The weekend will see the return of the first slam tournament of the tennis world. The Australian Open was postponed by three weeks to allow for players from all over the world to self-isolate in their hotels upon arrival.
It is the attention of the tournament to allow some spectators in to watch, under straight conditions.
Chance for fans to see some live tennis in the flesh
Set in the heat of Australia and played at Melbourne Park it is an event not to be missed. It is hoped that up to 30,000 fans will be allowed to watch the tennis on a daily basis.
In the men’s event it is no surprise that Novak Djokovic is the clear favourite to continue his love of Melbourne. The Serbian World Number 1 has claimed eight Australian Open titles- the most ever in history- and is looking to win the event for the third year running.
Djokovic has lost four matches from three tournaments recently
Djokovic has lost four matches from his last three tournaments to Rafael Nadal, Lorenzo Sonego, Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem. However, despite this poor form the Djok certainly looks the player to beat.
Other players who should go well include Daniel Medvedev who can beat anybody on his day as he showed in London in November at the ATP 2020 finals.
Steadily climbing the rankings, Thiem one to watch
Dominic Thiem, fresh of a wonderful 2020 season which saw him claim the US Open, is another player to watch out for. The World number three has been steadily climbing the rankings and is a dangerous opponent.
Whisper it quietly but Andre Rublev could well be a dark horse at the event. Last season he ended with a fantastic record of 41-10 in 51 matches.
The young Russian oozes quality and will be looking to bounce back after a poor ATP finals debut.
Womens event as open as always
In the women’s event it is certainly a case as always of on their day anybody could be crowned champion. Having won the title in 2019 Naomi Osaka likes this surface and is certainly one to keep an eye on.
After recently getting back to action, top ranked WTA player Australian Ashleigh Barty will be looking to impress in front of her home fans.
She will also be looking to make up for her disappointing loss in last year’s semi-final.
Can Andreescu return back to winning ways after injury?
20-year-old Bianca Andreescu who was playing the tennis of her life early on in 2020 before a season ending injury is a talent to watch.
Reigning champion Sofia Kenin will be looking to make it consecutive wins at the Open, a feat rarely achieved.
World number 2 Simona Halep is another player who should go deep in the tournament.
Ignore Williams at your peril
And how can we possibly not ignore Serena Williams. Forget her age currently standing at 39, she will want to triumph as always.
We have waited almost four years for Serena to win another slam. Her last was back in 2017 a long time ago for a lady who has won so many majors.
British hopes will once again ride with Johanna Konta. But can she get over the mental side of progressing deep into a major tournament. Time will tell, but overall it will great just to get back to watching some tennis after such a long time off our screens.