Australian Open 2019

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The 2019 edition of the Australian Open begins on January 14 and it will be one to remember. First of all, this is the last tournament Andy Murray will probably play. He announced that the injuries he struggled for so long are not gone and he cannot play anymore with pain.
The Brit is a five time finalist in Melbourne. Murray also stated that he really hopes he can retire at Wimbledon, later in the season.
Murray already played at the time this article was written and he put up an extraordinary fight against Roberto Bautista Agut, but he lost in five sets.

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Australian Open 2019 Preview

Returning to Australian Open, the 2019 edition is an interesting one. First, there’s a chance for young players like Alexander Zverev or Karen Khachanov to try and get a Grand Slam title from the three big ones (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic), who totally dominated the last seasons. With Juan Martin Del Potro out due to injury and with Andy Murray almost retired (also due to injury), their chances are pretty big.

Of course, the main favourite is Novak Djokovic. The Serbian player showed a tremendous return to form in the last half of 2018, he won Wimbledon and US Open, along with more Masters and climbed again to #1 in the rankings. However, he was beaten in the last two finals of 2018 by… Khachanov (Paris) and Zverev (ATP Finals). This doesn’t mean Novak is not well prepared for this Grand Slam.

The second big favourite is Roger Federer. The Swiss, now age 37, seems to be in perfect shape, so in his case, age is just a number. However, it remains to be seen if Federer can play two weeks of pretty long matches. Ideal for the Swiss is to stay as little as he can on the court. Even with his excellent physical form, playing long matches could be very dangerous.

Third favourite is Rafael Nadal, who had a rough end of season due to a knee injury. He was also forced to withdraw from Brisbane earlier in January due to the same medical problems. Even though Rafa says he’s fit and good to go, there are still worries that the Spanish is not 100% recovered. For him, as is the case with Federer, playing long matches can be a problem.

So, the main favourite outside the Big Three is Alexander Zverev. He won the ATP Finals in November and he’s riding a big wave.

Can Halep make it through the final?

In the women’s competition, the favourite is Serena Williams, although nobody saw her play since the shameful US Open final she lost to Naomi Osaka. In my opinion, Serena is not the main favourite. In fact, there’s no “big” favourite in the women’s competition, so we’ll review each player who has a chance, based on their performances from 2018.

Simona Halep, last year’s finalist, played one match in Sidney and lost to Barty in two sets. Her comeback (she was diagnosed with disk hernia in September 2018) was not a good one, but this is normal. But even more important, she lost her coach, Darren Cahill, who decided to take a sabatical year after the diagnosis. This is not good news for Halep’s fans. For Simona, 2019 seems to be the turning year. If she can make performance without Cahill and with her type of medical problems, she is truly a great champion. But as far as Australian Open goes, she doesn’t have too many chances to reach the advanced stages of the competition.

Favourites for the trophy are Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Naomi Osaka and the other top 10 players. One player who can deliver a big surprise is the young Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

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