Over the weekend, the field of 128 tennis players set out to start the year off right with the Australian Open.
It’s the one down under that people forget, but it is just as important as the French, Wimbledon, and The US Open. This is the first major of the season and just like the Kentucky Derby, winning this one, can set you up for the Grand Slam if you can win all 4 in one year!
This year guys like Roger Federer (who already has a career grand slam and the most major victories of all time), Rafael Nadal who is defending his 2009 Australian Open Championship epic win over Roger Federer (see below), and Juan Martín del Potro who is coming off his 2009 US Open Championship over Roger Federer are all looking to start the year right and go for a Calendar Grand Slam.
This is the major that Andre Agassi has won more of (4) than any Men Player post 1968. This is where Agassi won half of his 8 total majors and has said its his favorite major of the year.
Last night, Roger Federer began sluggish and was getting a work out against his unranked first round opponent, Russian, Igor Andreev who beat Roger in the first set of the first round of a major, which resulted in the first time in 25 majors (over 6 years) that Roger Federer did not win the first round in 3 sets.
He ended up coming back and winning 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-0. However, does this first round mean that Roger is off his game, or was this the wakeup call he needed to now run through to the finals? (Or is he nervous about his wife questioning what he was doing all those times he was hanging out with Tiger Woods – woops I digress.)
On the women's side, Serena Williams cruised through her first round match 6-2, 6-1 and as always is the favorite, and is defending her 2009 championship. However this year, comeback player of the year in 2009, Kim Clijsters, who is coming off her improbable 2009 US Open Championship should challenge Serena for the title.
The Australian Open is the US Open down under and although the times are weird (Melbourne is 16 hours ahead), all Tennis fans should look for these matches on ESPN2.