Australian Open | Five players to watch
Will Australia be Casper Ruud’s promised land? The Norwegian lived up to expectations in 2022 with three titles and a rise to No. 2 in the world. The only problem? His four defeats in the finals of important tournaments. First, in the Miami Masters 1000, one of the most prestigious tournaments in this category. Then Roland-Garros and the United States Open. Then the ATP Finals, the fifth major score of the season. The main difference between the new Ruud and the old one is his ability to beat players top 10. He won five of his eleven games last season. In this regard, progress is good but insufficient. To add icing on the cake, he will have to beat the best at the most important moments.
This kind of exercise is impossible without including the name Félix Auger-Aliassime. By the end of the season, the Quebecer had won titles in Florence, Antwerp, Basel and the Davis Cup, becoming the best player in the world. Undoubtedly, the next step for the world number seven is to win a Grand Slam title. Moreover, Auger-Aliassime will arrive in Australia feeling compelled to finish what he started last year. Remember the epic match against Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals. After 4 hours and 42 minutes, the Russians had the advantage. The Quebecer is in a good position to defend all his points.
The terrible tennis kid has pissed off a few critics in recent months. Admittedly, when the Australian has clear ideas and the desire to play, he can beat anyone. The bigger the moment, the higher it rises. This is the quality of great players. With his final at Wimbledon, Kyrgios proved his good intentions. He doesn’t want attention. He also wants a Grand Slam title. Playing in front of himself has never been an advantage. His record at the Australian Open isn’t that great. Especially since he’s recovering from an ankle injury. But you only need one serving with a spoon to wake up the animal.
Rafael Nadal is one of those athletes who should never be underestimated. Like Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, or Mikaela Shiffrin, Nadal clearly responds when we make the mistake of thinking he’s doomed. Despite a broken leg, he won the first three tournaments of the 2022 season, including the Australian Open. At 36, the Spaniard is more of a risk-taker than ever. However, he is still more combative than ever. The important thing for him will be to finish his matches quickly to save himself. His wins in Melbourne and Roland Garros were complicated. It will cost him a possible place in the final at Wimbledon.
Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz. Taylor Fritz started 2023 with a bang by passing these three members top 15 In the United Cup. The American also ended 2022 with an exclamation point by winning the Tokyo tournament. top 10 for the first time in his career. Fritz is a constant threat on the hard court. He may look nonchalant, sometimes awkward, from his 6ft 5in height, but the 25-year-old is determined to win. If he wants to stay in the big leagues, he will have to get results in Grand Slam tournaments. He reached the quarterfinals only once. In addition, it is quite thin. The world number nine has everything to gain in Australia.