With the first major of the '11 tennis season mere hours away, we the fans know there are certain inalienable, business-as-usual elements that'll be thrown into play under the Melbourne sun and lights. We know at least three of Roger Federer's outrageous shots, along with a couple genteel quotes from a press conference, will be featured on ev-uh-ry daily highlight reel in existence. We know we're going to be treated to a top player thoroughly whooping up on a hapless journeyman when there's a gripping 11-all in the fifth marathon going on two courts over. We know we're still going to want to reach through the screen and strangle Cliffy Drysdale whenever he opens his mouth to announce the score. Really, Cliff? It's 3-2, 30-15? Because I could swear that very same thing is up in the left-hand corner of my screen, easily available for my eyes to wander over to whenever they damn well please.
But what about the fiction that's also dredged up as we embark upon yet another voyeuristic tennis quest? The stuff that commentators just like Mr. Drysdale himself will try to pump up, only to see their predictions bite the dust a couple days later. About how Andy Roddick has a shot at leapfrogging Roger Federer in their potential quarterfinal match, or how, now with Serena out of the picture, this is going to be Vika Azarenka's trophy to win.
With that, I bring you five myths just aching to be exposed during the next two weeks of tennis Down Under.