Roger Federer aims for a record seventh title at the Melbourne grand slam
Australian Open 2019
- What: first tennis grand slam of the year
- When: 14-27 January
- Where: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
- Defending champions: Roger Federer (men’s singles); Caroline Wozniacki (women’s singles)
- Full draws: men’s singles; women’s singles
- Surface: hard court outdoors
- TV channel: live on Eurosport
The world’s top tennis players are down under for the 2019 Australian Open – the first grand slam of the season.
Starting on Monday in Melbourne, 128 players will feature in both the men’s and women’s singles tournaments and compete for the trophies and a share of the £35m prize pool.
Last year’s champions Roger Federer (men’s singles) and Caroline Wozniacki (women’s singles) will look to defend their titles on Melbourne’s hard courts.
Here we look at the top ties in the first-round draw, title winner betting odds and TV details for tennis fans in the United Kingdom.
Swiss star Federer, a 20-time grand slam champion, returns to Melbourne as the No.3 seed and he is aiming for his third successive victory.
The 37-year-old beat Marin Cilic in last year’s final and on Monday he faces Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in the opening round.
World No.1 and top seed Novak Djokovic is the bookies’ favourite to win in Melbourne. The Serb takes on a qualifier first up and could then face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.
Both Djokovic and Federer are seeking a record seventh Australian Open crown. Should Federer win down under it would also be his 100th career title.
Rafael Nadal, the 2009 winner and No.2 seed, is in the same side of the draw with Federer. Nadal will play Australian wild card James Duckworth.
Britain’s Andy Murray has a tough test against Spanish 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut. Last year’s semi-finalist and 13th seed Kyle Edmund faces Tomas Berdych. World No.93 Cameron Norrie plays American Taylor Fritz.
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki is seeded No.3 and the Dane will play Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck in round one.
Women’s world No.1 Simona Halep, who lost to Wozniacki in last year’s final, plays Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi. Top seed Halep is in the same half of the draw as seven-time Australian Open winner Serena Williams.
American icon Williams, seeded 16th, opens her tournament against Germany’s Tatjana Maria. If the 37-year-old wins the title in Melbourne she will go level with Margaret Court on a record 24 grand slams.
Second seed Angelique Kerber of Germany will play Slovenian Polona Hercog.
British No.1 Johanna Konta was a semi-finalist in 2016 and she plays Australian Ajla Tomljanovic. Heather Watson faces Petra Martic and Katie Boulter plays Ekaterina Makarova.
Vithun Illankovan, Last Word on Tennis: “Unsurprisingly, my predicted champion is none other than world No.1 and six-time champion Novak Djokovic. His level in the grand slams is currently unmatched and he is capable of winning a third consecutive grand slam without needing to play that well. This makes him a very credible pick to be the 2019 Australian Open champion.”
Greg Rusedski, speaking to Tennis365.com: “I think it’s a fair statement to suggest Novak is favourite for all four grand slams. The other players will need to do something special to get near Djokovic because he is playing tennis that none of them can touch.”
Harry Floyd, Lob and Smash: “Our way too early favorites for the upcoming Australian Open are Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki. Anything can happen in the early weeks of the season but right now, those two have the momentum.”
Tennis Pro Guru: “Predicting any WTA tournament is pretty hard, as the field of possible winners is too wide. We think that Karolina Pliskova would deserve to win a grand slam event finally. However, there is Serena Williams looking for revenge after US Open 2018 unfortunate final. In the end, we will pick Pliskova as youth energy should prevail again.”
Vithun Illankovan, Last Word on Tennis: “Aryna Sabalenka would definitely be considered as a shock winner. The 2019 Australian Open will only be her sixth grand slam main draw and she has never advanced past the first round in Melbourne. In fact, she has yet to advance past the fourth round of any grand slam. However, due to her rapid improvement if there is going to be a shock winner I think it will be her.”
Australian Open on UK TV
The Melbourne grand slam will be shown live in the UK on Eurosport. The Radio Times reports that Amazon Prime customers can subscribe to the Eurosport player for six months for £0.01. The BBC will show highlights.
Australian Open betting odds
Prices according to Oddschecker (as of 10 January).
- Novak Djokovic: 5/4
- Roger Federer: 9/2
- Rafael Nadal: 10/1
- Alexander Zverev: 12/1
- Marin Cilic: 33/1
- Karen Khachanov: 33/1
- Kei Nishikori: 33/1
- Kevin Anderson: 33/1
- Andy Murray: 80/1
- Kyle Edmund: 200/1
- Cameron Norrie: 300/1
- Serena Williams: 5/1
- Angelique Kerber: 7/1
- Aryna Sabalenka: 10/1
- Naomi Osaka: 14/1
- Elina Svitolina: 16/1
- Karolina Pliskova: 18/1
- Ashleigh Barty: 20/1
- Sloane Stephens: 22/1
- Simona Halep: 22/1
- Petra Kvitova: 25/1
- Garbine Muguruza: 28/1
- Johanna Konta: 150/1
Previous Australian Open winners
- 2018: Caroline Wozniacki
- 2017: Serena Williams
- 2016: Angelique Kerber
- 2015: Serena Williams
- 2014: Li Na
- 2013: Victoria Azarenka
- 2012: Victoria Azarenka
- 2011: Kim Clijsters
- 2010: Serena Williams
- 2009: Serena Williams
- 2018: Roger Federer
- 2017: Roger Federer
- 2016: Novak Djokovic
- 2015: Novak Djokovic
- 2014: Stan Wawrinka
- 2013: Novak Djokovic
- 2012: Novak Djokovic
- 2011: Novak Djokovic
- 2010: Roger Federer
- 2009: Rafael Nadal