The 2022 Australian Open gets underway in Melbourne on Monday 17 January and turns through to Sunday 30 January when the highly anticipated men’s final will conclude the first Grand Slam event of 2022.
As always, the Australian Open is one of the most popular events on the men’s circuit, attracting all the leading names in the game looking to add their name to the list of previous winners.
That list of names is not that long over the past 16 years. In that time, there have been just four different names added to the trophy thanks to the dominance of the imperial Novak Djokovic who has won nine Australian Open titles since 2006. Roger Federer has collected five titles in that same period with Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka adding one title apiece.
2022 promises to be another fascinating year. There are still question marks over Djokovic’s attendance in Melbourne and Federer has already confirmed he will not be playing again this year following long-standing injury issues.
Despite uncertainty around Djokovic’s attendance, he is still the favourite to add to his record haul of Australian Open titles. Betway Sports has Djokovic at 2.10 to win the Australian Open for the fourth consecutive year with last year’s runner up, Daniil Medvedev second favourite at 3.25 and Alexander Zverev at 5.00.
Rafael Nadal will be hoping to add to his own impressive collection of Grand Slams, adding to his one previous win at the Australian Open. He is 8.00 with Betway to win in 2022.
Here is everything you need to know about the Australian Open Tennis 2022:
When: 17 January to 30 January 2022
Where: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
Prize Money: $4,400,000 (Singles Winner)
Prize Purse: $54,000,000
If Djokovic does not appear in Melbourne, this could be one of the most open fields in the Men’s Australian Open in the past decade. Djokovic’s dominance on the hard courts of Melbourne has taken away some of the excitement for viewers, although Djokovic is always entertaining to watch and undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
The women’s Australian Open, by contrast, has seen eight names added to the trophy in the last decade, making it an extremely open field and it is hoped that some of the younger names emerging in the men’s game will be able to break Djokovic’s hold over the tournament and a new name could be added to the trophy in 2022.
Can Djokovic defend for the fourth time?
If Djokovic plays at the Australian Open in 2022, he will be aiming to collect a fourth straight title and a record-breaking tenth title in total since collecting his first win back in 2008. Remarkably during that time, Djokovic has never been a runner-up and has a 91% win rate in Melbourne.
There will be some extra motivation for Djokovic in Melbourne as he looks to overtake rival Federer and Nadal in total Grand Slams. All three players sit on 20 Grand Slam wins and this will be Djokovic’s second chance to take the outright lead, having lost the US Open final to Daniil Medvedev, denying him the clean sweep of Grand Slams in 2021.
Given his past history at the Australian Open and his form heading into the tournament, you would be hard-pressed to back against him making it 21 Grand Slams if he competes.
Can Nadal make it to 21 first?
Djokovic is not the only man trying to win his 21st Grand Slam in Melbourne. Rafael Nadal will also be desperate to pick up his 21st title, adding to his one and only Australian Open victory back in 2009. He has lost in four finals since his single victory in Melbourne, twice to Djokovic, once to Federer and once to Wawrinka.
The Australian Open will be another step on the road to recovery for Nadal who missed the second half of the 2021 season due to a foot injury. He withdrew from the US Open ten days before it was due to begin and whilst he said that would be the end of his season, he did come back for some exhibition tennis in December, losing in the semi-final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship to a resurgent Andy Murray.
Will 2022 be Medvedev’s year?
Daniil Medvedev enjoyed a breakout year in 2021, picking up his first Grand Slam victory at the season-ending US Open where he defeated Djokovic in straight sets. Prior to that, he has lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open earlier that year and the 2019 US Open final to Nadal.
25-year-old Medvedev has his career ahead of him whereas Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are all approaching the end of theirs. He is one of an exciting new crop of talent in the men’s game along with Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem.
Given his record at the Australian Open, Medvedev has to be one of the favourites to lift his second Grand Slam in Melbourne and a big season could await the big-hitting Russian.
A lot will depend on whether Djokovic is able to attend, however, 2022 could be the most open Men’s Australian Open field for decades with a lot of talented players hoping to get their name on a trophy that has been dominated by one man over the past decade. All eyes will be on Melbourne in early January and no matter who wins, we can be assured of some sensational tennis by some of the biggest names in the game.