Australian Open 2023 women's preview: Can Iga Swiatek continue to dominate?

Despite the retirement of Ash Barty and Serena Williams over the past year, the women's field at the Australian Open is stronger than ever. Americans Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff continue to thrive. Ons Jabeur is getting closer and closer to her first Grand Slam title. Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari have staked their claim in the top 10 and aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

But there's one woman on everyone's minds: Iga Swiatek, the terminator who took over women's tennis in 2022. She broke out last year, winning 37 straight matches and two Grand Slam trophies. She was masterful at the French Open and a dominating force at the US Open, and while her run of success didn't start until February, she made it to the semifinals at the 2022 Australian Open. She was one win away from capturing three Grand Slam titles in a year.

Swiatek might be the favorite, but her win is far from guaranteed. Anyone in the top 10 is strong enough to knock her off. In fact, Pegula beat her just over a week ago in the final of the United Cup. If everyone is in top form, fans are in for two weeks of thrilling tennis.

When is the 2023 Australian Open?

The 2023 Australian Open begins on Jan. 16 and runs through Jan. 29. The women's quarterfinals begin on Jan. 23. Both semifinal matches will be played on Jan. 26. The women's singles final will be played on Jan. 28 at 3:30 am EST.

Who won't be at the Australian Open?

Two familiar names have already withdrawn due to injuries. Venus Williams, who was awarded a main draw wild-card spot, pulled out a few weeks ago with an unspecified injury. Osaka pulled out on Jan. 9, and later revealed that she's pregnant with her first child and will miss the entire season. Simona Halep will also not be at the Aussie Open, as she's still suspended after testing positive for a banned substance last year.

Australian Open women's seeds

Iga Swiatek

Ons Jabeur

Jessica Pegula

Caroline Garcia

Aryna Sabalenka

Maria Sakkari

Coco Gauff

Daria Kasatkina

Veronika Kudermetova

Madison Keys

Paula Badosa (withdrawn)

Belinda Bencic

Danielle Collins

Beatriz Haddad Maia

Petra Kvitova

Anett Kontaveit

Players to watch

Iga Swiatek

In 2022, Swiatek proved that she is the one to beat on the women's tour. She had a historic 37-match winning streak that started before the French Open and ended in the middle of Wimbledon. She won the French Open for the second time and the US Open for the first time. And she's just 21. The expectations for her in 2023 are huge, but Swiatek, whose traveling team contains a sports psychiatrist, might be uniquely equipped to meet (or even surpass) them.

Ons Jabeur

Jabeur didn't manage to win it all in 2022, but she came close twice. She finished second to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon, and second to Iga Swiatek at the US Open. She's now the No. 2 women's tennis player in the world, the highest ranking of her career, and could reach new heights in 2023.

Jessica Pegula

Now the highest-ranked American woman on the WTA tour and the No. 3 women's player in the world, Pegula took big strides in 2022. She had career-best finishes at all four Grand Slams, including three quarterfinal exits. She continues to improve at every tournament and obviously has her sights set on capturing her first Grand Slam title in 2023, but she'll have sharp competition from Swiatek and Jabeur.

Coco Gauff

Still just 18, Gauff took a big step forward in 2022 that brought her to the edge of her first Grand Slam trophy. She still has room for growth in her game, but again, she's just 18. She has a lot of time to make those adjustments, and continues to get better and better with every tournament. She's not even old enough to drink yet and she's essentially a seasoned veteran. The best is yet to come for Gauff, and she hasn't come close to reaching her ceiling yet.

Emma Raducanu

Raducanu's in a special place right now: The land of reduced expectations. Over a year after her shocking win at the 2021 US Open, she's no longer the ingenue. She's gone through several coaches, several injuries, and (more than) several British tabloids putting her under intense scrutiny. The UK media is unrelenting.

Australian Open 2023 women's odds

With the defending Australian Open women's singles champ retired and pregnant with her first child, Swiatek took over in 2022, and she's got great odds to win the first Grand Slam of 2023.

Iga Swiatek +240

Aryna Sabalenka +700

Jessica Pegula +1000

Coco Gauff +1400

Ons Jabeur +1400

Caroline Garcia +1400

Belinda Bencic +1600

How to watch the 2023 Australian Open

ESPN has the broadcast rights to the 2023 Australian Open. Since Melbourne is 16 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone, match coverage and in-studio analysis will begin on ESPN or ESPN2 in the evening, around 7-9pm EST. Full court coverage will be available on ESPN+, and can be watched live or replayed later. You can view the full schedule here.