The Australian Open commences on the 16th of January and is the first Grand Slam of the year, the other three being the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. The knockout tournament runs for two weeks and since 1988 has been held at Melbourne Park. The total prize-money for the 2017 tournament was AUD $50,000,000. The winner of the men’s singles and women’s singles tournament receives approximately $4.00 million each with the runner up still pocketing a sizeable amount of $2 million.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated men’s singles at the highest level . The Big Three have won 46 out of a possible 56 GrandSlam tournaments since early 2004. Will they continue to dominate in 2018 or will the likes of Alexander Zverev step up and make their presence known.
The 36 year old continues to perform at the elite level and win Grand Slam titles despite his age. In 2017, he outclassed fellow rival Rafeal Nadal to claim his 5th Australian Open title and won Wimbledon without dropping a set. I’d expect the master to progress to the Semi Final’s with ease.
The current world number one is in a terrific position to claim the 2018 Aus Open title. The likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka and David Goffin are all on the opposite side of the draw. Nadal’s toughest opponent will be Nick Kyrgios or Grigor Dimitrov in the Semi-Final.
My only concern is whether his right knee will influence his performance in the tournament. The spaniard has been struggling with the injury for a extended period of time and even pulled out of the Brisbane International due to soreness.
Novak Djokovic suffered a elbow injury in 2017, sidelining him for the last six months. The injury has also seen his ATP Rank slip to #14, which could see some interesting encounters early on in this years open (Alexander Zverev in the Round of 16).
Kyrgios has been handed his best chance of claiming a Grand Slam title. If Kyrgios keeps a cool head throughout the tournament, I wouldn’t be surprised seeing him progress to the final. He disposed of Grigor Dimitrov (ATP #3) in the Brisbane International Semi Final before marching to the final and winning in straight sets.
The 20 year old is the youngest player in the ATP Top 30, currently ranked 4th. He can play some exceptional tennis however struggles against those with plenty of experience. Give the youngster a few more years and he’ll dominate.
The Canadian spent a fair amount of time on the sidelines in 2017. He would be disappointed losing to Alex De Minaur (ATP Rank #208) in the Brisbane International. Constantly being troubled by injuries has influenced his tennis, will need plenty of luck to win this tournament.
Australian Open Men’s Winner – Rafael Nadal
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