The 2023 Australian Open begins Monday in Melbourne (Sunday evening in North America). Here are the seven most compelling first round singles matches.
7) Jannik Sinner–Italy vs. Kyle Edmund–Great Britain
This matchup features the 16th ranked player in Jannik Sinner of Italy versus 2018 Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund of Great Britain. Sinner won their only prior meeting, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open tuneup event last week in Adelaide.
6) Andrey Rublev–Russia vs. Dominic Thiem–Austria
Like Sinner, Rublev is the higher ranked player here (sixth in the world), despite the fact he has never been to a grand slam semifinal. He is up against a player who has won the 2020 United States Open. Head-to-head, Rublev has won four of six meetings, including four matches in a row. This will be their first meeting in a grand slam tournament.
5) (26) Elise Mertens–Belgium vs. Garbine Muguruza–Spain
There is no doubt that Mertens, the seeded player, who have a tough first round test as she faces a player that is a two-time major champion. Muguruza won the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon. Muguruza has won two prior meetings. The first match was at the first round of the 2016 United States Open, where Muguruza won 2-6, 6-0, 6-3. The second match was in the semifinals of Dubai in 2021, where Muguruza won 6-4, 7-5.
4) (27) Grigor Dimitrov–Bulgaria vs. Aslan Karatsev–Russia
Here we have two grand slam semifinalists. Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria reached the semifinals of Wimbledon (2014), the Australian Open (2017), and the United States Open (2019). Aslan Karatsev of Russia made the final four of the 2021 Australian Open. Head-to-head, they have beaten each other once. Karatsev beat Dimitrov in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Dimitrov won the quarterfinals of the 2021 San Diego Open 6-1, 1-6, 6-2.
3) (29) Sebastian Korda–United States vs. Christian Garin–Chile
Even though Korda is the seeded player, it was Garin who had the best grand slam result last season as he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. Head-to-head, Korda won their only prior meeting, 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the Halle Open in 2022.
2) (13) Matteo Berrettini–Italy vs. Andy Murray–Great Britain
Here we have Murray, the three-time grand slam champion, against Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon finalist. Murray won the United States Open in 2012, and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. Berrettini made the 2021 Wimbledon final. Berrettini has won three of four meetings head-to-head, including a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 win in the third round of the 2022 United States Open.
1) (24) Viktoria Azarenka–Belarus vs. Sofia Kenin–United States
This fascinating women’s matchup features two grand slam champions. Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013. Kenin won the Australian Open in 2020. Kenin won in the quarterfinals of Acapulco in 2019, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. Azarenka won in the second round of the 2020 Italian Open, 6-0, 6-0.