FOX Sports: Guide to the Australian Open 2014

FOX Sports gives you the lowdown - from first-round matchups to the prize money on offer - of the traditional curtain raiser to the year's quartet of Grand Slams.

Australian Open Djokovic Azarenka

Slated to take place in Melbourne Park, Australia, from 13th to 26th January 2014, the 102nd edition of the Australian Open will offer a record prize money of US$31 million - a jump of US$2.8 million from the 2013 tournament.

This ranks it third on the Grand Slam prize money list, behind Wimbledon (US$36.5 million) and the U.S. Open (US$34.3 million) but ahead of the French Open (US$29.7 million).  

The 15 events will be played over 16 hard courts, including the three main showcourts - the historic Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena as well as the newly refurbished Margaret Court Arena. 

The History

First introduced in 1905 as the Australasian Championships before taking on the moniker of the Australian Championships in 1927, it was only in 1969 that the tournament was renamed to its current incarnation. 

The Australian Open has been played in Melbourne since 1972, as the city enjoys the second-highest patronage in the country. The tournament has been staged at Melbourne Park for the last 25 years.  

The Players

Three-time winner and defending champion Novak Djokovic will kickstart his title defence with a first-round clash against world No. 90 Lukas Lacko of Slovakia. The Serbian will likely face his first real test in the fourth round, against 15th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy, before coming up against the likes of Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka. 

Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, has a fight on his hands after fifth and sixth seeds Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer both landed in his half of the draw. The world No. 1 meets hometown hero Bernard Tomic in his opening match. 

The women's draw saw two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, bidding to make it three Australian Open titles in a row, will face Sweden's Johanna Larsson in her opening bout, while Maria Sharapova takes on American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. 

The Ranking

Computers are utilized to sort out the small matter of seeding 32 players in the singles events. The players also stand to gain double the points in a Grand Slam compared to winning a match at regular tournaments. 

The Conditions

Played in the heat of the Australian summer, the temperature could reach more than 40 degrees celcius (105 degrees Farenheit). Tennis balls have been known so shrink and expand and the extreme weather has led to innovations like the retractable roofs over the courts. The Australian Open Extreme Hear Policy (EHP) has also been applied and referees may enforce it at their discretion. This means that the referee may suspend the match should the safety of players be compromised.

The Records

Youngest winners - Men's singles, Ken Rosewall (18) -
Women's singles, Martina Hingis (16)
Oldest winners - Men's singles, Ken Rosewall (37) -
Women's singles, Thelma Long (35),
Men's doubles, Norman Brookes (46 Most successive singles wins - Roy Emerson (five) 1963-1967 and Margaret Court (seven) 1960-1966.
Most singles titles overall - Roy Emerson (six) and Margaret Court (11).

Men’s Singles

Seed

Rank

Player

Status

1

1

 Rafael Nadal

First Round vs.  Bernard Tomic

2

2

 Novak Djokovic

First Round vs.  Lukáš Lacko

3

3

 David Ferrer

First Round vs.  Alejandro González

4

4

 Andy Murray

First Round vs.  Go Soeda

5

5

 Juan Martín del Potro

First Round vs. [Q]

6

6

 Roger Federer

First Round vs.  James Duckworth [WC]

7

7

 Tomáš Berdych

First Round vs.  Oleksandr Nedovyesov

8

8

 Stanislas Wawrinka

First Round vs.  Andrey Golubev

9

9

 Richard Gasquet

First Round vs. [Q]

10

10

 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

First Round vs.  Filippo Volandri

11

11

 Milos Raonic

First Round vs.  Daniel Gimeno-Traver

12

12

 Tommy Haas

First Round vs.  Guillermo García-López

13

14

 John Isner

First Round vs. [Q]

14

15

 Mikhail Youzhny

First Round vs.  Jan-Lennard Struff

15

16

 Fabio Fognini

First Round vs.  Alex Bogomolov, Jr.

16

17

 Kei Nishikori

First Round vs.  Marinko Matosevic

17

18

 Tommy Robredo

First Round vs.  Lukáš Rosol

18

19

 Gilles Simon

First Round vs.  Daniel Brands

19

21

 Kevin Anderson

First Round vs.  Jiří Veselý

20

20

 Jerzy Janowicz

First Round vs.  Jordan Thompson [WC]

21

23

 Philipp Kohlschreiber

First Round vs.  Aljaž Bedene

22

22

 Grigor Dimitrov

First Round vs.  Bradley Klahn

23

24

 Ernests Gulbis

First Round vs.  Juan Mónaco

24

25

 Andreas Seppi

First Round vs.  Lleyton Hewitt

25

32

 Gaël Monfils

First Round vs.  Ryan Harrison

26

27

 Feliciano López

First Round vs.  Somdev Devvarman

27

28

 Benoît Paire

First Round vs. [Q]

28

30

 Vasek Pospisil

First Round vs.  Samuel Groth [WC]

29

31

 Jérémy Chardy

First Round vs.  Jesse Huta Galung

30

26

 Dmitry Tursunov

First Round vs.  Michael Russell

31

33

 Fernando Verdasco

First Round vs. [Q]

32

34

 Ivan Dodig

First Round vs.  Ivo Karlović

Women’s Singles

Seed

Rank

Player

Status

1

1

 Serena Williams

First Round vs.  Ashleigh Barty [WC]

2

2

 Victoria Azarenka

First Round vs.  Johanna Larsson

3

3

 Maria Sharapova

First Round vs.  Bethanie Mattek-Sands

4

4

 Li Na

First Round vs. [Q]

5

5

 Agnieszka Radwańska

First Round vs.  Yulia Putintseva

6

6

 Petra Kvitová

First Round vs.  Luksika Kumkhum

7

7

 Sara Errani

First Round vs.  Julia Görges

8

 

 Jelena Janković

First Round vs.  Misaki Doi

9

 

 Angelique Kerber

First Round vs.  Jarmila Gajdošová

10

10

 Caroline Wozniacki

First Round vs.  Lourdes Domínguez Lino

11

11

 Simona Halep

First Round vs. [Q]

12

12

 Roberta Vinci

First Round vs.  Zheng Jie

13

13

 Sloane Stephens

First Round vs.  Yaroslava Shvedova

14

14

 Ana Ivanovic

First Round vs.  Kiki Bertens

15

15

 Sabine Lisicki

First Round vs.  Mirjana Lučić-Baroni

16

16

 Carla Suárez Navarro

First Round vs.  Vania King

17

17

 Samantha Stosur

First Round vs.  Klára Zakopalová

18

19

 Kirsten Flipkens

First Round vs.  Laura Robson

19

20

 Svetlana Kuznetsova

First Round vs.  Elina Svitolina

20

24

 Dominika Cibulková

First Round vs.  Francesca Schiavone

21

21

 Sorana Cîrstea

First Round vs.  Marina Erakovic

22

22

 Ekaterina Makarova

First Round vs.  Venus Williams

23

28

 Elena Vesnina

First Round vs.  Alison Riske

24

23

 Kaia Kanepi

First Round vs.  Garbiñe Muguruza

25

25

 Alizé Cornet

First Round vs.  Polona Hercog

26

26

 Lucie Šafářová

First Round vs.  Julia Glushko

27

27

 Jamie Hampton

First Round vs.  Jana Čepelová

28

29

 Flavia Pennetta

First Round vs.  Alexandra Cadanțu

29

30

 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

First Round vs.  Teliana Pereira

30

31

 Eugenie Bouchard

First Round vs.  Tang Haochen [WC]

31

33

 Daniela Hantuchová

First Round vs. [Q]

32

35

 Magdaléna Rybáriková

First Round vs.  Andrea Petkovic



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