The action Down Under is ramping up, and the Australian Open field is full of former BNP Paribas Open standouts looking to capture serious momentum before returning to Tennis Paradise this March. From seasoned veterans looking to cement their legacy to rising young talent hoping to make a name for themselves to start 2023, the storylines in Melbourne are plentiful.
Let’s take a closer look at the players making noise on the court ahead of the 2023 BNP Paribas Open.
No men’s or women’s player had a better 2022 season than reigning BNP Paribas Open champion Iga Swiatek, and the 21-year-old Polish star seems poised to pick up 2023 right where she left off in 2022. After winning her first title in Tennis Paradise last March, Swiatek would go on to win two Grand Slams (Roland Garros, US Open) and cruise to the year-end World No. 1 ranking.
The No. 1 seed in Melbourne has shown no signs of slowing down in 2023, yet to drop a set in any of her matches at the Australian Open. Her road to a fourth Grand Slam title will be far from easy though as a number of talented WTA stars stand in her way looking to spoil her chance at a first career AO title.
The pack of challengers to Swiatek includes two Top 10 American women who will be looking to claim a first career Grand Slam title. No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula and No. 7 Coco Gauff have impressed in Melbourne, each with their eye set on being the first American to win a major since Sofia Kenin’s 2020 AO title.
If either Pegula or Gauff can shock Swiatek in Melbourne, they’ll be an undoubtable favorite to watch heading into Tennis Paradise this March.
The ATP draw in Melbourne so far has been defined by stunning upsets, with a handful of American men knocking off the tournament’s top seeds. Unranked Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Jenson Brooksby shocked the world in the second round by defeating No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Casper Ruud respectively. 22-year-old Florida native Sebastian Korda continued the trend of Americans impressing as he defeated former Grand Slam champion Daniil Medvedev to earn his own spot in the Round of 16.
Eight American men ended up reaching the round of 32 in Australia, marking the most to do so since 1996. Korda and Brooksby highlight the list of American men still alive in Melbourne as they look to start out 2023 on the right foot. Five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic still remains the favorite to take home the crown in Australia, but the success of the American men Down Under is certainly a storyline to watch heading into Tennis Paradise this March.
After Southern California native Taylor Fritz’s dream run to the 2022 BNP Paribas Open title, could an American ATP player take home the coveted Baccarat Trophy in the desert for a second straight year?
EXPERIENCE THE NEW ERA OF TENNIS PARADISE THIS MARCH
The countdown is on to March! Tennis Paradise is just around the corner as it won’t be long before the best players in the world descend on Coachella Valley for the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. Secure your chance to witness these world-class players take center stage at the Indian Wells Tennis Paradise from March 6-19, 2023.