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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Australian Open Blog Posts begin January 15, Early Season Questions to be Answered

The Australian Open is just a few days away now. It feels like a lifetime since the US Open and a major. I will be posting my thoughts on the Australian Open starting January 15.

There are many questions that will be answered in three weeks. Can Serena continue her dominance of the women's game? If she comes out strong in this Aussie Open the field should be concerned for the 2013 season. A motivated Serena is a dominant Serena.

Victoria Azarenka is the defending champion. Can she reassert the dominance she showed early in the 2012 WTA season? How will she handle the pressure of defending a grand slam title for the first time? It will be interesting to watch to see if she plays aggressive, confident tennis or if the moment affects her.

Andy Murray finally broke through winning his first major of his career at the US Open. Can he follow that up with a run to an Aussie title? How will he handle the increased expectations, especially with Nadal out of the tournament?

Can Roger Federer continue to be a factor in the Slams? History would tell us a resounding yes, but at some point he has to slow down, right? And, can Novak Djokovic defend his title at the Aussie Open? Djokovic, to me, is the favorite. Winning this Australian Open will cement Djokovic as the man to beat again in 2013.

Finally, who will breakthrough and have a career-changing tournament? Australian tennis fans have to be excited after Bernard Tomic's victory over Djokovic, especially after a rough 2012. Can Tomic give Australia a hometown hero and a run in to the second week? It is very possible.

In my opinion, the Aussie Open can be full of surprises because it is the first major of the season and it is played in very hot temperatures. The most prepared, professional players are the ones that do well in January. So, with that in mind, do not be surprised if David Ferrer makes a run at the championship. On the women's side I think Angelique Kerber could beat anyone and win a slam. Also, look out for Sam Stosur at her home slam. If she handles the pressure well her aggressive game could carry through to a second slam title.

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