2022 season: News from the top players!

 - Romain Vinot

Whether they are easing their way back or throwing themselves into training or big games, the key names in world tennis are making their return!

Ashleigh Barty - Australie 2020©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

As the year’s first Grand Slam approaches, the world’s top players are already back on court after the Christmas break. They are taking advantage of this time to share some news with their fans, after a well-deserved rest. We take a look at what they have been up to!

Djokovic to defend his title

This was an eagerly awaited snippet of information and was announced by Novak Djokovic himself on his Instagram account: the nine-time winner of the Australian Open is set to defend his title in just a few days’ time. All smiles, the world number one posted a photo of himself at the airport, saying that he had enjoyed some quality time with his loved ones during the break.

Back to business!

After some serious preparation, many women players have dived back into official competition, namely at the tournament in Adelaide. Facing Coco Gauff in the singles Round of 16, Ashleigh Barty is also playing in the doubles with Storm Sanders, where the pair overcame Gauff and McNally.

Delighted to be back practicing against Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal treated his supporters to a glimpse of him playing doubles with Jaume Munar. It was a triumphant comeback for the Majorcan, who looked right at home in Melbourne.

Certain tournaments have already given rise to some nail-biting action, including this epic rally in the match between Priscilla Hon and Petra Kvitova!

Honing their preparation

With their staggered arrivals in Australia, the stars needed varying amounts of time to get back into the groove. It was an opportunity to see some fantastic practice sessions. And, as Emma Raducanu showed, where better than Rod Laver Arena to find your feet Down Under?

Though training is not always a bundle of fun, there are some ways to make it more enjoyable. This video of Daniil Medvedev – in very high spirits as he warms up ahead of an ATP Cup match – proves it!

Taking a break

Between matches, practice sessions and medical requirements, the players do not always have time to relax. Representing Canada in the ATP Cup, Felix Auger-Aliassime managed to snatch an afternoon off to enjoy the Australian sunshine.

Alizé Cornet has also arrived in Melbourne. The French player enjoyed a lovely stroll the day before her big match against Naomi Osaka on Rod Laver Arena (6-4 3-6 6-3 to the Japanese player).

Waiting for the green light…

Still suffering from a hamstring injury, Serena Williams will not play in the Australian Open. But the illustrious champion, who has 23 Grand Slam titles to her name, recently posted a video of images from photo shoots, the tennis court and family life, saying she’s “ready for 2022”!

Despite an early comeback and his determination to get back to full fitness as soon as possible, Dominic Thiem will not be in Melbourne either. Away from competition until late January, when he is entered in the Cordoba Open, the Austrian went home to spend Christmas with his family.