedev a little behind in recent months, a Tsitsipas who is struggling to reach the last milestone, an Auger-Aliassime and an ambitious Rune and a Fritz who could play spoilsport.

The whimsical Australian Nick Kyrgios, Wimbledon 2022 finalist, says he is ready to go all the way at home and retire immediately.

Djokovic's new "best friend" should in any case put on a show.

Iga or not Iga?

Again, no need to go looking for noon at two o'clock, especially with the jet lag.

Iga Swiatek goes one step ahead in the quest for her first Australian trophy.

Bombed world No. 1 in the spring of 2022 after Barty's surprise retirement, the 21-year-old Pole has more than assumed her rank.

To the point of winning Roland-Garros and the US Open in the process and now having more than double the points in the WTA rankings than his runner-up Ons Jabeur...

In a circuit where girls have been coming and going without consistency for several years and where the few Grand Slam winners present in Melbourne seem very far from their distant or recent exploits (Ostapenko, Rybakina, Azarenka, Muguruza, Raducanu…), Swiatek is well gone to last.

Especially with his complete game and his sense of adaptation.

“I already feel like I did something great, and I already feel like in my country I make people proud.”@iga_swiatek on what being Polish means to her.

— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) January 12, 2023

The greatest room for improvement for the native of Warsaw, who is accompanied on a daily basis by her psychologist Daria Abramowicz, lies in the management of her emotions.

We saw her crying hot tears into her towel after her dry defeat against the American Pegula at the United Cup.

“There is a fairly strong emotional dimension to her, explained to us the former world No. 1 Justine Henin.

This is one of its lines of work.


Jabeur, Gauff or Sabalenka will be on the lookout to take advantage of the slightest misstep by the No. 1. Without forgetting of course Caroline Garcia, who believes herself more than ever capable of winning her first Major in the next two years, and why not starting January 28...

Is there a Frenchman in the room?

The Garcia tree alone cannot populate the meager tricolor forest.

Among the boys, do not harbor wild ambitions and plan instead to spend sleepless nights in front of the TV from the start of the tournament.

With the immortal Gasquet, new blue-white-red n°1, facing Humbert at the start, we are at least guaranteed to have a Habs in the 2nd round, probably against Kyrgios.

July 25, 2005:

Nadal World No. 2, Gasquet French No. 1

January 16, 2023:

Nadal World No. 2, Gasquet French No. 1

— Oleg S. (@AnnaK_4ever) January 14, 2023

For the rest, we will watch for the debut in a big picture of Luca Van Aasche, 18, winner of Roland-Garros juniors 2021 and in full progress in recent months.

The youngest player among the 150 in the world (142nd) will challenge the Briton Norrie (12th), beaten on Saturday by Gasquet in the final in Auckland.

Former hope Quentin Halys (64th) will have to go through the Tsitsipas box and the "magician" Constant Lestienne (65th) will have a good shot at playing against Monteiro (69th).

Jérémy Chardy, 35, now unclassified and absent from the circuit for a year and a half after right knee surgery, will return against the Colombian Galan (68th).

In the returning category, Laurent Lokoli, from qualifying, can create a surprise against Goffin (53rd).

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-01-15

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