Australian Open draws 2022: Novak Djokovic in limbo; Naomi Osaka returns

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The 2022 Australian Open draws were officially released four days before the first grand slam tournament of the year kicks off. As of right now, both defending champions will be playing.

The current No. 1 men's player has brought the most attention to the draw: Novak Djokovic. After being allowed a medical exemption to travel to Australia despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19, he was then denied entry into the country when he arrived. He has appealed the visa issue, and the results have yet to be determined. So, Djokovic's status for Melbourne is still uncertain, yet he leads the men's draw right now. He is set to play the No. 78 player in the world, fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, in the first round.

MORE: Novak Djokovic vaccine controversy, explained

The defending women's champion Naomi Osaka will be playing at this year's tournament. Osaka took some time off from the sport after the US Open due to ongoing mental health issues. She sits as the 13th seed, and she will face the No. 53 player, Colombia's Camila Osorio, in the opening round.

MORE: Naomi Osaka says she doesn't know when she'll return to tennis after US Open loss

There are some empty spots left in the Australian Open draw, which are saved for qualifiers. The qualifying rounds will finish up on Friday, Jan. 14 to determine who will take those leftover spots.

Here's a summary of the other top seeds heading into the 2022 Australian Open, along with which Americans will be playing at the tournament.

Men's singles draw

Top players in the world

Coming in at the second seed is the US Open champion Daniil Medvedev. He will play Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland in the first round. Alexander Zverev is the No. 3 player for the tournament. The young German has yet to win his first grand slam title.

Rafael Nadal, who is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer for most grand slam titles won in men's singles history (20), comes in at No. 6. Nadal missed Wimbledon and the US Open last year due to recurring injuries. 

Three-time grand slam winner and five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray will play in Melbourne for the first time since 2019, but this time as a wild card. Murray has played occasionally since his 2018 hip surgery. He will face the No. 21 player Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4), Andrey Rublev (5), Matteo Berrettini (7), Casper Rudd (8), Felix Auger-Aliassime (9) and Hubert Hurkacz (10) finish out the top 10 seeds in the men's singles draw.

Federer is expected to miss at least the first half of the year as he continues to recover from knee surgery. 

MORE: Who has won most Grand Slams in men's tennis?

American players

So far, there are 13 American men playing in this year's Australian Open, with three of them seeded: Taylor Fritz (20), John Isner (22) and Reilly Opelka (23). There is only one all-American matchup in the first round: Isner vs. Maxime Cressy. 

Other American male tennis players who have had grand slam runs in the past include Sam Querrey, Sebastian Korda, Steve Johnson and Frances Tiafoe.

Women's singles draw

Top players in the world

Australian Ashleigh Barty comes in at the No. 1 player in the world. The two-time grand slam winner has yet to make it to an Australian Open final in her career. Her first-round opponent is still to be determined.

2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu (17) will face American Sloane Stephens in the first round. Raducanu became the first-ever qualifier to win a grand slam tournament last year.

Spanish player Garbiñe Muguruza sits at the No. 3 spot after winning the 2021 WTA Finals title. The two-time grand slam champion has made it to the Australian Open finals once, in 2020.

Many of the top 10 women in this year's tournament are newbies, with a few previous Australian Open champions now seeded lower. For example, 2016 champion Angelique Kerber is 16th this year. 

Aryna Sabalenka (2), Barbora Krejcikova (4), Maria Sakkari (5), Anett Kontaveit (6), Iga Swiatek (7), Paula Badosa(8), Ons Jabeur (9) and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (10) finish out the top 10 seeds in the women's singles draw.

Seven-time chamipon Serena Williams announced in early December that she will not be competing in the Austrailan Open this year.

MORE: Serena Williams out for Australian Open 2022

American players

There will be at least 15 American women's players at this year's grand slam opener, with four of them seeded.

The top-ranked American women's player is Sofia Kenin at No. 11. She won the Australian Open in 2020 for her only grand slam win to date. She will face fellow American Madison Keys in the first round.

The young superstar Coco Gauff (18) has never made it past the quarterfinals round in a grand slam tournament. She will face Chinese player Qiang Wang in the first round.

The other seeded American women's players include Jessica Pegula (21) and Danielle Collins (27).

Full Australian Open draws

Men's Draw

(Australian Open Website)

(Australian Open Website)

Women's draw

(Australian Open Website)

(Australian Open Website)

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