Qualifying begins: 20 June
The Draw: 24 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 25 & 26 June
Order of Play: 26 June
Championships begin: 27 June
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 20 JUNE
Nothing can be taken for granted
Who would have thought Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic would be beaten in the first week of a Grand Slam event? It’s the first time since 2002 that the top two seeds in the men’s event have gone out before the quarter-finals and the first time neither Murray or Djokovic have made the second week of a slam since the Australian Open of 2006.
For Murray, it’s a big blow as he tries to win the tournament for the first time, having lost in five finals. Djokovic now has to bounce back and try to chase Murray down at the top of the rankings but both need to recover quickly from shock defeats.
The changing of the guard will have to wait
The performance of Roger Federer in the first week will have many players wondering if they too should take six months off in order to find their best form. The 17-time Grand Slam winner looked shaky in his first two matches but was outstanding in crushing Tomas Berdych in the third round, and then perhaps even more impressive in outlasting Kei Nishikori in the fourth round.
“Roger is really playing well and he now believes he can win,” Ivanisevic said. “He has a good draw and on this kind of court, anything is possible.”
On the other side of the draw, Rafael Nadal smashed past his first two opponents and then, when faced with the man many feel is the next big star on the Tour, Sascha Zverev, found his best form, particularly in the final set. Whatever happens from here on in, they are likely to be around at the business end of the slams for the rest of this year at least, and the young guns may have to bide their time.
Serve and volley tennis is not quite dead
The performance of Germany’s Mischa Zverev in beating Andy Murray on Sunday was a masterclass in attacking play, serving and volleying on first and second serves and rushing Murray whenever he had the chance.
It also had Melbourne Park buzzing on Monday as everyone tried to come to terms with the loss of Murray, so soon after that of Djokovic. Faster conditions this year seem to have played a part but Zverev showed that in an era when players are so used to slugging it out from the baseline, again and again, there’s still room for someone playing the match of their life, in a style of play we thought was nearly extinct, to produce a massive upset.
Serena Williams homing in on world No.1 ranking
Angelique Kerber began the Australian Open as champion and world No.1, but her defeat by Coco Vandeweghe in the third round means Serena can regain top spot by winning a seventh title in Melbourne.
There are still plenty of obstacles ahead, not least Britain’s Jo Konta, but even if it doesn’t happen here, the fact that Kerber has not been in top form means it’s only likely to be a matter of time.
As Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of Serena Williams, put it on Monday: “Clearly Kerber is struggling to handle the pressure.”
Jo Konta is a genuine title contender
Perhaps we guessed it before the tournament began but her performances in her first four rounds have been ruthlessly efficient. Ranked outside the top 100 just two years ago, Konta made the semi-finals last year and on current form, is surely the biggest threat to Serena Williams in the draw. Aggressive, focused, intense and a brilliant athlete, Konta has turned herself from a talented, if wild player, to a likely Grand Slam champion, in the space of two years