ATP – Australian Open
The first Major of the year is already underway, and there already are a number of interesting stories surrounding the Australian Open.
The majority of the talking points that are buzzing around the prestigious tournament revolves around the Big Four — the four supreme athletes that have brought the sport to greater heights over the past decade. They have dominated for years now, and I don’t think much will change here.
These men and their on-court feats still draw the biggest us tips, but their actions outside the court have also sparked discussions amongst the game’s most passionate fans.
Depending on your level of involvement to the fantastic sport of tennis, these stories will definitely tug at your heartstrings or rile you up for the upcoming matches.
Nadal and Federer continue to battle for domination
These two men have been at the top of the game for quite a long time that people forget just how good they have been. However, they reminded people over the 2018 season the superb quality they possess, and they will likely show in this tournament why pundits still cannot count them out.
Federer continues to impress despite being older than almost every other player playing in the competition. The Swiss maestro showed off his supreme talent as he took down Denis Istomin in straight sets. Even he cannot believe that he is still performing at such an effective rate.
“It’s disbelief to be quite honest that I’m the double defending champion at my age,” he said. “I hope I can do it again this year.”
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal also won his first match of the competition in straight sets. He was facing some tough resistance from local player James Duckworth, but his tweaked serve made sure that he would not face any problems.
With these two still performing at a high level at their age, it begs belief if these two aren’t a part of the Australian Open 2019 betting lists of the many punters looking into the tournament.
Djokovic: Fighting wars on two fronts
Novak Djokovic is having an interesting start to his 2019. And I am using “interesting” to play down how chaotic his year has started so far.
He ended 2018 on a rather bitter note after starting the second half of the season on an angry winning streak. He was supposed to end on a high by winning the ATP Finals, but Alexander Zverev shocked the world and took down the Serb in straight sets.
We can be sure that Djokovic will be looking to start this year on the right note by taking home his seventh Australian Open title and establishing his stature as one of the best players to ever pick up a tennis racket.
However, this is not the only battle the mighty Serb has been fighting. Australian Open 2019 news stories reveal that he is embroiled in a rough political battle that seeks to boost player power. He voted against extending the tenure of ATP chief executive Chris Kermode, a figure supported by Federer, Nadal and a smattering of other top professionals.
Should he get his way after the Open, the tour will see a lot of changes happening. Meanwhile, this should make the tournament interesting, especially if Djokovic meets either Nadal or Djokovic in the tournament’s latter stages.
Who will be the next big tennis star?
The entire tennis world is still reeling from the untimely sunset that befell Andy Murray’s tennis career. The one-steady Scot limped out of the Australian Open’s first round in a full-set duel against Roberto Bautista Agut.
The former number one made the tough decision to call it quits as his hip just won’t let him play at the level we have come to expect from the two-time Wimbledon winner.
And with Murray officially unable to play at the highest level, some may be looking at the next person who will step up and take his place.
Will it be Zverev, who has already impressed many players on the tour. Dominic Thiem and Juan Martin del Potro could also take his place if they perform well enough this year.
Until that happens, everyone is only hoping that Murray’s hip can hold out until he makes it to the hallowed courts of Wimbledon for his last hurrah.
Djokovic and Federer are the biggest favourites to make it back to the final and win the entire tournament again. Both men have won the Australian title six times. Some can say that Federer is the bigger fish in this pond as he won the last two iterations of the competition.
However, Rafael Nadal has experienced victory in Melbourne during the 2009 tournament and was the runner-up three times. One of his more memorable performances was the five-hour classic he played with Djokovic in 2012.
Murray also used to thrive in this Grand Slam as well, making the final five times. However, I don’t think anyone outside the four can even match the four in terms of the play they have showcased in the last ten years.
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