The 2012 Australian Open presents the foundation for the 2012 tennis season
How will the patterns and trends from 2011 carry over to 2012?
Will Novak Djokovic continue his dominance in 2012?
Will Wozniacki win a slam?
Will Murray win a slam?
Is Federer done for good?
These questions will not be entirely answered down under, but it will surely be a start.
As we are rapidly approaching the home stretch of the 2012 Australian Open, the work for the top players is just beginning.
Throughout the first week, none of the big four have been seriously tested. This will undoubtedly change as guys like Del Potro and Berdych come into picture.
This second week of tennis in Australia will surely provide a ton of drama and intense tennis action.
If Federer and Nadal both win their quarterfinal matches, they are set on a collision course in the semifinals.
On the top half of the draw, Murray and Djokovic will face each other granted they both hold their own over the next several days.
Besides the power struggle occurring at the top of the men's game, it will be intriguing to see whether or not the likes of Ferrer, Del Potro, Berdych and Tsonga can break through down under.
What is going to happen? How are the draws going to pan out?
Will Djokovic sustain his dominance? Is Federer really outdoing himself?
Will Rafa be able to maintain physical stability? Can Murray break out of his shell?
Will Wozniacki break through? Who will be the No. 1 ranked women?
Is Victoria Azarenka the real deal? Will Clijsters repeat?
The answer to all of these questions and many more will be answered in the next seven days.
Please feel free to respond to any of these questions.
The first week of a major has singles matches on virtually every court all day. This, as you might expect, places the doubles action on the back burner as it receives virtually no coverage.
But as the singles draws on both sides dwindles down, this leaves more exposure for doubles.
Doubles is incredible to watch because it not only combines great technical skill and craft, but it presents a beautiful integration of movement and strategy.
In the second week, look for the tennis channel to televise an increased number of doubles matches.
In fact, the tennis channel showed the Bryan Brothers' match against Fleming/Hutchins which was an entertaining three setter won by the Bryans.
Not only should you expect the men's and women's doubles finals, but also look out for the mixed doubles final to be televised as well.
As concentrated as the men's game is at the top, the women's game is as equally as dispersed.
Coming into the 2012 Australian Open, more than five women had the potential of becoming the No. 1 ranked women in the world.
The women's draw is so engaging because it is easy to make a case for seeds 8-10 winning down under.
To reemphasize the depth in the women's game, 10 out of the top 13 seeds have played in a Grand Slam final in the past.
For me, the most intriguing aspect of the women's draw takes the form of Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki. Both of these players have been at the top of the women's game for quite some time now but have been unable to obtain their elusive breakthrough at a major. I really believe that this is the year one of these two will take down a major.
Will it be down under?
Only time will tell.