2011 Australian Open Preview:
2011's edition of the Australian Open will be the 99th, so it's nice that three of its past champions will be there to compete on the men's side. The main man will be the second-ranked Roger Federer, who comes in winning four out of the last seven titles, and four out of his last five overall. The two other men that have kissed the trophy down under will be the current number one Rafael Nadal and number three Novak Djokovic. While an opposite-bracketed Nadal-Federer final may happen, there are plenty of obstacles in their way. Some are obvious, like Andys Murray and Roddick, and some are dark-horse candidates like Argentine Juan Del Potro. The 259th-ranked player in the world injured his wrist at last year's Australian Open, but before that he was riding high, including a win over Federer at the '09 US Open. The 6-foot-6 Argentinian will look to regain his swagger this year, which makes him a top dark-horse candidate.
On the women's side, defending champ Serena Williams is out with an injury, so the court is wide open for a new queen. The most obvious bets are on either Kim Clijsters, last-year's runner up Justine Henin or the current WTA number one, Caroline Wozniacki. However, Clijisters hasn't done well at the Australian, Henin is coming out of retirement and Wozniacki, despite her lofty rank, has never won a Grand Slam. One person to look out for is the only Australian player to be ranked, Samantha Stosur. She's a Grand Slam doubles winner and has beaten the number one-ranked player eight times. Plus, she's got the home court advantage, which can mean a lot in these tournaments, especially when the Aussie sun is beating down your back.
2010 Australian Open Results:
Roger Federer beat Andy Murray by a score of 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (13-11) to capture the men's crown. On the women's side, Serena Williams outlasted Justine Henin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to capture the women's title.