The first Grand Slam of the year, it is finally here! Forgive my sub-par attempt at a rhyme; I promise you it’s just my excitement speaking (or maybe the festive season hangover- perhaps a little bit of both)!
The Australian Open always brings with it a great deal of anticipation, immense passion, daring dreams and renewed hopes. After all, it is the start of a brand new season. This year, however, it brings with it something more. It brings uncertainty.
Here is why: last year, there were different winners for each of the four Grand Slams in both the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles category. In fact, only the Women’s Doubles category had a pair that won more than one Slam in 2014, and that too, just two. In this respect, 2014 has been quite different from 2013. In 2013, there were few upsets, especially in the Men’s singles category.
Here’s a review of Grand Slam winners in 2014:
Seeds for the Australian Open:
Men’s Singles top 5:
- Novak Djokovic
- Roger Federer
- Rafael Nadal
- Stanislas Wawrinka
- Kei Nishikori
Women’s Singles top 5:
- Serena Williams
- Maria Sharapova
- Simona Halep
- Petro Kvitova
- Ana Ivanovic
- Victoria Azarenka, 2013 Australian Open champion, is unseeded.
- Li Na, the defending champion had announced her retirement and will not be competing.
- Marin Cilic, 2014 US Open champion has withdrawn due to injury.
- Juan Del Potro has pulled out due to a wrist injury.
What to expect in the upcoming two weeks: uncertainty.
Remember the time when Federer used to be invincible? Then slowly Nadal worked his way to the top, and then Djokovic. Well now, given the current scenario, there is absolutely no security for the Men’s Singles monopoly has transformed into an oligopoly! With a few big players, anyone can grab the market share, and well in this case, the title.
In the Women’s draw, there has never been a long-time reigning champion. So in some ways, nothing has changed. It wont be surprising to see any of the top, say 10, bag the title. The draw is wide open, like it has always been.
Wondering what the Australian Open has in store this year, let’s brace ourselves for the first Slam of the year, the start of the new season, and for many, the beginning of a career.
Let’s get ready to see it all unfold; dreams turning into reality, history being made everyday, and lifelong persistence and determination becoming worth it.
Looking at the larger picture, it would be exciting to see how 2015 pans out for Tennis as a whole. Will there be any stability and consistency with the title winners and top ranked players? Only time will tell. For now, let’s just sit back and switch on the TV, tuning directly into center court, Rod Laver Arena!