It’s one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world and for the 111th time the Australian Open is set to get underway. World number one’s Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams will be defending the titles and of course the expectations of a world number one on the tour is massive! Both will be looking to create history over the two weeks as Novak looks for his 6th Australian Open title in 9 years and Serena is looking for that 22nd Grand Slam title to take her level with Steffi Graf.
For the 20th and final time Lleyton Hewitt will take stage at the Australian Open. Since his career began in 1997 the Australian has never missed the tournament and is a former finalist back in 2005 but hasn’t made it past the fourth round since his run to the final. Lleyton’s achievements throughout his career have been magnificent and it’s fitting that he will retire at the end of the Australian Open.
Andy Murray, Heather Watson, Johanna Konta, Aljaz Bedene, Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans will be flying the British flag in Melbourne with five of the six going straight into the main draw but Dan Evans had to fight hard through qualifying to get to the main draw with Andy Murray even watching from the sideline during his second round match! Hopefully the 2016 Australian Open will bring some success for the British players!
Flying the flag!
This could be a big year for Australia. Kyrgios, Kokkinakis, Tomic and Gavrilova are the rising stars on the ATP and WTA tour and expectations continue to grow for all as the weeks go on especially after Kyrgios and Gavrilova won Hopman Cup a week ago in Perth becoming the first Australian pair to do so since Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic back in 1999! Who knows this could be a very special year for Australian tennis and where better to perform than in front of a home crowd? Many players don’t get opportunities like these so cherish them!
Could Federer be on course for his fifth?
2016 marks 12 years since Roger Federer won his first Australian Open however his last victory in Melbourne was back in 2010 and has only won one of his last five Grand Slam finals since the beginning of 2011. Last year Roger excited the tournament in the third round something he hadn’t done since 2001 and is looking for his 5th Australian Open title to put him level with Novak Djokovic and also is just three wins away from 300 career Grand Slam wins. Roger should reach 300 wins in Melbourne but is 18 Grand Slam titles in sight?
Will Sharapova beat Serena?
New season, same question. 2004 was the last time Maria Sharapova defeated Serena Williams but will it happen this year? If Maria is hoping to lift her first Australian Open title since 2008 then it looks like she will have to defeat the world number one having been drawn in the same quarter as Serena.