Novak Djokovic will be the man to beat at the Australian Open 2023, the first Grand Slam of the season. The Happy Slam has many reasons for interest, and great anticipation winds among insiders, media and fans, for the first major event of the Game of the season that has just begun.
For the first time, there will be a Slam after Roger Federer and Serena Williams' farewell. But there will be all the other stars of world tennis, such as Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek, while the Wolrd no.1 Carlos Alcaraz will be out.
The players who wrote the Australian Open history
Between the 1930s and 1970s, women's singles was essentially tied to three names: Nancye Wynne, winner of 6 titles, by the Queen of Australian Open Margaret Smith (who still holds the 11-title record) and Evonne Goolagong, winner of four tournament editions .
In the men's singles, the tournament had three dominators between the 1940s and the 1970s: Ken Rosewall, 4-title winner, Roy Emerson, 6-title winner and Rod Laver, who triumphed 3 times. The 1920s were an important season, because there were also the first editions of the women's singles: those were the years dominated by Daphne Akhurst, winner of 5 editions of the tournament.
The 1920s and 1930s were instead in men's singles marked by Jack Crowford, Don Badge, Fred Perry and Jean Borotra. In the mid 2000 s and 2010s, important victories came for Marat Safin, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. In the women's singles there were the 7 titles of Serena Williams, but also the victories of Victoria Azarenka (2 titles), Maria Sharapova, Kim Klijisters, Li Na, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Naomi Osaka and Sofia Kenin.
Last season, Rafael Nadal wrote men's tennis history, by winning his 2nd AO title and his 21st Slam, while Ashleigh Barty won a Slam for Australian, in Melbourne, after years. The 1980s were the years of Mats Wilander (3 titles), Stefan Edberg (2 titles), Ivan Lendl (2 titles), Martina Navratilova (3 titles), Chris Evert (2 titles) and Steffi Graf (4 titles), followed, in the 90s, by Jim Courier, Boris Becker (2 titles), Andre Agassi (4 titles), Pete Sampras (2 titles), Monica Seles (4 titles) and Martina Hingis (3 titles).
From the 2000s to today the men's singles was dominated by Roger Federer (6 titles) and Novak Djokovic (9 titles, records). The Swiss and Serb are perhaps considered the greatest men's singles tennis players at the Australian Open, despite the different surface compared to classic tennis (in fact the tournament was played on grass-courts untill 1988).