All you need to know about the 2022 Australian Open, with Novak Djokovic sensationally deported

When and where does it take place, who will be the main threats and can Briton Emma Raducanu land a second major in the women's event?

The countdown to the 2022 Australian Open is on - we've got all you need to know about the first Grand Slam tournament of the season!

Our Andy Schooler brings you all the details on the Melbourne Park event, including the schedule, TV details and the latest betting odds.

When is the 2022 Australian Open taking place?

The 2022 Australian Open will be held from January 17-30.

On most days, play will get under way at midnight GMT.

The women's singles final will take place at 08.30 GMT on January 29 with the men's singles final slated for 08.30 GMT on January 30.

As for the qualifying event, that will take place from January 10-14.

What is the venue and surface for the 2022 Australian Open?

Flinders Park Melbourne Jan19

The tournament will take place at Melbourne Park in Melbourne.

Previously known as Flinders Park, the venue has staged the Australian Open since 1988.

It features GreenSet outdoor hardcourts, the GreenSet surface having been laid prior to the 2020 tournament. Plexicushion had previously been used.

We say outdoor, but three courts, including the main Rod Laver Arena, have retractable roofs which allow play indoors when it is raining or during excessive heat.

Which players will miss the 2022 Australian Open?

Roger Federer Australian Open trophy Jan18

On the men's side, six-time winner Roger Federer and former US Open champion Dominic Thiem are big names who have already confirmed they will be absent from the Australian Open.

Federer is still recovering from knee surgery last year which has put his career in doubt, while Thiem is delaying the start to his season following a long-term wrist injury.

The biggest news has revolved around Novak Djokovic, though, with the Serbian star being deported from Australia before the tournament's opening round.

The nine-time champion's stance on vaccination left him needing medical exemption to enter the country, but the Serbian star was turned away.

He appealed the decision to deny him a visa and won his case, with the judge ruling that the original decision should be quashed and the 34-year-old be released from detention immediately. 

That meant that Djokovic was free to take part in the tournament's draw, but a statement made by the Australian Immigration Minister just days before the start of the event confirmed that the government were exercising further powers to cancel his visa for a second time, meaning the world No.1 was deported an unable to participate.

Serena Williams Australian Open Feb21

In the women's draw, 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams and last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova miss out. Williams, who - like Federer - turned 40 in 2021, is yet to recover from a hamstring problem picked up at Wimbledon, while Pliskova has a hand injury.

However, 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal is set to play despite a brush with covid-19 last month. 

Prior to arriving in Melbourne, the Spaniard had not played since August due to a long-standing foot problem, though, so you can expect him to be some way short of his best tennis for a while yet.

What are the latest betting odds for the 2022 Australian Open?

With Djokovic now out of the tournament, the odds for the men's singles have been blown wide open.

US Open king Daniil Medvedev now heads the market (7/4), while Alex Zverev follows closely behind at 3/1.

Andy Murray, who has been handed a wild card sits at 50/1, while Cameron Norrie has now been eliminated in the opening round. Their fellow Briton Dan Evans remains a 100/1 shot.

Daniil Medvedev - 7/4

Alex Zverev - 3/1

Rafael Nadal - 9/1

Stefanos Tsitsipas - 16/1

Jannik Sinner - 16/1

Carlos Alcaraz - 33/1

Matteo Berrettini - 33/1

Andrey Rublev - 40/1

Casper Ruud - 40/1

Hubert Hurkacz - 40/1

Ash Barty Australian Open Feb21

In the women's singles, world No.1 Ash Barty leads Planet Sport Bet's market, although the home hope, who is yet to make the final in Melbourne, is a cool favourite at 10/3.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka is next at 11/2 with Briton Emma Raducanu, the surprise winner of the US Open in September, at 16/1.

Ash Barty - 10/3

Naomi Osaka - 11/2

Garbine Muguruza - 12/1

Anett Kontaveit - 12/1

Iga Swiatek - 12/1

Simona Halep - 12/1

Paula Badosa - 14/1

Aryna Sabalenka - 14/1

Barbora Krejcikova - 16/1

Emma Raducanu - 16/1

Odds correct as of January 11.

What is the draw for the 2022 Australian Open?

Top round one men's matches

The Australian Open draw has thrown up some brilliant first round matches, as Grand Slams usually do.

None of the British men are facing an easy task to get into round, two, though, with Andy Murray up against big-hitting Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Cam Norrie vs Sebastian Korda

Brandon Nakashima vs Matteo Berrettini

Reilly Opelka vs Kevin Anderson

Alex De Minaur vs Lorenzo Musetti

Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Andy Murray

Dan Evans vs David Goffin

Diego Schwartzman vs Filip Krajinovic

John Isner vs Maxime Cressy

Richard Gasquet vs Ugo Humbert

Top round one women's matches

On the women's side, Emma Raducanu facing former US Open champion Sloane Stephens is the obvious stand-out.

Belinda Bencic vs Kristina Mladenovic

Barbora Krejcikova vs Andrea Petkovic

Sofia Kenin vs Madison Keys

Paula Badosa vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Elise Mertens vs Vera Zvonareva

Sloane Stephens vs Emma Raducanu

Petra Kvitova vs Sorana Cirstea

Angelique Kerber vs Kaia Kanepi

Full 2022 Australian Open draw

How can I watch the 2022 Australian Open on TV or online?

In the UK, Eurosport holds the TV rights to the Australian Open - the 2022 event is the first year of a new 10-year deal.

It will broadcast featured matches from the tournament via its Eurosport 1 and 2 channels, while court-by-court coverage will be provided via its online streaming services, discovery+ and Eurosport Player.

How will the schedule change at the 2022 Australian Open?

There is a significant change to the tournament schedule at this year's Australian Open.

The women's semi-finals, previously staged during the day session on the second Thursday, will both take place in the evening session (starting at 08.30 GMT) on that day in 2022.

The men's semi-finals have previously been split across two days - the first taking place on the second Thursday with the other being held 24 hours later. This has led to unfairness complaints in some quarters.

This year, both men's semis will take place on the second Friday - one in the day session and one in the evening session. Given one match could now take place in considerably hotter temperatures than the other, whether that will silence the complaints remains to be seen.

READ MORE: 'Rules are rules!' - Novak Djokovic deported to leave Australian Open hopes in tatters