After a delayed start last year, the Australian Open is now back to its traditional January slot, kicking off 2022's tennis in earnest with the first Grand Slam of the year.
The tournament had plenty of drama even before it started. Novak Djokovic - hoping to earn a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title - had his visa cancelled by Australian authorities, then restored, and then cancelled again, leaving him with a three-year ban on entering Australia that could keep him out of the 2023 and 2024 tournaments too.
As we head into the second week, Rafael Nadal is hoping to beat the odds - and a recent Covid case - to be the first to pick up Grand Slam number 21, but Medvedev and Tsitsipas may have something to say about it.
On the women's side, Naomi Osaka was denied the chance to defend her Australian Open title for Grand Slam number five, making the clear favourite now Ashleigh Barty. The Australian is world number one and already has two Grand Slams under her belt, but is desperate to add the home trophy to her collection.
When is the Australian Open this year?
The Australian Open began on Monday 17 January and ends on Sunday 30 January.
How to watch on TV or online in the UK
In the UK you have two choices really. Given the time difference, you might have already given up on watching the tournament live - in which case you can catch highlights on the BBC. They're now running daily, up to (but not including) the men's final. Here's when you'll be able to watch, and on which channel:
- Mon 24 Jan - BBC Two, 16:15-17:15
- Tue 25 Jan - BBC Two, 16:15-17:15
- Wed 26 Jan - BBC Two,16:15-17:15
- Thu 27 Jan - BBC Two, 16:15-17:15
- Fri 28 Jan - BBC Two, 16:15-17:15
- Sat 29 Jan - BBC One, 13:45-15:15
If you're willing to stay up late, or get up early, you can watch the Australian Open live on Eurosport. If you have a basic Sky entertainment package your subscription should include Eurosport 1 and 2 – they are on 410 and 411, while the HD versions are 864 and 865. You can also watch through the Sky Go app if you prefer.
Eurosport is also available through BT on 412 & 413 for the regular versions, or 435 & 436 for high definition. You'll need the Entertainment bundle, but if you don't have it you can upgrade your subscription here. The BT TV and BT Sports app will also let you watch there.
Finally, Virgin Media subscribers need to head to channels 521, 522, 523 and 524. You'll need the Bigger, Bigger + Movies or Ultimate Oomph bundle, but you can upgrade your package if you'd like.
If you'd rather watch from a computer or phone you can do that too, on the Eurosport Player. You can buy an annual or monthly pass here, with prices starting from £4.99 per month.
If you already subscribe to Amazon Prime then you might prefer to just watch through that. You can add Eurosport Player to your Prime account, which normally costs £6.99 per month, and then watch through your TV, laptop, phone, or tablet.
How to watch on TV or online from the US
If you’re in the US you can watch on ESPN.
This may already be included in your cable package, but if not you can access it through online service Sling. ESPN is included in the service’s Orange plan – so it would cost $35 per month, though the first month is reduced to $25. There's also a three-day free trial, so if you time it right you could use this to watch the finals entirely for free.
You can also get ESPN as part of a bundle with Disney+ and Hulu, for $12.99 per month if you're happy with ads on Hulu, or $18.99 per month if you want the ad-free version.
Finally, the tournament will also be broadcast on The Tennis Channel, which may also be available on your cable plan, or through the Sling sports add-on.
Watch the Australian Open free with a VPN
If you want to watch live, you have a few options. Like the ATP Cup just beforehand, the tournament is being broadcast on Channel 9 in Australia, which is free to watch, and livestreamed on 9Now. The only complication? You need to be in Australia to access it, and to create an account with an Australian zip code.
If you’re outside of Oz then you should be able to watch 9Now through a VPN however, which will let you browse the web as if you were based in a different country.
Australian Open 2022 schedule
The Australian Open is spread across a 14-day period with the Men’s and Women’s singles tournaments taking place simultaneously. You can view the official schedule here, but this is the rough structure:
- First round (Men’s and Women’s singles) – 17 & 18 January
- Second round (Men’s and Women’s singles) – 19 & 20 January
- Third round (Men’s and Women’s singles) – 21 & 22 January
- Fourth round (Men’s and Women’s singles) – 23 & 24 January
- Quarter-finals (Men’s and Women’s singles) – 25 & 26 January
- Semi-finals (Men’s and Women’s singles) – 27 & 28 January
- Women’s final – 29 January
- Men’s final – 30 January
Are fans allowed to attend the Australian Open?
After restricted capacity last year, fans are back at the tournament this year and with no limits - meaning organisers are expecting to see full crowds throughout the event.
Attendees will be required to be double-vaccinated (unless medically exempt), and will also be required to wear face masks except when seated outdoors, eating, or drinking.