Sunday, January 14, 2007


The first tennis Grand Slam of the year kicks off on Monday in Melbourne. The win of Andy Roddick over Roger Federer in the warm-up event makes the American a genuine contender for the top prize. The win may only be an aberration but Federer is still beatable. Of course, champions have the knack of shifting gears on the big occasion.

Nadal can match anyone stroke for stroke and step for step. But outside of the clay courts of Paris, the Spaniard has not done too well in the big events. Safin can on his day upset even the best. But the Russian has done precious little ever since he won the Open a few years ago. The home favourite, Lleyton Hewitt is always a serious challenger.

In the ladies part of the event, Sharapova and Mauresmo look the best bets with the withdrawal of Henin-Hardenne.

For the Indian fans, the ‘Indian-Express’ still continues to be the fascination. Although Paes and Bhupathi play with different partners, their progress will be keenly watched. Sania has played well in the recent days, suggesting some improvement in her form.

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