After what seemed like an endless off-season for tennis fans, the wait is finally over. The first gram slam of the year is here.
The 2023 Australian Open men’s and women’s singles draws are out. While we’ll have to wait two weeks to find out who will be crowned winners this year, our tournament win predictor model can tell us every player’s likelihood of progressing through each round of the draw.
Let’s fire it up and see who it predicts will triumph in Melbourne Park. Oh, and don’t forget, these probabilities update live after every match. Check them out throughout the tournament here.
Favourites to Win the Men’s Singles
The 21-time grand slam champion, Novak Djokovic, is returning to the Australian Open after missing last year’s event. With nine Australian Open wins to his name, the Serb already holds the record for the most titles here of all time, and he’ll be chasing his 10th triumph in 2023.
Despite coming in as the fourth seed, he’s our win predictor’s top pick to win the AO. According to the model, Djokovic has a 13.16% likelihood of picking up crown number 10. If he does that he’ll go level with Rafa Nadal’s all-time men’s record of 22 major titles.
Having been beaten in the final the last two years, Daniil Medvedev will be hoping it’s third time lucky in 2023. The Russian is our second favourite to win the Australian Open, and is given a 8.28% chance of doing just that. No. 19 seed Nick Kyrgios is the third most likely to win the title with a 5.23% probability while Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jannik Sinner, the fourth and fifth favorites to win the title in our model, could face off early in the tournament in the fourth round.
Favourites to Win the Women’s Singles
On the women’s side of the draw it should come as no surprise that Iga Swiatek is our model’s favorite at 13.62%. The Polish star had a banner year in 2022, starting the season ranked ninth in the world, but becoming world number one in April. She enjoyed a remarkable 37-match winning streak last year, the longest in the 21st century, and will be hoping to go one better in Melbourne this year. She made the semi-finals in 2022, but was beaten by Danielle Collins.
Swiatek has an excellent chance of going deep in the tournament, with our model giving her over a 26% chance of making it to the semi-finals. Here she could face Jessica Pegula, who beat her earlier this month. Pegula, the No. 1 American and No. 3 ranked player in the world has the second highest probability of winning the Australian Open (5.36%). She would become the first American to win the Austrialian Open since Sofia Kenin in 2020.
Out of our top five favorites, only Swiatek has ever won a Grand Slam, but both Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia made it to the semi-finals of the US Open last year and are well set to compete once again. Our fifth favorite to win is world No. 2 Ons Jabeur, who has reached the finals of the last two Grand Slams.
Predicted Rankings Points Earned/Lost
In addition to our tournament predictions, the model can also calculate each players predicted earned (or lost) rankings points throughout the tournament depending on their likelihood on reaching different rounds of the draw and their performance at last year’s Australian Open. This means we can simulate each players’ world ranking come the end of the event.
Below are the predicted ATP World Rankings for the top 20 players in the world playing at the Australian Open.
With world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz out of the tournament due to injury, a handful of players have the chance to fight for the number one spot in the rankings. In particular, world No. 3 Casper Ruud, No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, and No. 5 Novak Djokovic.
Neither Ruud nor Djokovic played last year’s Australian Open which means they only have points to gain from this tournament. On the other hand, Tsitsipas got to the semi-finals in 2022 which means he’ll have a lot of points to defend and would only stand to gain points by getting to the finals or winning the title. Of the chasing pack, our ranking simulations give Djokovic the highest probability of being No. 1 in the world by the end of the tournament with a 13.6% likelihood, followed by Tsitsipas (4.1%) and Ruud (3.2%).
Rafael Nadal, last year’s winner and current No. 2 in the world, is not in contention for the number 1 spot and is expected to drop in the rankings. The simulator gives him just a 2.0% chance of maintaining his No. 2 ranking.
Similarly, Matteo Berrettini, semi-finalist at the 2022 Australian Open, has a 76.6% likelihood of falling outside the top 20.
We can do the same exercise with the WTA rankings.
Swiatek is guaranteed to remain the No. 1 in the world no matter how she performs at the Australian Open. She has more than double the rankings points of Ons Jabeur in second.
However, we could have a new world No. 2. Seven players will be fighting for the spot, with Jabeur being the most likely to keep her ranking (70.0%).
Last year’s finalist, Danielle Collins, who is currently ranked 14 in the world, has a 97.5% likelihood of dropping outside the top 20. This is because she is defending over half of her points given her excellent run last year.
Other Tournament Win Probabilities
Will There Be a New Grand Slam Winner?
The most likely new grand slam winner on the men’s draw is Tsitsipas while on the women’s draw it is Pegula. Overall, there is a greater possibility of having a new grand slam winner in the women’s draw than in the men’s draw (74% vs. 72%).
Will a Non-Seeded Player Win the Australian Open?
A non-seeded player has only won the Australian Open on three occasions: Mark Edmondson (1976), Chris O’Neil (1978) and Serena Williams (2007). It’s rare, but it can happen. The model reckons there’s close to a one-in-three chance of this happening in the women’s draw, and a 20% of this happening in the men’s tournament, with Magda Linette and Tommy Paul being the most likely non-seeded winners.
Will an Aussie Win in Their Homeland?
Despite former world No. 1 and Australian Ash Barty retiring last year shortly after winning the Australian Open, there is still a chance for an Australian to get far into the tournament.
With six Australians in the women’s main draw, there’s a combined 1.47% probability of one of them winning the title. Home fans might have to look to the men’s main draw for hope. With 11 Australians entering the ATP side of the competition, there’s a 10.12% chance of a home player winning the trophy.
On the men’s side, Nick Kyrgios, the No. 1 Australian on the ATP tour had a breakthrough season in 2022, winning the Australian Open doubles event and getting to his first grand slam final in Wimbledon. Despite never having made it past the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in singles, our win predictor estimates he has a 14.78% probability of making it to the semi-finals and a 5.23% likelihood of winning the whole tournament. Furthermore, he has a 63.0% likelihood of breaking inside the top 20.
Ajla Tomljanovic, the No. 1 Australian on the WTA Tour, is ranked 33 in the world and has never made it past the second round at the Australian Open. However, she reached the quarter-finals of the last two grand slams (Wimbledon and US Open). Our model estimates that she has a 39.49% likelihood of making it to the third round and is a 11.15% shot to get to the quarter-finals.
About the Tournament Win Prediction and Ranking Prediction Models:
- Using our player Skill Ratings and all the players’ position in the draw, we can estimate the probability of each match outcome (win or loss).
- The model considers the strength of the players and opponents and simulates the outcomes for the remaining rounds of the tournament thousands of times.
- Based on the outcomes, we can calculate the number of points gained/lost by a player (based on their result at last year’s tournament), then order them and calculate their world ranking.