Amid isolation, proven injuries or fears and a lack of competition, this is the unreadable Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on Monday, where Novak Djokovic will aim for his 9th title, his 18th major.
The good news, however, is that after more or less fourteen days of isolation with Covit-19, players will find themselves in the public domain because organizers have announced they want to allow 25,000 to 30,000 visitors a day into Melbourne Park.
. “Joko” and “Le Joker”
“I feel right at home, and especially at Rod Laver,” the main court this week at the Melbourne Park campus, which hosts the first Grand Slam of the season.
He is well prepared. “When you come out of an intensive training set, a few days before the ATP Cup and the Australian Open, you don’t want to take too many risks,” he explained, explaining that he supported a physiotherapy session, even though it was missing the first set of an exhibition match on January 29th.
That day, like many players, he suffered from blisters on his hands after not playing for a long time.
The current best hard player should be the man to win in this 2021 edition.But if he is undeniable in the game, his attitude is competitive.
He was disqualified for “accidentally directing” a lineman with a ball at the last US Open, and again raised criticism during the isolation imposed on players upon his arrival in Melbourne.
Isolated in VIP conditions in Adelaide with the freeing of tennis, he sought to improve on the isolated conditions of his colleagues confined to Melbourne. But these plans (including the provision of homes with tennis courts and the best quality food) addressed the organization did not have the expected impact.
The Prime Minister of the State of Victoria answered firmly “No” and some of the players were harsh.
“Some people need to make public everything they try to do to help others,” Rafael Nadal commented. Nick Kyrgios called Djokovic a “Maran” and Stan Wawrinka mocked the plans made from Adelaide? Ahaha ”.
The draw with Djokovic was tough. In the absence of Roger Federer, the Serbs will have to fight hard from the 16th round before reaching a final against Natal, who is aiming for the men ‘s record of 21 Grand Slam titles. He defeated Stan Wawrinka (18th) or Milos Ronnick (15th), Alexander Sverev (7th) and Dominic Theme (3rd) in last year’s final, but then the more confident one can stand in his way. Won his first major at the US Open.
At the bottom of the table, Nadal said that if he recovers physically (he quit playing in the ATP Cup this week, he has not played in the tournament since the Masters semifinals in November), then Tsitsipas (6th) will have to wait until the quarters where Stefanos is, then Daniel Medvedev (4th). The latter, like his comrade Andrei Rublev (8th), confirmed the spectacular end to the 2020 season during the ATP Cup, by presenting Russia with its first ATP Cup.
Among the French, we mainly trust Monfils (11th) in the Mon, who can face Svere in the 8th.
In the women’s table, as the hierarchy continues to grow, Corbyn Muguruza (2020 final) and Ashley Party (World No. 1), in particular, have shown great ambitions by reaching the final of the Yarra Valley, which was won by the Australians. Serena Williams will continue her quest for the 24th Major to balance Margaret Court’s record.
Several players, including Nadal, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka and Bianca Andres, have either dropped out of the game or have been sidelined, announcing injuries in pre-season matches for OA. Often, in the Major’s view, they are just trying to protect themselves physically.
But former World No. 1 Jim Courier underscored the “critical” aspect of the mental attitude after 14 days of isolation (72 players were restricted from being allowed to leave when they were entitled to 5 hours a day for training). Players “have already expended a lot of mental energy to achieve the right mood. Some people told me I didn’t have much, “said American.