January not only heralds new resolutions and new beginnings, it also marks the start of tennis season – the Australian Open is the first of four Grand Slam tournaments, and will see the world’s top tennis players descend upon Melbourne Park from 16th to 29th January. This year also marks the 15th year that Rolex has been the Official Timekeeper for the sport.
Not only is Rolex constantly pushing the limits of watchmaking, but it also continues to support the endeavours of our greatest sportsmen and adventurers. The grand marque has kept time for the Grand Slam tournaments since 2008, but it has been a long-standing partner even before then. Rolex began its relationship with the sport when it first partnered with The Championships, Wimbledon in 1978, and today continues to be a presence at all the Grand Slams and all the major events in the men’s and women’s games.
First held in 1905, the Australian Open was played on grass, before it moved to its current state-of-the-art venue, Melbourne Park, in 1988. Rod Laver has the centre court named in his honour following a remarkable career dotted with multiple triumphs.
The Australian Open is now one of the most significant sporting events in the Southern Hemisphere, with many a Rolex Testimonee making their mark on the court, including Rod Laver, Chris Evert, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier and Roger Federer.
This season, all eyes are on 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, who won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open and became the youngest-ever World No. 1 in ATP Tour history in 2022. In the women’s draw, 21-year-old Iga Sweater is another Rolex Testimonee worth looking out for. She seeks to check off another Grand Slam title after winning previously at Roland-Garros (2020, 2022) and the US Open (2022).
Joining the tournament too, are Caroline Garcia, who’s at a career-high following her victory at the WTA Finals; Americans Cori Gauff and Taylor Fritz, who debuted in the top ten singles ranking in 2022; and Stéfanos Tsitsipás, a three-time semi-finalist and World No. 3.
Commenting on the Australian Open this year, Tsitsipás says, “Whenever I come here, I feel a great affinity with the people. They provide so much support – in tennis that helps a lot. People come and support me annually, which is a great thing. It’s called the ‘Happy Slam’ for a reason.”
Dates for the Tennis Season 2023
January 16-29, 2023
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
April 10-16, 2023
May 28-June 11, 2023
July 3-16, 2023
August 28-September 10, 2023
September 22-24, 2023
Rolex Shanghai Masters
October 9-15, 2023
Rolex Paris Masters
October 30-November 5, 2023
(Header image: Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) playing against Sebastian Baez (ARG) in the second round of the Men’s Singles in the Margaret Court Arena)