Novak Djokovic, a record nine-time champion, and defending champion Rafael Nadal headline the 2023 Australian Open, where the men's Grand Slam singles titles record is at stake.
Djokovic is PointsBet Sportsbook's favorite despite being seeded fourth after missing last year's Australian Open and U.S. Open because of his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Serb won his last 21 Australian Open matches since a fourth-round defeat in 2018. He is bidding to tie the record of 11 Australian Open singles titles held by Margaret Court and become the second man to win any major 10 times.
The other man to do it is of course Nadal, who owns 14 French Open crowns. Nadal also owns the men's record 22 Grand Slam singles titles overall, just one ahead of Djokovic.
Last year, Nadal won the Australian Open on the heels of a chronic foot injury that had him questioning coming back to tennis at all. He also overcame foot problems to win the French Open, then reach the Wimbledon semifinals before withdrawing with an abdominal muscle tear.
Starting with his U.S. Open fourth-round defeat, Nadal went 1-6 in his seven matches leading into the Australian Open.
This is the first Australian Open since Roger Federer's retirement. Also missing: the injured world No. 1 and U.S. Open champion Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, who at 19 became the youngest men's Grand Slam champion since Nadal's first title at the 2005 French Open.
Norwegian Casper Ruud, the runner-up at last year's French Open and U.S. Open, and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, a three-time Australian Open semifinalist, are the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds between Nadal and Djokovic. Ruud is in Djokovic's half. Tsitsipas is in Nadal's half.
MORE: Australian Open Women's Draw
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2023 Australian Open men's singles draw, bracket originally appeared on NBCSports.com
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