Novak Djokovic says he’s ready, so am I. The Grand Slam season begins in a few minutes down under in Melbourne with a very loaded opening day at the Australian Open.
But first to Djokovic. He’s the rightful favorite however is this mystery illness really behind him as he said? I’d say no. Fortunately he has time to work his way into form before next week’s madness. And his draw is a good one. Though let’s not ignore Novak’s health here.
So today we have a huge line-up with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Plus Grigor Dimitrov, Tomas Berdych and those super talented young Australians.
For the top guys, I don’t see much of an issue. They all benefit from the best-of-5 format, especially against the lower ranked guys.
Mikhail Youzhny has beaten Nadal on four occasions, and may get a set tonight, but Rafa should get it into gear.
The two matches that catch my eye are Ernests Gulbis against the 18-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakas. We haven’t heard much from Earnie since his stunning French Open semifinal run while TK is a future star.
The other match is the battle between another 18-year-old future hope, Borna Coric, against former Australian Open quarterfinals Jeremy Chardy.
Dustin Brown and Grigor Dimitrov should also be a lot of fun as well.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN MONDAY SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena 11:00am Start Time
Karin Knapp (ITA) vs. Simona Halep (ROU)
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) vs. Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
Not Before: 2:00pm
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Rod Laver Arena 7:00pm Start Time
Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)
Petra Martic (CRO) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Margaret Court Arena 11:00am Start Time
Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) vs. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU)
Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Yuki Bhambri (IND)
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) vs. Angelique Kerber (GER)
Margaret Court Arena 7:00pm Start Time
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) vs. Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER)
Federico Delbonis (ARG) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
Hisense Arena 11:00am Start Time
Julia Goerges (GER) vs. Belinda Bencic (SUI)
Sabine Lisicki (GER) vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Tobias Kamke (GER) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Not Before: 5:00pm
Sam Groth (AUS) vs. Filip Krajinovic (SRB)
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