Early form for key players
For all the drama of this week, there have been some key performances that could stir up a few things in Melbourne. So, let’s talk tennis… please! Because after two weeks of drama, the only show in town this week is the Australian Open – your weekly watch for the next two weeks.
|17 Jan||Slam: Australian Open||Melbourne, Australia|
Grand Slam: Australian Open
No-one could have expected a lead-in quite like this, but the first Slam of the year is finally here, and maybe it is time to talk about tennis.
It is the first big tournament of the year and we already have had a few injury niggles here and there, but also a few decent performances that could mix things up in the next two weeks.
Of course, the Sunday before the main event, the drama has not stopped there as the schedule for Monday was delayed until well past 4pm in the afternoon Down Under.
Why is this important? Had Tennis Australia waited until after the hearing, we would have seen a lot of reshuffling to move No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev into the top spot to balance out the seeds in the top section of the draw.
As it is, lucky loser Salvatore Caruso comes in and seven seeds will fight it out to come out of that sector.
The path is clear now for the chasing pack of whippersnappers in the men’s side to make their claim for their own Slam title chases. There have been high hopes in Slam finals gone by for Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, but the honours have gone to Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev.
Thiem’s absence puts the Russian right back in the frame to lead the chasing pack.
But wait – are we leaving out Rafael Nadal? Well – yes. Although he, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are indeed all still tied on 20 Slams each, the younger names in the frame are just too consistent on hard courts now for Nadal to make a real play here. Ask us this question for Roland Garros, and of course it will be a different answer.
The Women’s draw has been largely untouched with any drama or surprise injuries and remains as open as ever. Their last home-grown champion was the legendary Evonne Goolagong in 1977, and if any Aussie could break that duck for them, then Ashleigh Barty is your girl.
Naomi Osaka has rekindled her love for tennis for now, but the first Slam of the year tends to be the most open, with clay and grass maybe being a little more exacting, so don’t be surprised to see a few different names coming to the fore.
How to watch the Australian Open
Firstly – if you want to be watching the action, be prepared for a lot of coffee and overnight matches. Play starts at midnight UK time, and the first couple of rounds tend to be pretty frenetic with but early risers can still catch the latter part of the day matches and the night matches on the show courts.
Tennis fans will be able to watch most matches through betting streams.
We recommend checking out the offers at Bet365, where the men’s outrights have been adjusted with Daniil Medvedev the favourite.
Meanwhile the women’s side of the draw is set to be thrilling with defending champion Naomi Osaka set to face favourite Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round.