Australian Open starts on January 20, Monday with the biggest names in the world of tennis taking the courts at Melbourne Park amidst worries over air quality due to the Australian bushfire crisis. The qualifying and practice ahead of the main draw of the Australian Open has been marred by bad air and the players and officials will be hoping for a better air quality. Australia Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, is a 14-day tournament. The women's singles final is on February 1 while the men's singles final is February 2. Like at the US Open, there are separate day and night sessions. The matches will take place from 5.30AM IST onwards every day.
Ash Barty is seeded No.1 in the women's draw while Rafael Nadal is the No.1 seed in the men's draw. However, Japan's Naomi Osaka is the defending champion in women's singles and Novak Djokovic of Serbia will be looking to defend his men's singles crown.
Last year, Osaka won her second Grand Slam title in a row by edging Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 in the women's final. The victory also allowed Osaka to move atop the WTA rankings for the first time, becoming the first man or woman representing Japan to sit at No.1. A day later, Djokovic produced a remarkably mistake-free and overpowering performance in the men's final to rout Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 for a record seventh Australian Open championship and a third consecutive Grand Slam title. "Truly a perfect performance," Djokovic called it.
WHO WILL BE MISSING? It turned out Andy Murray didn't walk away from tennis after last year's Australian Open, which was what everyone expected after his tear-filled departure from Melbourne. He wound up having a second hip operation, then coming back to the tour later in 2019. But Murray will not be making a return to Australia in 2020, forced to withdraw this time because of an injury to his pelvis. Others withdrawing because of health issues include reigning U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu, 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori, 2016 Olympic champion Monica Puig and top-ranked Australian Alex de Minaur.
PRIZE MONEY: A tournament-record total of 71 million Australian dollars (about $49 million), with 4.12 million Australian dollars (about $2.85 million) each to the women's and men's singles champions.
What time will the Australian Open 2020 matches start?
The Australian Open matches will start at 5:30 AM on Monday, January 20. The Australian Open matches will be played at Melbourne Park.
Where to watch Australian Open 2020 matches on TV?
The Australian Open 2020 matches can be viewed on the television sets on Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD, Sony TEN 2 and Sony TEN 2 HD.
Where to watch Australian Open 2020 matches on live streaming?
The live streaming of Australian Open 2020 matches will be available on SonyLIV app and sonyliv.com for subscribed users.