2018 Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam Preview
The 2018 Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the tennis season, starts on Monday the 15th January and runs for two weeks, before concluding on Sunday 28th January.
This year’s competition will be the 106th playing of the tournament at Melbourne Park, Victoria. This is now a hardcourt venue, but was once a grass court tournament. Nowadays, they use 25 courts, including three main show courts, the Margaret Court Arena, Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena.
Once again, the best tennis players on the planet will feature in the singles competitions for both men and women, the male and female double’s draw, and the mixed doubles event. In addition, there is a singles and doubles tournament for both boys and girls under 18 years old, plus singles, doubles and quad events for men’s and women’s wheelchair tennis players.
A review of the 2017 Australian Open
Last year’s Australian Open saw tennis superstars, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, lose in the early stages of the tournament. Both players had made the previous two finals, with Djokovic prevailing on each occasion. Their speedy elimination paved the way for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to make it through to the final, where the two old rivals battled out a memorable five-set game. Roger Federer came out on top to clinch his fifth title at Melbourne Park.
The Williams sisters met in the women’s singles final, as Serena beat Venus to make history and claim her seventh Australian Open title. Serena also managed to win the tournament without dropping a single set.
Henri Kontinen of Finland, and John Peers of Australia, won the men’s doubles title, whilst Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA, and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, won the women’s doubles trophy. The mixed doubles title was won by Abigail Spears of the USA, and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia.
The most recent singles Australian Open winners:
2017 – Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal
2016 – Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray
2015 – Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray
2014 – Stan Wawrinka beat Rafael Nadal
2013 – Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray
2017 – Serena Williams beat Venus Williams
2016 – Angelique Kerber beat Serena Williams
2015 – Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova
2014 – Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova
2013 – Victoria Azarenka beat Li Na
The players to watch at the 2018 Australian Open
With Andy Murray’s late withdrawal from this year’s tournament, due to a re-occurring hip injury, and Novak Djokovic only just returning from his own injury woes, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will once again be favourites for the men’s Australian Open final.
These two dominated the world of tennis in 2017, and are expected to be at their best again at the beginning of 2018. Novak Djokovic, if returning fresh, is sure to be a huge threat too.
Of the best of the rest, German, Alexander Zverev, who had a brilliant 2017, winning 5 ATP titles, could be in with a big chance, whilst David Goffin led his Belgian team to the final of the Davis Cup and made the ATP Finals final in London back in November. However, Bulgarian, Gregor Dimitrov, who lifted the ATP Finals title at London’s O2 arena, is sure to arrive in Australia as a massive hope of continuing his successful form.
As for the women’s singles, the defending champion Serena Williams is a sensational late withdrawal from the tournament, which has now been left the draw wide open. Wimbledon winner, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza is likely to start the tournament as favourite, but a host of the top women’s player’s will fancy their chances too. These include Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber.