The Australian Open is underway. As the first major of the year, you can always expect some interesting storylines. You’ll see plot threads continuing from last year. Questions such as , “Will the Fed get back #1,” or, “Will Jelena win her first slam,” will be talked about for the duration of the tournament.
Just how can this tournament be so filled with surprises? There are a number of factors. First, this first slam occurs in the beginning of the year, a little over a month after the tennis off season ends. In order to adequately prepare players must sacrifice a decent portion of their down time to get in shape.
And since we’re on the subject of being in shape, that’s exactly what you have to be to win the Aussie. With temperatures regularly upwards of 95 degrees Fahrenheit, you sincerely must be in excellent physically condition to have success on the hard courts.
Here are some predictions about what you could see coming out of the Aussie this year.
The new king of men’s tennis looks to solidify his standing with a win on hard courts. He reached the semis here last year, but his hard court game still isn’t impenetrable like it is on clay. He could win it all, or he could get knocked out early. If his knees aren’t in tip top shape, he’s vulnerable.
Roger had a “bad” year in 08, winning only one slam. However, the GOAT candidate is still looking to cement his standing with some big wins. He can go all of the way here, especially if he has a kind draw and avoids some thorns like Andy Murray (Murray’s had Fed’s number lately). If Fed can reign in his forehand and play his wonderful attacking game, we just might see Pete Sampras’ record tied down under.
The Djoker has some stuff to prove going into this season. After his breakthrough win at the Aussie last year, Djokovic didn’t make any major noise on the circuit. Novak has all the shots in the book, so talent isn’t a question. He’ll get it back together this season, that’s for sure. But getting together it win this tournament just might be a little too soon. Remember he has to defend all the points that he won here last year. Any champion will tell you that defending a championship is harder than winning it the first time.
He’s had a wonderful string of dominance over Federer the last few times they played. Murray has the potential to win a slam, but he’s going to have to beat two of the top three in order to do it. That’s a tall order for anyone.
The WTA’s leading actress will undoubtedly pull out all the stops to win her first slam and become a legit number one in the eyes of the world. She’s embarked on a new training routine and bulked up some. If she wants to win the Aussie, she’ll have to save the dramatics for the soaps and not have too many long matches. It’ll leave her drained when she has to play the big babes.
When she’s in full command of her powers, she’s unbeatable. The question is never if she can win. It’s if she’s put in the work and has the desire. However, this season her biggest rival may really be her sister.
Last year was the best year of her career so far. She has plenty of talent, but her lack of mobility compared to the other top women will hurt her chances. If she can keep her famous family temperament in check, she can make a deep run.
The elder Williams closed the season with a victory in the year ending championships, her first. Venus is inspired, and she just won an exhibition in Hong Kong where she went undefeated. If she plays her cards right, she just might walk away with her first Aussie title.