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Australian Open 2011: A Preview

Australian Open

Source: australianopen.com

The first Grand Slam of the year 2011 kicks off tomorrow at the Melbourne Park as the world’s best tennis players vie for the coveted trophy and start their season on a high. All eyes will once again be on the great Nadal-Federer rivalry as these 2 legends come into the Australian Open with different milestones in sight. While Roger Federer will try and defend his Australian Open title of 2010 and win his 17th Grand Slam (already a world record), Rafael Nadal (world no 1) would try and become the first man since Rod Laver (1969) to hold all the Grand Slam titles, as he had won the French, Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2010. If that happens, then it would be the first time since Wimbledon 2003 that Federer would have no Grand Slam titles in hand at any moment of time. Interestingly, both Nadal and Federer have tried to divert attention, by shifting the favorite tag to the other.

Looking at the draw, Nadal (1) is drawn in the same half as Robin Soderling (4), while Federer (2) has been drawn with Novak Djokovic (3). It would be fascinating to see who takes the crown, if anyone can upset the apple-cart and become the champion by beating Nadal and Federer or the two legends prove to be too good for others and add another trophy to their glittering cabinet.

On the Women’s side, the fight will be between Wozniacki (1), Zvonareva (2), Clijsters (3) and Venus Williams (4), with dark horses such as Henin (11), Stosur (5), Jankovic (7) and Schiavone (6). It is a more open competition in the Women’s draw, with no overwhelming favorites after defending champion Serena Williams had withdrawn from the Open due to foot injury.

In the Doubles’, all Indian fans would be hoping for a good performance from Paes-Bhupathi to build on their triumph at Chennai Open. Paes-Bhupathi are seeded 3rd and are in the same draw as Mirnyi-Nestor (2). Apart from them, the Bryan brothers, the no 1 seeds, would pose the biggest challenge.

It is all set to be a wonderful fortnight of some exciting, high quality, enthralling tennis action at the Melbourne Park. It all starts today with Wozniacki, Federer, Dokovic, Roddick, Venus Williams, Henin etc, in action on Day 1.

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