The editors of TENNIS Magazine and TENNIS.com weigh in with their predictions on who will be victorious at 2009 Australian Open.
5 votes for Federer
3 votes for Murray
1 vote for Nadal
1 vote for Djokovic
3 votes for Venus Williams
2 votes for Jelena Jankovic
2 votes for Serena Williams
2 votes for Elena Dementieva
1 vote for Victoria Azarenka
They've got their Editor in Chief, Executive Editor, Senior Editor, and seven other titled big-whigs all giving their predictions. Not a bad read... and of course, like everyone else they're all taking stabs in the dark.
Here are a couple:
New season, new look, but the same old Rafa will show up at the Australian Open. It’s never been his best major (meaning he’s never made the final), but after getting over the non-clay Grand Slam hump at Wimbledon last year, his Aussie outlook is looking brighter. He has former finalist Fernando Gonzalez and hometown favorite Lleyton Hewitt in his quarter, and could face Andy Murray in the semifinals, but if there’s anyone who can slog through in the blazing Down Under summer, it’s Nadal.
As for the women, I know what you’re thinking: Dementieva peaked early again, winning two warm-ups in a row. She’ll just make another Grand Slam semifinal and choke. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Russian, long picked as one of the best players never to have won a major, had some major breakthroughs in 2008, winning Olympic gold and reaching the semifinals of the year’s last two Slams. No doubt she has tough competition with Venus and Serena Williams in her half of the draw, but last week in Sydney she squashed Serena 6-3, 6-1. At 27, it’s now or never for Dementieva. I’m going with now.
The defending champion will have the pressure off him this Slam, with all eyes on Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.
Why not? She would play Serena Williams early in the event, when Serena is most vulnerable. From there, Azarenka will ride that high all the way through the final.