After what seemed like an eternity, tennis is officially back!! I’ve been looking forward to this tournament almost as much as I’ve been looking forward to the start of American Idol! Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground! But I digress.
Late last week we made our picks. Two picks each from the men’s and women’s draws: one favorite and one dark horse. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my blogs here and here. The last two Grand Slams resulted in at least one of my picks going out early. I was positive I was going to buck this trend at this tournament. New decade, new year, new tournament, the sky’s the limit! Due to a long weekend; I am writing this blog after day 1 of the tournament. And you know what? One of my picks is already gone. Day 1?! Come on! Guess some things don’t change.
Without further ado, here are our picks.
Fav: Juan Martin Del Potro. Showed the world what a 100+ MPH forehand looks like. And boy, does it look big! Just ask Federer. But his wrist injury concerns me. Odds: 8-1
DH: Marin Cilic. Has already won a tournament this year. Beat Wawrinka at the Chennai Open. Odds: 26-1
Fav: Nikolay Davydenko. Yeah, yeah, I know this looks like a bandwagon pick, but still. Only one other person has beaten both Nadal and Federer in the same tournament. . Odds: 3-1
DH: Lleyton Hewitt. He’s the hometown boy. Playing in his 14th Australian Open. Lucky number 14, I always say. Odds: 36-1
Fav: Rafael Nadal. Nadal could be seeded 30th with both knees taped, and I think Hayley would’ve still picked him. Saw his first set against his first round opponent. He’s going to have to play a lot better if he wants to defend his title. Odds: 8-1
DH: Gael Monfils. Limping into the Aussie Open with a shoulder injury. But, he is the most ripped/cut/chiseled tennis player in the draw. And that’s gotta count for something. Odds: 26-1
Fav: Roger Federer. He might still be at the top, but I think the gap is closing in. No longer is he a shoo-in for the finals. Am I crazy? Maybe! But hey, new racquet, new shoes, maybe that’s all he needs. Odds: 4-1
DH: Stanislas Wawrinka. Will always be known as the other Swiss player. Odds: 25-1
Fav: Novak Djokovic. Oddly enough, the weather in Melbourne has been cool and rainy. If this keeps up, The Joker has a good chance to go far. Odds: 11-1
DH: Fernando Gonzalez. Ouside of Del Potro, he has the biggest forehand in the game. He should just run around his backhand all day. Odds: 32-1
Fav: Andy Murray. I have a biased prediction for him since I saw him play his first round match. He was hitting some amazing winners. Who you calling a pusher now? Odds: 8-1
DH: Tomas Berdych. Did you know he was up 2 sets to none against Federer in last year’s Australian Open? Told you the gap is closing. Odds: 46-1
Fav: Dinara Safina. She makes me scratch my head. How does one play so well in one match, then get blown off the court in 59 minutes in the next match? See Aussie Open 2009. Odds: 12-1
DH: Ana Ivanovic. Love this pick as the dark horse. I have an inkling that this is going to be her comeback year. And my inklings are 92.6% accurate. Odds: 29-1
Fav: Venus Williams. Her sister won it last year. If they meet in the draw this year, Venus will take it this year. Calm down conspiracy theorists, that just seems to be the trend. Odds: 8-1
DH: Maria Sharapova. I don’t want to talk about it. Odds: ∞-1
Fav: Serena Williams. See above. If the sisters meet in the Semi-Final, she’s not winning it. Odds: 10-1
DH: Kim Clijsters. Can she really be considered an underdog? Winning the US Open in only her 3rd match back and just recently, beating Justine Henin in the finals of the Brisbane International. Odds: 12-1
Fav: Svetlana Kuznetsova. For some reason, I always overlook her. And she always surprises me. No more. I think she’s making it at least to the semi-finals. Odds: 9-1
DH: Justine Henin. Not fair that she isn’t seeded. It’s not fair to the seeded players who have to face her. Odds: 14-1
Fav: Elena Dementieva. Beat Azarenka, Safina and Serena Williams in the warm up tournament to the Aussie Open. I’d say she’s warmed up. Odds: 11-1
DH: Daniela Hantuchova. Just recently started training with the Adidas Player Development Program. Being trained by Gil Reyes. You know, the guy that trained some American named Andre Agassi. Odds: 25-1
Fav: Caroline Wozniacki. First time being seeded in the top 8. The pressure is on, can she handle the heat? I’m thinking a surprisingly early exit. But what do I know; my dark horse is already out. Odds: 20-1
DH: Samantha Stosur. She’s quite an accomplished doubles player. But this year, she’s stopping doubles to focus on singles. Good or bad call? Only time will tell, starting with this tournament. Odds: 26-1
I am shocked that no one in our office picked Andy Roddick. With the backing of Terrell Owens, how can he lose? Who knew those two were such buddy buddies.
Hope you enjoy watching the tournament as much as we do. It’s going to be a great year for tennis, I have an inkling.