For the French, this draw was cruel: the N.1 tricolor Caroline Garcia (4th in the world), in search of her first major title, could face Alizé Cornet (34th), quarter-finalist in the second round. last year and the only other Frenchwoman qualified directly for the main draw by her ranking (Diane Parry obtained an invitation).
It is still necessary that Cornet dismisses in the first round the Canadian Leylah Fernandez (39th and finalist of the US Open 2021).
For her part, Garcia will face a player from qualifying for the start.
Among the men, Richard Gasquet (67th) will face his compatriot Ugo Humbert (108th) in the first round.
Novak Djokovic, expelled from the country last year before the start of the tournament for lack of an anti-Covid vaccine, will try to equal Nadal's Grand Slam title record (22).
And who will be able to prevent the one who presents himself as the big favorite from lifting the Australian trophy for the tenth time (a record)?
The top 10 men's seeds at the 2023 Australian Open Grand Slam tournament © John SAEKI / AFP
Ultra-favorable balance sheets
Fate put the Spaniard Roberto Carballes (75th) on his way in the first round then, if we follow the logic of the classification, the Bolivian Hugo Dellien (132nd), the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (29th), the Spaniard Pablo Carreno ( 15th), the Russian Andrey Rublev (6th) and the Norwegian Casper Ruud (3rd), for a final in apotheosis against Nadal (2nd), who became seeded N.1 after the withdrawal of his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.
Djokovic's record against all of his first six potential opponents is 21 wins for 4 losses in total, only Carreno having beaten him twice...
On the contrary, Nadal will have a lot to do when he enters the defense of his title: in the first round, he who has lost six of his last seven matches will face one of the players in form at the moment, the Briton Jack Draper (40th).
The top 10 female seeds at the 2023 Australian Open Grand Slam tournament © John SAEKI / AFP
He will then find on his theoretical route the American Brandon Nakashima (47th), the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka (33rd), the American Frances Tiafoe (17th) - who eliminated him from the last US Open in the round of 16 -, the Russian Daniil Medvedev (8th) for a rematch of the Australian 2022 final, and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (4th) in half, before the possible dream final against Djokovic.
For Nadal too, the record against the first six opponents is largely favorable (16 wins for 4 losses and only Tsitsipas has beaten him twice), but the pedigree of the opposition is more worrying.
Two shocks will also occur in the first round: the Briton Andy Murray (49th) will face the Italian slugger Matteo Berrettini (14th) and the Austrian puncher Dominic Thiem (99th), back in Melbourne after missing the 2022 edition through injury , will challenge Russian hitter Rublev.
Duel of winners
In the women's draw, in the absence of defending champion Ashleigh Barty, who has retired, and after the withdrawal of pregnant Naomi Osaka at the last minute, there are only two players in the draw who have won the tournament: Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (25th) and American Sofia Kenin (280th)... and they will face each other in the first round!
French N.1 Caroline Garcia during the United Cup, mixed tennis event, January 3, 2023 in Perth, Australia © COLIN MURTY / AFP/Archives
Three players are emerging as the main contenders: the undisputed Polish world No.1 Iga Swiatek, who wants a third Grand Slam title (after Roland-Garros 2020 and 2022, as well as the US Open 2022), the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (2nd), who remains in two major finals (Wimbledon and US Open), and the French Caroline Garcia (4th), a player in great shape at the end of last season, winner of the WTA Masters and also looking for her first Grand Slam title.
Of the three, it is Jabeur and Garcia who are in the same half of the table to possibly face each other in the semi-finals, before challenging Swiatek in the final.
Tunisian Ons Jabeur during the WTA tournament in Adelaide 1, January 7, 2023 © Brenton EDWARDS / AFP/Archives
But, for her part, the Pole will have a denser table, with three Americans on her way: in 8th, she could face the American Danielle Collins (14th), finalist last year, then Coco Gauff (7th), finalist of the last Roland-Garros, and finally Jessica Pegula (3rd) in half.
© 2023 AFP