Despite the retirement of Ash Barty and Serena Williams over the past year, the women's field at the Australian Open is stronger than ever. Americans Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff continue to thrive. Ons Jabeur is getting closer to her first Grand Slam title. Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari have staked their claims in the top 10 and aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
But there's one woman on everyone's minds: Iga Swiatek, the terminator who took over women's tennis in 2022. She broke out last year, winning 37 straight matches and two Grand Slam trophies. She was masterful at the French Open and a dominant force at the US Open, and while her run of success didn't start until February, she made it to the semifinals at the 2022 Australian Open. She was one win away from capturing three Grand Slam titles in a year.
Swiatek might be the favorite, but her win is far from guaranteed. Anyone in the top 10 is strong enough to knock her off. In fact, Pegula beat her just over a week ago in the final of the United Cup. If everyone is in top form, fans are in for two weeks of thrilling tennis.
When is the 2023 Australian Open?
The 2023 Australian Open begins Monday and runs through Jan. 29. The women's quarterfinals begin Jan. 23. Both semifinal matches will be played Jan. 26. The women's singles final will be played Jan. 28 at 3:30 a.m. ET.
Who won't be at the Australian Open?
Two familiar names have already withdrawn due to injuries. Venus Williams, who was awarded a main draw wild-card spot, pulled out a few weeks ago due to an unspecified injury. Naomi Osaka withdrew Jan. 9 and later revealed that she's pregnant with her first child and will miss the entire season. Simona Halep will also not be at the Aussie Open, as she's still suspended after testing positive for a banned substance last year.
Australian Open women's seeds
Paula Badosa (withdrawn)
Beatriz Haddad Maia
Players to watch
In 2022, Swiatek proved that she is the one to beat on the women's tour. She had a historic 37-match winning streak that started before the French Open and ended in the middle of Wimbledon. She won the French Open for the second time and the US Open for the first time. And she's just 21. The expectations for her in 2023 are huge, but Swiatek, whose traveling team contains a sports psychiatrist, might be uniquely equipped to meet (or even surpass) them.
Jabeur didn't win a Grand Slam tournament in 2022, but she came close twice. She finished second to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon and second to Iga Swiatek at the US Open. She's now the No. 2 women's tennis player in the world, the highest ranking of her career, and could reach new heights in 2023.
Now the highest-ranked American woman on the WTA tour and the No. 3 women's player in the world, Pegula took big strides in 2022. She had career-best finishes at all four Grand Slams, including three quarterfinal exits. She continues to improve at every tournament and has her sights set on capturing her first Grand Slam title in 2023, but she'll have sharp competition from Swiatek and Jabeur.
Still just 18, Gauff took a big step forward in 2022, which brought her to the edge of her first Grand Slam trophy. She still has room for growth in her game, but again, she's 18. She has a lot of time to make those adjustments and continues to get better with every tournament. She's not old enough to legally drink, yet she's essentially a seasoned WTA veteran. The best is yet to come for Gauff.
Raducanu's in a special place right now: the land of reduced expectations. More than a year after her shocking win at the 2021 US Open, she's no longer the ingenue. She has gone through several coaches, several injuries and (more than) several British tabloids putting her under intense scrutiny.
Australian Open 2023 women's odds
With the defending Australian Open women's singles champ retired and pregnant with her first child, Swiatek took over in 2022, and she has great odds to win the first Grand Slam of 2023.
Iga Swiatek +240
Aryna Sabalenka +700
Jessica Pegula +1000
Coco Gauff +1400
Ons Jabeur +1400
Caroline Garcia +1400
Belinda Bencic +1600
How to watch the 2023 Australian Open
ESPN has the broadcast rights to the 2023 Australian Open. Given that Melbourne is 16 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone, match coverage and in-studio analysis will begin on ESPN or ESPN2 around 7-9 p.m. ET.
Full court coverage will be available on ESPN+ and can be watched live or replayed later.