The list of notable withdrawals from this year’s Australian Open continues to grow with organisers confirming two-time champion Naomi Osaka will not be playing in Melbourne.
The 25-year-old, who lifted the trophy in 2019 and 2021, has not played since September, and has slipped to 42 in the world rankings. No reason was given for her withdrawal with organisers promoting Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska to the main draw in her place.
It remains to be seen whether British number one Emma Raducanu will compete after she rolled her ankle at the ASB Classic on Thursday.
Osaka’s absence adds to that of men’s world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz and Venus Williams with both missing out due to injury,
Alcaraz, who won his maiden grand slam title at the US Open in September, revealed he suffered a muscle injury in his right leg during pre-season training.
The timing of this latest injury is extremely unfortunate and robs the Australian Open of one of its most exciting drawcards.
Alcaraz’s absence means his compatriot Rafael Nadal is set to be top seed for the defence of his title at Melbourne Park.
Williams has been forced to withdraw after suffering an injury in a warm-up tournament in New Zealand.
The seven-time singles grand-slam winner was originally awarded a wildcard but picked up an injury at the ASB Classic in Auckland. The 42-year-old’s wildcard place has now been awarded to Australian world No 173 Kim Birrell.
When is the Australian Open?
The tournament starts at Melbourne Park on Monday, January 16 and will finish on Sunday, January 29.
When is the Australian Open draw?
The draw will take place on Thursday, January 12.
Australian Open men’s singles main draw entry list
Australian Open women’s singles main draw entry list
How to watch the Australian Open 2023 on TV
In the UK, Eurosport has the broadcasting rights to live action from Melbourne. In the US, the tournament is broadcast on ESPN.
What is the latest news?
All eyes will be on Novak Djokovic as he returns to the tournament. The 21-time major winner was deported last year by the government after entering the country on a visa that he thought qualified him for an exemption from Covid vaccination.
He was banned from returning for three years but Australia has since lifted its requirement for visitors to show proof of vaccination status and a new government confirmed last month Djokovic could again legally enter the country.
“I’ll be there a week before my first match, as I normally do, training, getting used to the difference in the conditions and the speed of the court… let’s see. I hope I’ll be received well,” Djokovic said.
What is the Australian Open prize money?
The Australian Open total prize pool is $76.5 million, up 3.4 per cent on 2022. The singles champions will each take home $2.975 million, so just over £2.47 million.
Who are the defending champions?
Ashleigh Barty beat Danielle Collins to end a 44-year drought for the home nation by winning the 2022 women’s title.
Rafael Nadal fought back from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev and win his 21st grand slam title.
What are the latest odds?
- Novak Djokovic 10/11
- Daniil Medvedev 5/1
- Rafael Nadal 12/1
- Nick Kyrgios 12/1
- Felix Auger Aliassime 14/1
- Iga Swiatek 7/4
- Aryna Sabalenka 10/1
- Caroline Garcia 11/1
- Ons Jabeur 12/1
- Coco Gauff 16/1
Odds correct as of January 7