The first Grand Slam of the season and we’re down Nadal, so the other Big 3 look favorite to win another crown. Reigning champ Djokovic will have to fend off a building Andy Murricane, while Federer will look to get going quickly at a young 31.
Aussie tennis looks in much better shape than last year with Tomic finding form in recent weeks and a crop of younger players making noises early on this season. Other antipodean players making an impression are Marinko Matosevic, Matthew Ebden, Greg Jones and John Millman. Lleyton Hewitt never says die and comes back for another tilt at a run.
Let’s break it down:
Level: ITF Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hard
Defending Champion: Novak Djokovic
Nasty Floater: Gael Monfils – Edging back to best and has the tools to take down a big gun.
Veteran Watch: Lleyton Hewitt – Could be his last Open so expect a blood and guts effort.
Up and Coming: Aljaz Bedene – Could make it to face Del Po and we will get a better look at this young Slovene.
Slumping: Feliciano Lopez – Can’t win a match so far and gets a tricky draw.
On Fire: Phillip Kohlschreiber – PK was on fire in Aukland and loves to play in Australia. Big opportunity for him this year.
Aussie Watch: Bernard Tomic – Finally back on form and could give the crowd something to shout about.
My pick: Andy ‘Murricane’ Murray – Came close a few times and with newfound confidence could be his year.
Did You Know? The last unseeded winner was Mark Edmonson, way back in 1976.
Watch: Australian Open Uncovered
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