Open: Australia and the unknowns of Djokovic and Nadal | sports



The tennis season is one of the great challenges that sport imposes. On a mental level, you feel like you’re facing a great long-distance race with all its obstacles. You must be prepared for a horizon with 11 months of competition, continuous travel around the world and the need to maintain health along the way.

The tennis players have been doing a specific preparation for several weeks. This sport allows little margin during the year to work the base, so the preseason is essential to arrive well worked. Holidays are short and they remind us of a reality: if you want to succeed on the circuit, you must live for and for tennis. More than a profession it demands a way of life with few exceptions.

In professional sports we have a fairly clear reading: results are a consequence of work. You must rely on the long-term process to give yourself the best chance of getting what you want. But we are human, and it is clear that more confidence is gained if things start well. That is why this tour in Australia always has a special value.

This year the competition will be marked from the beginning. In the men’s section, in recent years there has been a clear dominator: Novak Djokovic. The Australian authorities do not allow unvaccinated people to enter the country, except for exceptions established by law. Novak has never publicly disclosed his medical history in this regard.

Melbourne’s own tournament has asked the authorities to let Djokovic participate. The Serbian, who will not be present at the ATP Cup that takes place these days, is his main attraction, a legend who would seek the opportunity to opt for another Grand Slam in his record and become the historical leader with 21 crowns.

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Zverev, Tsitsipas and Medvedev are players who could clearly aspire to the title. The German has shown his level of play, he has accumulated experience and I think that in 2022 he can debut his record at the Grand Slam. Medvedev has been one of the few to beat Djokovic in a big final and is fully prepared for a second title.

We can never rule out Rafa. If the covid situation and the injury he has had remit, he is a clear candidate for everything. On the other hand, Rober [Bautista] and Pablo [Carreño] They will compete for the final rounds and make things difficult for all the rivals. One of the great promises of our sport, Alcaraz, will also be prepared to scare the best players in the world.

In the women’s competition there is no clear dominator of the tournament, that makes it more interesting. Two of the candidates for the title can be Naomi Osaka or Ash Barty. The former knows what it’s like to win in Melbourne and after several months without competing, she will be eager to take to the courts to protect her title. The second is the tennis player with the most desire to succeed in Melbourne, she plays at home and I dare say that it is one of her favorite tournaments. He finished the year as number one and resigned from the Masters.

At the national level, Garbiñe is among the great favorites. He played the final two years ago and I know that one of his two clear goals for the season is to win the Australian Open. For her part, Paula Badosa arrives as one of the great threats of the tournament. Her teammates already respect her as a candidate to win big tournaments. Sara Sorribes finished 2021 with great performances and I see options for her to improve on this first tour of the year.

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With the tennis season already underway, I wish you all great strength, encouragement and the best of luck. I know that, as they have always done, they will give one hundred percent and give us a great show.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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