Australian Open 2020: Women’s singles full preview
The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam event of the year and will be hosted from January 20th – February 2nd, 2020. The tournament began in 1905 and was played on grass up until 1988 when it became a hard court tournament.
In the women’s game Margaret Court, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams and Justine Henin are just a handful of the players who have won this event. Young Japanese star, Naomi Osaka secured the title in 2019 and there will be plenty of intriguing storylines to follow at this year’s edition.
Cori Gauff, 15, made a name for herself at Wimbledon last year when she defeated her idol and tennis legend Venus Williams in straight sets. In what is easily the pick of the first round matches, the two will meet again on the opening day.
Serena Williams will once again try to win her 24th Grand Slam and equal the all-time record held by Margaret Court. Since returning from maternity leave Williams has lost her last four Grand Slam finals convincingly, but she sealed her first WTA title in three years at Auckland last week. Her last Grand Slam triumph came at the Australian Open in 2017 and she will be a favourite to win her eighth title down under this year.
Williams could potentially play Noami Osaka in the quarter-finals. En-route to the 2019 title Osaka showed her champion’s mentality as she recovered from a set down to win both her third and fourth round match. She then hit the reset button in the final after conceding three match points in the the second set, before eventually prevailing against Petra Kvitova. Osaka is in form having made the semi-finals of Brisbane and she will be tough to stop.
World number one Ashleigh Barty will aim to become the first Australian in 42 years to win this event. Barty won her maiden Grand Slam at the 2019 French Open and backed up her victory with a win at the WTA finals in October. While the quick hard courts in Melbourne are not favourable for her game, Barty made the quarter-finals last year and is in the final of this week’s Adelaide International. Barty could play big hitters Madison Keys or Petra Kvitova in the last eight.
Karolina Pliskova has yet to win a Grand Slam title but she is always a contender at a major. The Czech successfully defended her Brisbane title and last year she had her best ever showing at this event when she advanced to the semi-finals. Pliskova has a tricky first round match as she will play Kristina Mladenovic who has beaten her in two of their four meetings.
Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will be seeking her third major title and first Australian Open crown. Halep narrowly missed out on the title in 2018 when she lost to Caroline Wozniacki in a tight three-set affair. The world number four is very comfortable on hard courts, but may be tested against Danielle Collins in the third round or Aryna Sabalenka who beat Halep in Adelaide.
Other players to watch out for will be US Open semi-finalists, Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. Power players, Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova are also threats for the title.
Where is the tournament held?
The tournament is held at Melbourne Park
What dates does the tournament run?
January 20th – February 2nd, 2020
What surface is the tournament played on?
The tournament is played on outdoor hard courts with three of the courts having retractable roofs
How many players and seeds are in the women’s draw?
There are a total of 128 women and 32 seeds in the singles
Prize money, Singles:
Winner – $4,120,000
Finalist – $2,065,000
Semi-finalist – $1,040,000
Quarter-finalist – $525,000
Round of 16 – $300,000
Round of 32 – $180,000
Second round – $128,000
First round – $90,000
Rankings points, Singles:
Winner – 2000 points
Finalist – 1300 points
Semi-finalist – 780 points
Quarter-finalist – 430 points
Round of 16 – 240 points
Round of 32 – 130 points
Second round – 70 points
First round – 10 points
Where can I buy tickets for the tournament?
Australian Open tickets are sold here
How can I follow the tournament without going there?
You can watch the tournament by following our guide to tennis on TV in 2020
You can also follow the tournament through their official Twitter here
Past champions – Women’s Singles:
2019 – Naomi Osaka
2018 – Caroline Wozniacki
2017 – Serena Williams
2016 – Angelique Kerber
2015 – Serena Williams
2014 – Li Na
2013 – Victoria Azarenka
2012 – Victoria Azarenka
2011 – Kim Clijsters
2010 – Serena Williams
2009 – Serena Williams
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