The first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, is about to start next week in Melbourne and will go on from January 14th to 27th. It will be the 101st edition of one of the four biggest tennis tournaments in the world.
This year it is former player, American Andre Agassi, who will hand out the trophy to the winner. Agassi has won the tournament four times in 1995, 2000, 2001 & 2003.
The Australian Open is making the headlines this year due to a large increase in prize money. In October CEO Steve Wood for Tennis Australia made an announcement that the players will share A$30 millions, a record in tennis history.
Almost all the best players in the world will be there and are looking forward to playing on the hard-court. Only two players have withdrawn in the men’s singles, Mardy Fish and Rafael Nadal (ATP 4). Rafa was supposed to return to the competition after a six month long break due to a leg injury but decided to wait a few more weeks before his come back.
Serena Williams (ATP 3) and 5 times winner of the Australian championship (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 & 2010) said in an interview how much she loves that tournament and how happy she is to be able to play there this year.
Both Russians and last year’s finalists Victoria Arazenka (ATP 1) and Maria Sharapova (ATP 2) and Australian Sam Stosur will be participating hoping to do as well or better than last year. Sam Stosur is returning to the competition, having not played since October. Sharapava admitted in a video interview having so much fun at the Australian Open. Arazenka will be a hard player to beat. She won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and has won already 5 Grand Slams!
Juan Martin Del Potro (ATP 7) loves coming because of all the Argentinian fans, who are there to support him. Australian Lleyton Hewitt (ATP 83) will not miss it for the world and describes the event as being an “electric atmosphere”. For Novak Djokovic (ATP 1) it is a special place, having won in Melbourne three times (2008, 20011 & 2012).
It is difficult to know who will be holding the men’s trophy on January 27th at the Rod Laver’s stadium. Will Djokovic win it for the third time in a row? Will Roger Federer (ATP 2) be in top form to make it to the final and win it? He has won there in 2004, 2006, 2007 & 2010 and came back to the number one seat in 2012. No doubt there will be some amazing battles on the court this year and everyone has to watch out for Andy Murray (ATP 3).
Tagged ATP, Australia, Australian Open, CEO Steve Wood, Grand Slam, Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Sharapova, Melbourne, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Sam Stosur, Serena Williams, tennis, Tennis Australia, Victoria Arazenka