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2023 Australian Open: Pegula, Gauff drawn in top half; opportunity knocks for Fritz

Victoria Chiesa | January 11, 2023


G'day, mate. The draw for the 2023 Australian Open is here.

 

A total of 31 Americans, 14 men and 17 women, will play in the year's first Grand Slam. Before the action officially gets underway at Melbourne Park on Monday (Sunday night in the States), read on to find out more about where your favorite player landed in the field.

Women's draw: Pegula, Gauff land in top half with 2022 finalist Collins and two-time semifinalist Keys

The four highest-ranking American women all landed in the top half of the draw. No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula, No. 7 seed Coco Gauff, No. 10 seed Madison Keys and No. 13 seed Danielle Collins, the 2022 finalist, all landed in the portion of the draw anchored by world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

 

Pegula has reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne in each of the last two years, and going one step further in 2023 could mean she'd get another major meeting with Swiatek. Arriving at Melbourne Park after helping the U.S. win the inaugual United Cup title, Pegula opens against Jaqueline Cristian, a Romanian ranked No. 143 but was a Top 60 player in July last year. 

 

Meanwhile, Gauff landed in Swiatek's quarter; before she thinks about a sixth career match with the top seed, she'll hope for revenge in Round 1: She drew Czech Katerina Siniakova first up in a rematch of her last match of the 2022 season, a 7-6(1), 6-1 defeat at the Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals. 

 

Both Keys and Collins started 2022 with a bang Down Under, and their return in 2023 sees them open against Anna Blinkova and Anna Kalinskaya, respectively. Collins could face Swiatek in Round 4, a rematch of last year's semifinals, but could face former AO semifinalist Karolina Muchova in Round 2 before Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina could loom in Round 3.

Eight of the 17 American women who reached the main draw landed in the top half. No. 28 seed Amanda Anisimova, who faces Ukraine's rising star Marta Kostyuk in her first match, is the projected Round 3 opponent for Pegula, while both Caty McNally and Bernarda Pera landed in the 16th occupied by Gauff.

 

Most notably in this section, the last American woman to win a Grand Slam singles title will face a fellow former major champion in Round 1: Sofia Kenin, who's looking to put an injury-plagued last two years behind her, will face No. 24 seed Victoria Azarenka. The pair are the only former Australian Open champions in the women's draw after the withdrawals of Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka (pregnancies) and Venus Williams (injury). Kenin is currently ranked No. 280, but entered the Australian Open on a protected ranking.

 

Another American who'll hope to spring an upset in Round 1 is McNally. She'll face No.11 seed Paula Badosa, the former No. 2.

Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images.

There is one all-American match in the women's draw: In the bottom half, Madison Brengle will face Claire Liu first up, with the winner to face either No. 12 seed Belinda Bencic or Viktoriya Tomova.

 

First Rounds for American Women at the 2023 Australian Open

(3) Jessica Pegula vs. Jaqueline Cristian (ROU)

(7) Coco Gauff vs. Katerina Siniakova (CZE)

(10) Madison Keys vs. Anna Blinkova

(13) Danielle Collins vs. Anna Kalinskaya

(28) Amanda Anisimova vs. Marta Kostyuk (UKR)

Caty McNally vs. (11) Paula Badosa (ESP)

Sofia Kenin vs. (24) Victoria Azarenka

Bernarda Pera vs. Moyuka Uchijima (JPN)

(WC) Taylor Townsend vs. (WC) Diane Parry (FRA)

Shelby Rogers vs. Arianne Hartono (NED)

Lauren Davis vs. Danka Kovinic (MNE)

Claire Liu vs. Madison Brengle

Sloane Stephens vs. Anasatasia Potapova

Alison Riske-Amritraj vs. Marketa Vondrousova (CZE)

(Q) Katie Volynets vs. Evgeniya Rodina

(Q) CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Anhelina Kalinina (UKR)

 

The 2023 Australian Open women's draw can be found here

Men's draw: Fritz lands in bottom half; Giron to duel with defending finalist Medvedev

Like their female counterparts, the two highest-ranking American men landed on opposite halves of the draw.

 

No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz looks to better a Round 4 appearance from 2022, and he has a great draw to do so. He opens against former Top 30-ranked Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, who's only won two ATP-level singles matches since last year's Wimbledon, and could then face either Aussie wild card Alexei Popyrin or Tseng Chun-hsin of Chinese Taipei.

 

His possible Round 3 foe is No. 26-seeded Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, but look out for Ben Shelton: The 20-year-old could just as easily make it there for last 32-showdown with Fritz. Shelton makes his Australian Open debut against China's Zhang Zhizhen.

Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images.

Elsehwere, No. 16 seed Tiafoe was drawn in the top quarter, and could be a Round 4 foe for No. 1 seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal. But there's much to be done before that: He opens against German Daniel Altmaier.

 

The highest-profile opening round for an American man also features the defending finalist: UCLA alumnus Marcos Giron drew No. 7 seed Daniil Medvedev in Round 1. The two have only played once—Medvedev won 6-4, 6-4 at the 2020 Western & Southern Open—but Giron takes good form into the match after reaching the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic in New Zealand this week. 

 

The draws were much kinder to ther other American men, none of whom will face a seeded player first up. Looking ahead, though, Jenson Brooksby could loom for No. 2 seed Casper Ruud in Round 2, while Maxime Cressy could face No. 9 seed Holger Rune in the same round.

The only all-American men's match in the draw is also notable. Mackenzie McDonald will face Brandon Nakashima, and the winner could face defending champion and No. 1 seed Nadal in Round 2. However, the Spaniard must pass his own tough tough test in 21-year-old Brit Jack Draper.


First Rounds for American Men at the 2023 Australian Open

(9) Taylor Fritz vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)

(16) Frances Tiafoe vs. Daniel Altmaier (GER)

(29) Sebastian Korda vs. Cristian Garin (CHI)

Marcos Giron vs. (7) Daniil Medvedev

Brandon Nakashima vs. Mackenzie McDonald

(WC) Christopher Eubanks vs. Kwon Soon-woo (KOR)

Maxime Cressy vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

John Isner vs. Adrian Mannarino (FRA)

Ben Shelton vs. Zhang Zhizhen (CHN)

J.J. Wolf vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)

Tommy Paul vs. (Q) Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)

Jenson Brooksby vs. Christopher O'Connell (AUS)

(Q) Brandon Holt vs. (Q) Aleksandar Vukic

 

The 2023 Australian Open men's draw can be found here

 

The Australian Open runs through Jan. 29. ESPN and ESPN+ has live coverage of the tournament in the U.S., with supplemental coverage on Tennis Channel. 

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