Australian Open Review
Happy Tennis New Year, Basha Tennis friends!
This time of year is always so much fun for us tennis fans. One can reflect on last year’s results on the eve the first Major of the year, the Australian Open.
On the men’s side, how will first-time Major champs Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic fare this year? Though Cilic has withdrawn from Australia, it will be interesting to see how he (and Wawrinka) will be able to handle playing with a very large target on their backs.
Of “The Big 4,” Andy Murray and Roger Federer are the more questionable: Does Federer have another Major or two left in the tank? As for Murray, is he 100% yet from his back surgery twelve-plus months ago? Only time will tell. And time will tell if the two favorites, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, will continue to cash in this year while they are on top of the game. Outside the top four, most feel Nishikori Kei will be able to win his first of many Majors this year.
On the women’s side, it reads as it has before: It’s Serena Williams and the rest. Will S. Williams be able to add to her incredible 18 singles Majors? If she falls, who will rise to the occasion, as newly retired Li Na did at last year’s Australian Open? Most feel that Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Wozniacki are poised to win their first Major this year. Who am I to argue? I just say, don’t forget about Simona Halep, who has been very close to winning her first Major, too.
As for doubles, just look at the teams who won the four Majors last year. Three different women’s teams won Majors (Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina, and the recently split Hsieh Su-wei/Peng Shuai). On the men’s side four different teams won Majors (Lukasz Kubot/Robert Lindstedt, Julien Benneteau/Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Jack Sock/Vasek Pospisil, and Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan). This is a perfect example of how unpredictable sports really are and how enjoyable it is for us to watch as it all plays out.
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Final note: Don’t forget about mixed doubles! I look forward most to Wimbledon because that’s when we are most likely to see a retired player make an unexpected appearance. Also, though, both Bob and Mike Bryan have never won mixed in Australia. Who will be the first to do it?