Australian Open 2023: draw, dates, schedule, tickets, how to watch

The pounding of tennis balls racing at superhuman speeds is about to ring out at Melbourne Park, where the world’s best players will compete to pursue Australian Open trophies.

If you’re among the hundreds of thousands of fans heading to Melbourne Park for the 2023 tournament, or planning your summer plan to watch the Grand Slam from the comfort of your own home, here’s a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know.

When and where is the Open?

The tournament starts on Monday 16th January. The women’s final will take place on January 28th and the men’s final on January 29th. Matches will be played at Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court, John Cain Arena and outdoor courts at Melbourne Park.

Gates open at 10am and later on the last three days. For night sessions, the gates open at 5:00 p.m. The game times are updated online in the AO schedule. The Australian Open draw takes place on Thursday 12 January at 3pm and decides the first order of play.

Dominic Thiem serves during a training session on Monday.

Dominic Thiem serves during a training session on Monday.Credit:Getty Images

Who are the stars?

Novak Djokovic returns to Melbourne Park after being deported in 2022 over his COVID-19 vaccination status. Djokovic has won the Grand Slam event nine times since 2008 and is currently ranked No. 5 in the men’s world.

Nick Kyrgios, who finished last year’s Wimbledon runners-up and also reached the quarterfinals at the US Open, is believed to be Australia’s best hope for glory.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who won the Australian Open in 2022, returns to defend the title. He won his first Australian Open in 2009 and has been in the men’s final six times since then.

Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in the 2022 Australian Open final, spent about 16 weeks as world No. 1 last year. His ranking deteriorated after losing to Kyrgios at the US Open in September and he is currently ranked No. 7 in the world.

Iga Swiatek is the No. 1 female tennis player in the world. The 21-year-old withdrew from the Adelaide International in the first week of January to recover from a shoulder problem. She reached the quarterfinals of the 2022 Australian Open tournament.

Ons Jabeur finished runners-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022 and is currently ranked No. 2 in the world for women. If she won the women’s singles it would be her first Grand Slam title and the first by an Arab player.

Ons Jabeur finished runners-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022.

Ons Jabeur finished runners-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022. Credit:AP

Schlager Aryna Sabalenka, who won this year’s women’s singles at the Adelaide International, is currently No. 5 in the world. She is chasing an elusive Grand Slam title after serving fights at the 2022 Australian Open.

World No. 3 Jessica Pegula defeated favorite Swiatek at the United Cup in Sydney this month. She reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2022 and 2021.

There are several significant players retiring from the Open, including men’s world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and veteran Venus Williams, a former singles champion, due to injury. Naomi Osaka, the 2019 Australian Open women’s winner, also pulled out and just announced she’s pregnant.

How many tickets are there and what are the prices?

The Open targets 900,000 fans through the gates over three weeks, including training and qualifying matches.

People going to Melbourne Park can purchase a variety of tickets that grant access to multiple arenas and areas.

Ground passes, which grant access to unlimited seating at John Cain Arena and some outdoor courts, subject to availability, are priced at $59 for adults and $10 for children ages three to 14 for the first week of the tournament.

Australian Open.

Australian Open.Credit:Getty Images

  • Ground passes for entry during the semifinals (January 26 & 27) are $28 for adults
  • For the finals on January 28th and 29th, ground passes are $23 for adults

Arena seat reservation ticket prices depend on the round and the seats selected

  • Day tickets reserved by Rod Laver start at $69 for adults and $55 for concessions, while night tickets start at $79 for adults and $63 for concessions.
  • Day tickets reserved by Margaret Court start at $65 for adults, night tickets from $69. For discounts, day passes start at $52 and $55 for the night.
  • Tickets reserved by John Cain start at $65 for adults and $52 for concession tickets.

Tickets can be purchased on the Australian Open website or through Ticketmaster.

What else is there to do?

Some of Melbourne’s best foodie culture will be showcased during the tournament, while entertainment increases throughout the event and there are plenty of activities for families.

Dining and entertainment areas are back for the 2023 tournament.

Dining and entertainment areas are back for the 2023 tournament. Credit:Eddie Jim

For children, the Australian Open Ball Park offers an aerial adventure with obstacles, a water slide and an entertainment stage.

If folks fancy a hit with a racquet or maybe a racquet, fans will find cardio tennis, POP tennis (tennis on short courts), Mexican doubles padel, totem tennis and table tennis at AO Tennis Club.

For early risers, visitors can take a First Nations walking tour of Melbourne Park and the MCG, and the Open will host a First Nations Day on January 18th. The second week of the tournament will feature an All Abilities Day and a Pride Day.

A festival during the final will feature performances by electronic duo Flight Facilities, New Zealand singer-songwriter Benee and Australian artist Vanessa Amorosi.

Yet it’s the dozen dining options that fans are spoiled for choice. Many dining options are accessible with a Ground Pass, and some require booking as part of a ticket.

A dining area overlooking the garden square features a Supernormal restaurant serving Asian-inspired dishes created by Andrew McConnell. The restaurant is available for walk-ins and with ticketed bookings.

Nearby, reservations are required for Rockpool Bar and Grill, which serves a three-course meal, and for a Penfolds restaurant, which pairs wines with its menu.

A greenhouse-like structure dubbed “The Atrium” will offer views of the Yarra River from the River Terrace Deck, where Executive Chef Jacqui Challinor’s has prepared a menu from Sydney and Melbourne’s NOMAD restaurants. Bookings are not essential but can be included in tickets.

In a beach bar district, Sydney-based chef Josh Niland – known for his fish butchery – offers a sample of Charcoal Fish restaurant. Niland will also be giving a talk on his approach to eating seafood on Tuesday 17th January. There is an AO Spritz Bar nearby. There are also restaurants from Rocco’s Bologna, Ca Com, Karkalla, Elsies Tacos y Liquor, The B.EAST, Tremilia Pizza and Fishbowl.

The tournament features “superboxing” with chef Shane Delia preparing a Middle Eastern menu at his Maha restaurant in Melbourne. For the second week, Stokehouse Restaurant in St Kilda is offering a three course meal in the Glass House.

What should I bring and what is the best way to get to Melbourne Park?

With high temperatures set to remain in the high 20s for the start of the Open, event managers are advising people to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a water bottle. The event is cashless.

Australian Open ticket holders can use the 70 and 70a trams between stop D6-Flinders Street West and stop 7C MCG 4-7/John Cain Arena free of charge. People traveling outside of this route need a valid myki pass.

Richmond, Flinders Street and Jolimont train stations are within walking distance of Melbourne Park. However, passengers on the Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston and Stony Point lines and Gippsland’s V/Line services should check the PTV website for disruption information.

There are four public entrances to the Australian Open:

  • City Entrance (recommended for families going to AO Ballpark)
  • Garden Square Entrance (recommended for access to Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena)
  • Richmond Entrance (recommended for access to Practice Village and John Cain Arena)
  • Grand Slam Oval Entrance (recommended for access to the John Cain Arena and the many dining options at the Grand Slam Oval)

    A taxi rank is located on Olympic Boulevard next to the Grand Slam Oval. There are also designated ride-sharing options further east on Olympic Boulevard outside of John Cain Arena and near the Richmond entrance.

    Parking can be purchased as an upgrade when booking a ticket, but space is limited. Public parking in Yarra Park is available for $10. They don’t accept cash so make sure you have a credit card handy.

    Where else can you watch games?

    Games can be followed on large screens in the area. Games are also shown daily in Federation Square, with some variations for Lunar New Year and Australia Day.

    Nine, the broadcast partner of the Australian Open and owner of this legal notice, will be able to stream every game on every court on 9Now for free. Stan Sport shows every game ad-free.

    More than 270 hours of tennis coverage will be broadcast on 9HD and 9GemHD.

    Nine’s commentary team includes Jim Courier, Todd Woodbridge, Lleyton Hewitt, Jelena Dokic, Dylan Alcott, Casey Dellacqua, SamSmith, Alice Molik, Markus Philippoussis, Darren Cahill and Peter Psaltis. Australian Open 2023: draw, dates, schedule, tickets, how to watch

Ryan Sederquist

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