The 2012 Grand Slam season is days away from beginning, as the top tennis players in the world are down under for the 2012 Australian Open.
Both the men's and women's defending champions are in the field. Novak Djokovic is the No. 1 seed for the men.
Kim Clijsters is coming off of an injury-riddled season after winning the Australian Open. As a result, she is the No. 12 seed in the women's bracket.
Where: Melbourne, Victoria. Australia.
When: Jan. 16 - 29
Watch: ESPN / ESPN2, Tennis Channel
The top name to follow this tennis season is Djokovic.
He's the No. 1 ranked player in the ATP, the defending champion at the Australian Open, and is coming off of one of the best seasons in the sport's history.
Djokovic compiled a 70-6 record in the 2011 season. Four of those six losses came after the U.S. Open—the season's final Grand Slam Championship.
He won three of the four Grand Slams, failing only to win the French Open in June.
Andy Murray has been a rising name for a long time, but has still failed miserably late in slams against each of the top three. He needs to show up better against them to win Grand Slam titles.
After that, Mardy Fish is an intriguing name. No American man has won a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open. If that streak is going to change here, it will be Fish breaking it.
At the Wimbledon and U.S. Open, Roddick and John Isner have the serve to win, but they lack the overall game needed to win here.
Safe money is on one of the top three. It's going to take an awful lot for someone else to win this one.
The women's side is far more open.
The No. 1 seed there is Caroline Wozniacki. Following her are Petra Kvitová and Victoria Azarenka, which tells you all you need to know about the difference between the men and women.
Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have 30 Grand Slam titles between them. Wozniacki, Kvitová, and Azarenka have one.
The name to watch is Samantha Stosur. She's an Australian who convincingly defeated Williams in the finals of what was previously a dominant U.S. Open performance.
The entire bracket has yet to be released. Stay tuned for updates throughout the week.
Men's Top 8
Women's Top 8
Predictions: Djokovic (men), Stosur (women).