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Australian Open 2014: Men's Preview

By Pawan Atri    + Follow

Reads: 7,969, Comments: 5

Keywords: Australian Open | Roger-Federer |Rafael-Nadal |Novak-Djokovic |Andy-Murray |Juanmartin-Delpotro
Australian Open 2014: Men's Preview
The Australian Open will mark the commencement of a new order in men's tennis which will see the return of the 1980s as three of the Big Four of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer will have the assistance of yesteryear stars Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg respectively. While, the Scot had hired the Czech as his mentor sometime back, Fedex and the Serbinator surprised everyone by appointing the Swede and the German as their individual coaches. Surely, the entire talk heading into Melbourne is about these new alliances, yet we mustn't forget the current No.1 Rafael Nadal who could end up creating history in Oz as by winning the tournament he can become the only man in the Modern Era to win every Major at least twice.

The Grand Slam of the Asia Pacific has been given the epithet of the ‘Happy Slam’ by the players as they love the atmosphere of Melbourne Park - the intensity and the heat, the buzz that is around the grounds and most importantly the warmth that is showered on them by the fans. Once again, the Opening Slam will become a place of unparalleled drama, where emotions will run high as both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will wage a full throttle war to rewrite the record books of Tennis. We at TennisEarth offer you a sneak peek into the upcoming Open – The favourites, the underdogs and the dark horses.

Favourites

Rafael Nadal: The Spanish Winning Machine’s coach and his uncle Tony Nadal has declared that his nephew’s main target in 2014 is to win the Aussie Open as that would make him only the second player ever in the history of the sport after Rod Laver to win each of the four Majors at least two times. Uncle Tony commented: “The challenge in 2014 will be to win Australia, because it would achieve something only Rod Laver did, which is twice winning the four (Grand Slams).”

Moreover, if he wins the competition at the Rod Laver Arena, he would have a pretty good chance of accomplishing something that hasn’t been achieved since 1992, that is to win the Australian Open and the French Open in the same calendar year. However, it wouldn’t be as easy as it may sound as his fiercest rival Novak Djokovic will not relinquish his thrown without a fight.

And, the plexicushion surface that is used at the Open gives Novak a definitive advantage as the Serb is a master at the art of outmanoeuvring his opponents – Nadal included and that’s why he has been unbeatable on the blue synthetic courts of the Victorian capital in the last 3 years.

Novak Djokovic: Like Rafa Nadal, the Serbian Express will have the chance of standing atop the pedestal in Melbourne if he wins his fourth consecutive trophy inside the Rod Laver Arena as that would give him an unprecedented 5th crown in Australia – something nobody has achieved in the past. If Djokovic succeeds in doing so, he will surpass both Roger Federer and Andre Agassi who have won four titles each at Melbourne Park.

Nonetheless, the one man who can spoil the Monte Carlo resident’s party is Rafael Nadal and the southpaw knows it really well – after-all he pushed Djokovic to the limits in the final two years ago when the duo produced some breathtaking stuff for nearly six hours. Yet, Novak’s spectacular run of 24 consecutive match wins during the concluding stages of 2013 including two lop-sided victories over Nadal would give him the much needed boost for Australia.

Underdogs

Andy Murray: As amusing it may sound, despite making three finals in Australia, Andy Murray will not arrive in Australia as one of the front-runners for the title as the Glaswegian is not ready at all for an assault at the ‘First Major of the Year.’ After undergoing back surgery in the middle of September, Andy has just returned to the courts in late November and will not be match-ready until the later part of February. So, a deep run in Melbourne is highly unlikely and we could see him making an early exit from the tourney as he is yet to shrug off the rust of months of inaction from the game.

Roger Federer: As funny it may sound, the 17 times Grand Slam champ – a man who has been triumphant in Australia on four different occasions in the past will head to Melbourne as a huge underdog. The master who never looked his usual self in 2013 due to an ailing back will be hoping to swing his fortunes around with the help of his new coach Swedish legend Stefan Edberg and what he says a pain free back.

Still, one has to be a bit realistic – his ranking has plummeted to No.6 in the World and that makes the situation a bit tougher for the 32 year old. He could now have to confront all the other members of the Fab Four to lift the trophy in Australia – something that is an assignment of mammoth proportions even for Federer. But, with a small piece of luck who knows he might just recreate the same good old magic yet again. 

Dark Horse

Juan Martin Del Potro: The man who is considered to be the biggest threat to the supremacy of the Big Four and often described as the guy who would transform the Fab Four into the Big Five – Juan Martin Del Potro will be the player to watch out for in Melbourne. With 4 trophies in 2013 and a re-entry into the top-5 of the rankings, the Argentine is back to his very best and can prove to be the principal stumbling block for the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

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Posted By bindra2010,   Posted about 113 days and 16 hours ago

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I agree with your analysis and hope one/two players will will emerge to challenge the top.

Posted By leegaungyi,   Posted about 113 days and 16 hours ago

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All statics are just scientific predictions but it doen not mean the absolute truth. There is always of margin of errors like in American Election. Obama won second time easily despite of poll focus as he would lose. Impossiblity became possible as First Black President who has only one term in Senate. He beats all the seniors including Hilary. Del Petro had proved that in US Open. Now a day the top ten are fully aware of the fact that they can be kicked out early like Nadal and Federer in Wimbledon in 2012. Murray lost to some one lesser known Gulbis at Wimbledon in 2013. That is the most interesting part of the game despite the reward money is huge. Youg Tennis profesional have become millionaire and they enjoy the rest of their life by investing their money. Murray has already started investing like bought a 5 stars Hotel at Scotland. Roger must have done his investments for future security. They are not playing for money any more. It is great they are playing with sporting spirit of Competition. The best thing is they are all friends and nice to each other out of the court. Who dare wins, the philosophy. The top four respect each other although they have beaten their opponent more before than they lost. You never know. I am really excited about 2014 tennis Grand Slams. All top ten has the chance of winning a Grand Slam like Del.

Posted By bindra2010,   Posted about 115 days and 14 hours ago

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It's only a hope and I said its far fetched. Even Ferrer or Del Potro will be great.

Posted By patrick.yay,   Posted about 115 days and 14 hours ago

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yes many people like to make comments on tennis but at times they were wrong although they are nearly all right. Tennis is not a game of 6 people in Basket ball nor 11 people in Fot ball. You have no chance for takinga bit if rest. You are all on your own and there is not body to help you. Thus it is very difficult to makea focus precisely despite the history helps to makea prediction. LIke Leyton Hewitt and Andy Rodic all eventually going down significantly. Yes the big Fab four are thre real cream of the game but Andy is also unpredictable. He has beaten all top three he is improving year by year. Now his back is fixed despite it wil take time to get back to fully under control. He will know himself and his team wil notice that. Andy Murray team is preparing him for the bettles yet to come. Andy could win the Australian this time. Lets wait and see. Please don't forget to count on Ferrer who is the challenge to all top four.

Posted By bindra2010,   Posted about 115 days and 15 hours ago

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I sincerely hope someone from the bottom half of the top ten will emerge in Australia in 2014, though far fetched.

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