Australian Open starts today and the world has already witnessed one of the biggest and unforgettable first-round upsets in tennis history. Maria Kirilenko downs the three-time Grand Slam Champion, Maria Sharapova (7-6, 3-6, 6-4). Although fired nine aces and 45 winners, Sharapova committed 77 unforced errors during the entire match.
Who will win?
Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are the defending champions but I don’t see another triumph for Serena this year that Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin are back. These two Belgian are playing extraordinary tennis and that’s all that matters to win a Grand Slam.
Rafa can go far, no doubt to that. If he remains healthy in the first four rounds and continued to mix defensive + aggressive shots to his advantage, he can probably cruise into the finals again.
I am still in fence with Novak Djokovic. His performance in Kooyong Exhibition was hard to believe. He only won one round-robin out of three losing to Fernando Verdasco and Australian’s Hope (Bernard Tomic). The Australian Heat probably troubles the 2008 AO Champion. However, it’s too early to make solid predictions.
The important thing now is, Nole gets back to playing aggressive tennis again. His draw reveals he can face Fernando Verdasco in the semis, that’s something to look forward to. Focusing on the first round now, Nole plays Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain in the first round. Good Luck!
All eyes are on Ana Ivanovic! How far can she go?
It’s a tough draw for this beautiful and charismatic Serb. Her draw shows a third and fourth round clash with Vera Zvonareva and Victoria Azerenka, respectively. Last year, these two women outlasted Anci in Indian Wells and Roland Garros.
The only hope is: if Ana Ivanovic remains confident, injured-free and improves his ball toss and groundstrokes, she can probably advanced into the quarterfinals. If that happens the dilemma will not end unfortunately. There’s still Serena Williams waiting in the line.
Fernando Verdasco won the Kooyong Exhibition 2010. I never saw the highlights in any of his matches but it seems a good call to bet on this Spaniard dark-horse again if he survives another young leftie (Carsten Ball) in the first round.
- I want to see Venus Williams in the semifinals with Ana Ivanovic. If Ana losses to her again, that’s fine. Just don’t want the Wimbledon 2009 fourth-round repeat, I prefer the Zurich 2008 Semis.
- The Men’s draw is also tough. This is surely a wild rollercoaster, lots of unexpected upsets. If Nole makes it to the semis either with Verdasco or Federer, that’s all great to me.