Australian Open 2023: Women’s singles draw preview and analysis

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The 2023 Australian Open draw is out after the ceremony that was conducted on Thursday afternoon at Melbourne Park. Let’s do a quick preview and highlight the leading players in each quarter.

Iga Swiatek made her first Grand Slam semifinals on hardcourts last year at the Australian Open.

First quarter

The first quarter features top seed and world number one Iga Swiatek, who opens her Australian Open campaign against Jule Niemeier, the player she defeated in their only previous meeting, in three sets in the fourth round of the 2022 US Open.

Another Grand Slam champion in this quarter is Bianca Andreescu, who is Swiatek’s potential third-round opponent. But in order to progress, Andreescu will have to overcome a big obstacle in her opener, 25th seed Marie Bouzkova, the Czech who beat her in three sets in the semifinals of the Phillip Island Trophy WTA 250 event in Melbourne two years ago.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is another big name in the first quarter. The representative of Kazakhstan has never been past the third round at the Australian Open. Her potential opponent in the round of 32 will be last year’s finalist Danielle Collins, whom she defeated in the first round of the 2023 Adelaide International 1.

Jelena Ostapenko and possibly still injured Emma Raducanu are two major champions in the bottom half of the first quarter, but seventh seed Coco Gauff is a bigger threat, as she won the ASB Classic title a week ago without dropping a set.

Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula reached the Australian Open quarterfinals in her past two appearances in Melbourne.

Second quarter

Third seed Jessica Pegula and sixth seed Maria Sakkari are strongest contenders in the second quarter of the women’s singles draw. The Australian Open is Pegula’s most successful Grand Slam, as she reached back-to-back quarterfinals in Melbourne the previous two seasons. Moreover, Pegula kicked off the year 2023 by leading Team USA to the inaugural United Cup title and en route to that triumph the American stunned top-ranked Iga Swiatek.

The highest-profile first-round clash in this quarter is that between unseeded Sofia Kenin and seed No.24 Victoria Azarenka, who have three Australian Open women’s singles titles between them.

Major champions Petra Kvitova and Barbora Krejcikova are also here.

A prominent first-round clash in this quarter will be Marta Kostyuk vs. seed No.28 Amanda Anisimova.

Caroline Garcia
Caroline Garcia of France is the highest seed in the third quarter of the women’s singles draw.

Third quarter

Fourth seed Caroline Garcia and eighth seed Daria Kasatkina stand out in the third quarter, which also features former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova, ninth seed Veronika Kudermetova and seed No.16 Anett Kontaveit. The most interesting first-round clash in this part of the draw is that between Alize Cornet and 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during the champions photo shoot of the 2023 Adelaide International 1 WTA 500 tennis tournament

Fourth quarter

Second seed Ons Jabeur and fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka headline the fourth quarter.

Jabeur missed the 2022 Australian Open because of a back injury. The Tunisian opened the 2023 season with a run to the Adelaide International 1 semifinals, but in her three-setter against Linda Noskova there, she needed a medical timeout for treatment on her back. Still, Jabeur is a strong contender, having reached the finals at her previous two Grand Slam appearances.

Sabalenka kicked off the year by winning her 11th career title at the Adelaide International 1 without dropping a set. The only Sabalenka’s title that isn’t from a hardcourt tournament is the 2021 Madrid Open.

Notable first-round encounters in this quarter are: Garbine Muguruza vs. Elise Mertens and Sloane Stephens vs. Anastasia Potapova.

You can see the full women’s singles draw at the official tournament website.

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