The tournament is headed for a blockbuster, with fans worldwide keeping their eye on top Grand Slam title holders Nadal and Djokovic, while also being eager to witness the change of guard with new faces emerging on the scene in recent months.
With World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz pulling out of the tournament, World No. 2 Nadal, the defending champion at Melbourne Park, is the top seed. Despite the favorable seeding, the Spaniard has been given no mercy, starting with his Round 1 clash against young and rising Brit Jack Draper. The 22-time Grand Slam champion is then likely to face 2022 ATP Next Gen Finals winner Brandon Nakashima (R2), Yoshihito Nishioka (R3), Frances Tiafoe (R4), Daniil Medvedev (QF), Stefanos Tsitsipas (SF) and Novak Djokovic in the final.
Meanwhile, the Serb, who is ranked World No. 5 at the moment, has a steadier draw than his arch-rival. The nine-time champion at Melbourne Park will face Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round, followed by potential meetings with Hugo Dellien (R2), Grigor Dimitrov (R3), Pablo Carreno Busta (R4), Andrey Rublev (QF), Casper Ruud (SF), and the Spaniard in the final.
The draw also includes many popcorn-worthy Round 1 battles. 2020 US Open champion and Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem is set to play World No. 6 Andrey Rublev. Former World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will face a tough test against 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini.
Tennis fans are thus overwhelmed with the outcome of the draw, with many suggesting that Djokovic has lucked out in the draw and declaring that Nadal, who is in poor form, is likely to bow out in the first round against 21-year-old Jack Draper – who is performing well and is currently into the semifinals of the Adelaide International 2.
“Wouldn’t be surprised if Nadal loses in the first rd to Draper; wouldn’t be surprised if Djokovic doesn’t lose a set the entire tournament. #AusOpen.”
Wouldn’t be surprised if Nadal loses in the first rd to Draper; wouldn’t be surprised if Djokovic doesn’t lose a set the entire tournament. #AusOpen
— Tennis Connected (@TennisConnected) January 12, 2023
“You cannot get an easier draw than this for Novak, even if he has chosen the players himself.”
You cannot get an easier draw than this for Novak, even if he has chosen the players himself
— Deepak Kalyanaraman (@GOAT_Nadal) January 12, 2023
Here are a few more reactions from fans to the 2023 Australian Open draw:
Handover that fucking trophy to Novaxx..after seeing the draw hamstring injury will disappear…Insane luck..Truly gifted athelete of all time.. https://t.co/CJoXRszESb
— Super Duper Carl Hooper (@CarlHooper44) January 12, 2023
Direct entry to Final for Djokovic 🥳
— Shalin Shah (@Fibonalysis) January 12, 2023
This doesn’t make sense honestly… entering into the competition as the first seed and still getting this type of draw is baffling, sincerely
— AnnieXavier (@AnnieXavierx) January 12, 2023
Corruption. Draw rigged for a Novak win
— 𝐏𝐚𝐝𝐫𝐞 (@_JeuNadal) January 12, 2023
Rafa is doomed https://t.co/a9V4RDAWSH
— Lakshya Chopra (@LakshyaNotLaksh) January 12, 2023
They put Nadal, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Felix all in the same half ffs 💀. This is literally going to be Novak’s easiest GS win ever. If he doesn’t win this slam without dropping a set, he’s disqualified from the GOAT debate in my book
— H (@rafan_99) January 12, 2023
Never seen worse draws in my life 🤬🤬🤬
— Sports ❤️ only (@MyahhhhMyah) January 12, 2023
Wtf how no.1 seed player got draw like this..Djokovic didn’t get before like this… full of corruption and favor to that clown …🖕😤 https://t.co/7nuWxskrnX
— Rafa Raj🐐🦸♂️ (@Rafa_GOAT_) January 12, 2023
nadal is honestly SO COOOOKED omg this draw is BRUTAL https://t.co/1SH0SO5vh5
— AG 𓃰 (@Karamvstafa) January 12, 2023
— 🧑🌾🛸 (@butterflierer) January 12, 2023
The lack of luck this man has… https://t.co/1eCjd9mjy6
— Maria (Australian Open Era) (@tennisfa1) January 12, 2023
With the kind of draw Djokovic has, not winning AO will be shame.
— Ankit Jindal (@ankitjindal2013) January 12, 2023
Why did they do Andy like that😭
Also I think Draper has a decent chance vs Nadal with how he’s been playing recently and Rafas poor form.
Rublev team should also be good! https://t.co/DdjqM8v0z8
— Louis M (@louismyers110) January 12, 2023
Andy playing Matteo motherfucking Berrettini Round 1. I want to commit several crimes. I am fuming.
— Maria (@tennislols) January 12, 2023
— AlistairJeffs (@AlistairJeffs) January 12, 2023
wtf is domi vs andrey and andy vs berrettini and nadal vs draper 😭😭😭
— fifteendozenroses (@koonchwe) January 12, 2023
mens AO draw is so chaotic, what’s up with berrettini vs andy murray and rublev vs thiem ☠️
— carla | 🎾 (🏁 offseason) (@carlafiorenzo) January 12, 2023
Okay in all honesty, that’s one hell of a draw for Nadal. I won’t be surprised if he goes home first round, especially with the way Draper has been hitting. Still think Djokovic potentially facing Kygrios is tougher than anything nadal will have to face until the finals though
— heisen(new acc) (@bookmaker10i) January 12, 2023
The significance of Australian Open 2023 for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
The World No. 2 Spaniard, being the defending champion, will have the enormous task of defending 2000 points in the tournament. If he is to crash out in the first round against Jack Draper, the 36-year-old is likely to face the risk of dropping out of the top-10 in the rankings for the first time since entering the elite group in 2005.
The Serb, meanwhile, will be vying for the World No. 1 spot, a record-extending tenth title at the Australian Open, and his 22nd Grand Slam title, to equal the record created by his Spanish arch-rival.