The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments held each year. Followed by the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, these top tournaments see the very best players in the world heading down under. The ATP Cup has already been held this year with other ATP and WTA warm-up tournaments being held. Players such as defending men's champion Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka showing that they are in good form ahead of this Grand Slam tournament.
Men's Grand Slam tournaments continue to be dominated by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal but recent years have seen others come to the fore. Dominic Thiem won the US Open last year and reached the final of the Australian Open. Players such as Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are also threatening to win their first Grand Slam title. Medvedev is definitely a threat. He ended last year with wins in the Paris Masters and ATP Tour Finals and teamed up with Andrey Rublev to win the ATP Cup this year.
Can anyone break the domination of the top players? Only once since 2006 has the winner not come from Djokovic, Federer or Nadal. Novak Djokovic has won this title for the past two years. He has now won the Australian Open on eight occasions. In the ATP Cup, he won both of his singles matche so again will be the player to beat. There's no Roger Federer this year as he continues to battle injury.
As has been the case for a while now, there will be a major focus on Serena Williams. The American will be attempting to equal the record number of Grand Slam titles, held by Australian Margaret Court. Not since winning this title for the seventh time in 2017, has Williams won a Grand Slam title. There will be plenty of contenders hoping to dethrone 2020 winner Sofia Kenin. World number one, Australian Ashleigh Barty returns to Grand Slam action, hoping to win her first Australian Open title. Other contenders inlcude former winner Naomi Osaka, Simone Halap who reached the final here three years ago and 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek. The women's singles is a far more open tournament than its male equivalent. In the last eight years, there have been seven different wilnners with only Williams winning it twice.