Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Indians & the Aussie Open

The year's first tennis grand slam, the Australian Open has begun. 3 days into the competition and we have seen some good tennis action and a couple of upsets. This time both the Men's & Women's sections are relatively wider open.
Federer & Nadal have lost just that bit of their top form to ensure that others now have a little chance against them. Davydenko & Del Potro would also count amongst the favorites. Likes of Djokovic, Murray, Roddick & the local guy Hewitt cannot be ignored. The Australian Open does have a habit of bringing in surprise finalists over the last few years (Johannson, Tsonga, Baghdatis). Lets see if there are some surprises in store this time around.
The return of the Belgian duo of Clijsters & Henin has added to the unpredictability in the women's section. Add the Williams sisters, the Russian brigade (Kuznetsova, Dementieva etc), Ivanovic, Jankovic and it becomes even tougher to predict. And you never know what the likes of Wozniacki, Wickmayer could do.
This time around India is also pretty well represented (relatively speaking). We have Sania Mirza in the women's side (she lost in singles first round though). In the Men's doubles we have 5 players representing India (must be some sort of a record for the country). The two big guns Bhupathi (with Mirnyi) & Paes (with Dlouhy) are there. Neither of them has the won the Men's Doubles in Australia, the only slam missing from their CV. But unlike earlier they have more company in Prakash Amritraj/Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna (with Aisam-al-Qureishi).
At least in doubles we have the numbers. Its the singles where India is still struggling. Though there are some hopes on that front also with the upcoming Yuki Bhambri coming through the ranks & Somdev in the top 150 currently. Hopefully the singles representation would also increase. With Sania saying she'll quit after marriage, the women's side would again become empty.
here is hoping for a couple of Indian winners at the Australian Open.

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