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AUS OPEN PREVIEW – WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT

Regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, several tennis stars will be looking to get off to the best possible start to the new year. However, one question remains: can anyone dethrone Aryna Sabalenka off the pedestal and claim the Australian Open for themselves?

The Top Contenders

Iga Swiatek

The world’s No.1 and top-seeded player in the tournament, Swiatek, enters as the favourite to walk away with the title. Looking at the draw, the Pole has relatively easy match-ups but may have to face Elina Svitolina, Victoria Azarenka or Jelena Ostapenko. Having never won the Australian Open in her career, she will be eager to add the accolade to her French Open and US Open titles.

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Aryna Sabalenka

The reigning champion of the Australian Open will have a tough challenge on her hands as she looks to go back-to-back as the tournament winner. Looking to upstage her competition yet again, Sabalenka is used to the Australian conditions on the court. Entering the competition in good form – the 2023 Aus Open winner and reaching the semi-finals in the other three Grand Slam tournaments – she is coming off a devastating loss to Elena Rybakina and will be eager to make up for the loss.

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Jessica Pegula

Moving away from the ‘Big Four’ in women’s tennis at the moment, Pegula is considered the most likely to take home the Australian Open title. The American sensation has been consistently performing at an exceptional level and is coming off the best year of her career to date after title victories in Canada and Korea. She also made the WTA Finals but was unlucky to be defeated by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. With three consecutive quarter-final appearances in the Australian Open, one can expect her to go far in the tournament and finally make it to the final.

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Elina Svitolina

The Ukrainian star is coming off her best year to date, coinciding with the birth of her first child. Yet to win a major Grand Slam tournament in 2023, Svitolina had her best result at the French Open and Wimbledon – quarter-final and semi-final, respectively. A former world No.3 and current No.23, Svitolina will be looking to go far in the tournament after being absent at last year’s Australian Open.

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BEST AUSSIE HOPE – Kimberly Birrell

The retirement of Ash Barty, the injury to Daria Saville and the failed qualification of Arina Rodionova means Kimberly Birrell will enter the 2024 Australian Open as the highest-ranked Australian female. This is despite sitting at a current world ranking of No.110 and a highest ranking of No.100. However, despite failing to yet crack the top 100 female players, Birrell will have the full support of the nation and fans behind her as she looks to perform a miracle greater than Steven Bradbury’s Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics in 20o2.

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BEST ROUGHIE – Carolina Wozniacki

The former world No.1 and 2018 Australian Open winner returns to Melbourne for the first time since she announced she would be coming out of retirement last year. Having not played in the tournament since 2020, Wozniacki is an outside chance to go all the way. The Danish superstar has had great success in the tournament since her debut in 2006 and admits that her body feels pretty good and that she’s playing very well. Despite being a wildcard, it’s hard to not go by her for an outside chance.

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Related

AUS OPEN PREVIEW – MEN’S TOURNAMENT

US Open Preview – Men’s Tournament

US Open Preview – Women’s Tournament

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