News, Culture & Society

Australian Open 2018 Guide: Date, TV, draw, rules and more

The opening Grand Slam of the 2018 season gets underway on Monday with Melbourne all set to host the Australian Open.

Roger Federer is favourite to defend his title from 2017, while Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep lead the women looking to take Serena Williams’ crown.

Here Sportsmail take you through some of the all-important questions around the showpiece tournament…  

When and what time is the draw?

Roger Federer will be hoping to defend the title he won 12 months ago in Melbourne

The draw is traditionally made the Friday before the tournament begins but this year it has been brought forward by 24 hours.

It will take place, instead, on Thursday, January 11 at 8am UK time.

Is the draw televised?

This year the draw is televised and open for fans to attend on the Margaret Court Arena. British viewers will be able to tune in to Eurosport on Thursday morning.

When does the actual tennis tournament start?

The action gets underway on Monday, January 15, but due to the time difference between here and Australia it will be a Sunday night start for British fans. 

Can I watch the tournament on TV? 

Eurosport will be covering the tournament live on both of their channels – Eurosport 1 and 2.

You can also stream coverage through Eurosport Player – but it will cost you. A Day Pass would set you back £4.99, or you can access a whole year’s worth of coverage for £29.99.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to Sky Sports then it can be streamed via Sky Go

What’s the schedule of play like? 

The tournament lasts a fortnight with the women’s final on Saturday, January 27 and the men’s final the following day on Sunday, January 28.

The action is split into Day and Night sessions, with the former beginning at 11am and the latter from 5pm local time. 

What are the new rules for 2018? 

Serena Williams pulled out of the chance to defend the Australian Open she won last year

Serena Williams pulled out of the chance to defend the Australian Open she won last year

There are a few new rules that will be enforced in the upcoming fortnight in Melbourne to be aware of.

A 25-second shot clock, trialled at US Open qualifying and the Next Gen ATP Finals, will be in use to ensure players serve within 25 seconds at the start of a point. 

The timing of pre-match warm-ups will be strictly enforced with players subject to a fine of up to £15,000 if they take too long.

Any main draw singles player who is unfit to play and withdraws after noon on Thursday before the start of the main draw will now receive 50 per cent of the first round prize money.

The replacement lucky loser will receive the remaining 50 per cent, plus any additional prize money earned later in the tournament. 

Players can also now be fined for retiring or performing ‘below professional standards’ in the first round. 

Who are the top seeds? 

ATP Men’s Singles

1. Rafael Nadal

2. Roger Federer

3. Grigor Dimitrov

4. Alexander Zverev

5. Dominic Thiem

6. Marin Cilic

7. David Goffin

8. Jack Sock

9. Stanislas Wawrinka

10. Pablo Carreno Busta 

WTA Women’s Singles 

1. Simona Halep

2. Garbine Muguruza

3. Caroline Wozniacki

4. Karolina Pliskova

5. Venus Williams

6. Elina Svitolina

7. Jelena Ostapenko

8. Caroline Garcia

9. Jo Konta

10. Coco Vandeweghe 

What’s the prize money? 

AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2018 PRIZE MONEY 
Round  Money 
WINNER £2.32m
RUNNER-UP  £1.16m 
SEMI-FINAL  £509k 
QUARTER-FINAL  £255k 
FOURTH ROUND  £139k 
THIRD ROUND  £82k 
SECOND ROUND  £52k 
FIRST ROUND  £28.9k 

Which stars are already out? 

Andy Murray withdrew last week due to an ongoing hip injury sustained last summer 

Andy Murray withdrew last week due to an ongoing hip injury sustained last summer 

The lead up to this year’s opening Grand Slam has been dominated by injury doubts and player withdrawals with many leading names set to miss out.

British No 1 and five-time finalist in Melbourne, Andy Murray, pulled out with a long-standing hip injury.

Kei Nishikori was the first major player to pull out with a wrist injury that has plagued him since August.

In the women’s draw Serena Williams has withdrawn, declaring the tournament has come too soon for her return to action after giving birth to her first child last year.

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka pulled out this week due to an ongoing legal battle surrounding the custody of her son. 

Who are the favourites? 

 Roger Federer is the pre-tournament favourite on the men’s side to successfully defend his trophy at 7/4.

He is followed by Novak Djokovic at 5/1, world No 1 Rafael Nadal at 9/2 and ATP champion Grigor Dimitrov – tied with Alexander Zverev – at 9/1.

In the women’s draw Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep are join favourites at 7/1. Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza trails at 15/2, ahead of Elina Svitolina at 8/1 and Angelique Kerber at 10/1.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Do you like it? Share with your friends!


Comments are closed.