Australian Open draws 2022: Novak Djokovic in limbo; Naomi Osaka returns

The Australian Open 2022 draws have been officially released four days before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year kicks off. From now on, both defending champions will be playing.

The current No. 1 men’s player has drawn attention to the draw: Novak Djokovic. After being granted a medical exemption to travel to Australia despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19, he was denied entry to the country when he arrived. He has appealed the visa issue and the results are yet to be determined. So Djokovic’s status for Melbourne is still uncertain, however he leads the men’s draw at the moment. He is set to play the world No. 78 player, fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, in the first round.

Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka will play in this year’s tournament. Osaka took time off from the sport after the US Open due to ongoing mental health issues. She sits as the 13th seed, and will face the No. 53 player, Colombian Camila Osorio, in the first round.

There are a few empty places left in the Australian Open draw, which are saved for the qualifiers. The qualifying rounds will end on Friday, January 14 to determine who will take those leftover spots.

Here’s a rundown of the other top seeds heading into the Australian Open 2022, along with the Americans who will play in the tournament.

Men’s Singles Draw

The best players in the world

The second seed is US Open champion Daniil Medvedev. He will play Henri Laaksonen from Switzerland in the first round. Alexander Zverev is the tournament’s No. 3 player. The young German is yet to win his first Grand Slam title.

Rafael Nadal, who is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles won in men’s singles history (20), is ranked No. 6. Nadal missed Wimbledon and the US Open last year due to recurrent injuries.

Three-time Grand Slam winner and five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray will play in Melbourne for the first time since 2019, but this time as a wild card. Murray has played on and off since his hip surgery in 2018. He will face No. 21 player Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4), Andrey Rublev (5), Matteo Berrettini (7), Casper Rudd (8), Felix Auger-Aliassime (9) and Hubert Hurkacz (10) finish the top 10 seeds in the men’s singles draw.

Federer is expected to miss at least the first half of the year as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

american players

There are 13 American men playing at this year’s Australian Open so far, with three top seeds: Taylor Fritz (20), John Isner (22) and Reilly Opelka (23). There is only one all-American matchup in the first round: Isner vs. Maxime Cressy.

Other American male tennis players who have had Grand Slam careers in the past include Sam Querrey, Sebastian Korda, Steve Johnson and Frances Tiafoe.

Women’s Singles Draw

The best players in the world

Australian Ashleigh Barty becomes the number 1 female player in the world. The two-time Grand Slam winner has yet to reach an Australian Open final in her career. His first-round opponent is yet to be determined.

US Open 2021 winner Emma Raducanu (17) will face American Sloane Stephens in the first round. Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam tournament last year.

Spanish player GarbiƱe Muguruza is in third place after winning the 2021 WTA Finals title. The two-time Grand Slam champion reached the Australian Open final once, in 2020.

Many of the top 10 women in this year’s tournament are rookies, with some previous Australian Open champions now seeded lower. For example, 2016 champion Angelique Kerber is ranked 16th this year.

Aryna Sabalenka (2), Barbora Krejcikova (4), Maria Sakkari (5), Anett Kontaveit (6), Iga Swiatek (7), Paula Badosa (8), Ons Jabeur (9) and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (10) complete the Top 10 seeds in the women’s singles draw.

Seven-time champion Serena Williams announced in early December that she will not compete at the Austrailan Open this year.

american players

There will be at least 15 American players at this year’s Grand Slam opener, four of them seeded.

The highest-ranked American player is Sofia Kenin in 11th place. She won the Australian Open in 2020 for her only Grand Slam victory to date. She will face fellow American Madison Keys in the first round.

Young superstar Coco Gauff (18) has never made it past the quarter-final round of a Grand Slam tournament. She will face Chinese player Qiang Wang in the first round.

The other seeded US players include Jessica Pegula (21) and Danielle Collins (27).

Complete Australian Open Draws

male draw

(Australian Open website)

(Australian Open website)

women’s draw

(Australian Open website)

(Australian Open website)