Words by Bec Nicole

It’s that time of the year again for tennis fans, as the 2023 Australian Open gets underway with the main  draw scheduled to start on the 16th of January whilst qualifying has already begun. There are a number of  British players who will be competing in the Open, but just a handful bare the expectation to go all the way  to the finals.  

This includes one of Britain’s most famous players, Andy Murray. The Scotsman, aged 35, has not won a  major title since 2016, but insists he is still capable as he gears up for the world-renowned tournament held  during Australia’s scorching summer. This will be Murray’s 16th Australian Open and he has a lot to live up  to after he was knocked out of the Open in just the second round last year, something the player said he  didn’t find particularly motivating. 

On the women’s side of the tournament, the name on everyone’s lips is Emma Raducanu, the Canadian-born  British player who rocked the boat in 2021, when she won the US Open unexpectedly. Now the tennis world  is waiting to see if she can win another major title after an anticlimactic outcome on home turf at Wimbledon  

last year, where the player exited in the second round. Fans of Raducanu will have to cross their fingers  though as she rolled her ankle during the ASB Classic in Auckland last Thursday the 5th and left the court in  tears, hopefully, it will not be another injury-plagued year for the 20-year-old like it was in 2022, as she is  yet to confirm if she is still fit to compete in the upcoming Open.  

A fellow Brightonian, Sonay Kartal has also been preparing for the Aus Open, the little-known player  competed at Wimbledon last year on a wild card and has been carving it up on the court ever since. Although  Kartal, unfortunately, lost her qualifying match to compete in the main draw on the 9th of January. She was  playing against American Elizabeth Mandlik. Mandlik beat her in the first set, and even though Kartal fought  back and won the second, it was not enough as the Yank got her again in the third.  

With the event not even officially underway yet there is already a lot to keep track of, whilst Raducanu keeps  her mouth shut and rests her ankle heads have turned to fellow British maidens like Katie Swan and Yuriko  Miyazaki as their first-round qualifiers approach. Meanwhile many are convinced Murray’s golden era of  grand slam wins is long behind him despite his enthusiasm for the tournament. Another Brit male to watch in  the tournament is Cameron Norrie, who is currently ranked number 12 in the world and is aspiring to reach  number 1 and go even deeper into the draw at Grand Slams than he has previously. All in all, it is going to be  exciting to see how our Brit players, many of them young and upcoming talent, will fair at the first Grand Slam of the year.

Image Credits: Getty Images

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