The first Grand Slam of the year - the Australian Open is scheduled to begin from January 14, 2019 at Melbourne Park, Melbourne.
The tournament will conclude on January 27 with the men's final at the Rod Laver Arena. The women's final will take place on January 26 at the same venue.
Known as the "Happy Slam", the Australian Open is one of the most loved Slams amongst fans and players all over the world despite players having to battle the intense Melbourne heat at times.
The tournament has seen some amazing matches over the years and this year is expected to be no different.128 players will take part in the men's and women's singles. Out of the 128, 104 entered the main draw, 16 were qualifiers, and 8 were wildcards.
The qualifying tournament took place over the last week where we saw India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran qualify for the main draw for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, Australian favourite Thanasi Kokkinakis, too, came through successfully to qualify for the main draw.
Roger Federer will enter the tournament as the defending champion and the world no. 3. He defeated Croatia's Marin Cilic to win his 6th Australian Open title last year and his 20th Grand Slam title overall. He has the chance to create history and become the only person to win 7 Australian Open titles if he defends his title this year.
However, he will be up against Novak Djokovic, who enters the tournament as the world no. 1. The Serb has been in sensational form over the past 6 months or so. Despite having a slump of sorts at the beginning of last year, Djokovic bounced back in style to win the Wimbledon Championships and US Open. He too has the chance to win his 7th Australian Open title.
Rafael Nadal enters the tournament as the world no. 2. He will look to put his injury struggles behind him and win his 2nd ever Australian Open title. Meanwhile, this could be Andy Murray's last ever Grand Slam tournament after he opened up about his retirement plans earlier this week due to constant injury issues.
On the other hand, in the women's side of the draw, Caroline Wozniacki enters the tournament as the defending champion. She won her first ever Grand Slam title last year defeating Simona Halep in the final.
Halep will enter the tournament as the world no. 1. However, given her recent struggles with injury and the fact that she has a tough opponent in Kaia Kanepi in the first round and a possible meeting with Serena Williams in the fourth round, she will find it extremely hard to win her 2nd Grand Slam title.
Serena Williams, who made a comeback last year after becoming a mother, is regaining her confidence and is looking solid on the court. She is one of the favourites going into this year's competition.
All in all, both the men's and women's draw have some exciting matches right from Day 1 and we could expect a few upsets in both categories.
Here is all you need to know:
Tournament: Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Timing: 05:30 IST onwards (11:00 AEDT onwards)
Matches to watch out for in Round 1
Andy Murray vs Roberto Bautista Agut - Day 1
Tomas Berdych vs Kyle Edmund - Day 1
Marin Cilic vs Bernard Tomic - Day 1
Stan Wawrinka vs Ernests Gulbis - Day 2
Nick Kyrgios vs Milos Raonic - Day 2
Maria Sakkari vs Jelena Ostapenko - Day 1
Donna Vekic vs Kristina Mladenovic - Day 1
Simona Halep vs Kaia Kanepi - Day 2
Venus Williams vs Mihaela Buzărnescu - Day 2
When and Where to Watch:
India: Matches will be shown live on TV on Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD, Sony Ten 2, and Sony Ten 2 HD. Matches can also be streamed live on SonyLiv.
USA: ESPN2 and Tennis Channel.
Australia: Channel 9 - Wide World of Sports, 9Gem, and 9Now.
Europe: Eurosport TV channel and on the Eurosport Player live streaming service
All matches can also be streamed live on the official Australian Open website.Published 13 Jan 2019, 16:11 IST