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Old 12-05-2005, 04:59 AM   #1
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Default Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Now that Davis Cup is over, it's time to start looking forward to the Australian Open that is only a little over a month from now. So, which players have the most to prove and need to be successful at the Australian Open for the rest of their season to be a success ?

There are certain characters which perform better when they get a bit of a running start. I'll start with my list.

#1 Marat Safin - Has the most to prove.
A). Prove that he's 100% healthy and ready to compete at a world class level again.
B). Prove that his win over Roger last year, was not a fluke.
C). Aside from proving things, I just think if he goes out in the early rounds that Marat will just kind of wither away into thin air without putting up much of a fight.

Point is, if he cannot play his best tennis in Australia then when exactly will he ?

#2 Roger Federer
1). To prove that he can rebound from his heart and record breaking defeat to Nalbandian.
2). To prove that he can avenge last year's defeat to Marat (of course Marat would have to get that far), so let's not get in over our heads.

Also, I think that winning in Australia would settle Roger down. Last year, up until Wimbledon there was a sense he was CHASING titles, instead of simply playing well and allowing them to come to him.

#3 Rafael Nadal
1). To prove that he is a contender for a slam off clay, against a full field.

#4 Andy Roddick
- Prove that he can rebound from his disappointing 2005 summer, really with no excuses or injuries, just played awful tennis for a Top 5 player.

#5 David Nalbandian
Well, now he's beaten Roger, so let's see him do it at a slam (when the pressure is on) and I don't mean during some Round of 32 or 16 match, I am talking SF's, everything on the line and at stake. Let's validate TMC success.

There are a host of other players, but that's my Top 5 for now.
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Safin and maybe Nadal.
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Ferrero
#1. Has to prove that he has overcome those mental issues.
#2. That he is once again a major contendor on every surface.
#3. He is not a one slam wonder and will continue to perform well at every slam.
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

nadal and nalbandian, and ljubicic

Safin has won AO before. everyone knows he is talented etc, that he can win when he has his head on straight.

federer is a great champion. there are little doubts about his greatness.

Nadal must prove in a slam that he is a true al surface player, at least on hard.

Nalbandian needs to prove he can win one, not just reach the latter stage.

While ljubo needs to prove he can reach the latter stage.
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Ljubicic, he needs to start performing reasonably well in the slams in order to confirm himself as a top-10 player
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Old 12-05-2005, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

I wouldn't put the last two winners of AO up there on the top. Safin had a crap '05 but he was injured for a lot of it too. And at AO he proved that when he's fit and has his head on straight he's very tough to beat. Fed had one of the best years ever - going 81-4 with 11 titles including 2 GS. Losing that heartbreaker to Safin in the SF didn't affect him in a negative way, so there's no reason to believe the loss to Nalby will either.
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

federer has nothing to prove.. he is great.. everyone knows it.
people sort of expected him to win anyway, as usual.

on the other hand, nadal has much to prove.. he didnt do well in slams last year apart from RG, so AO means a lot to him... be able to get into SF i guess is his target.

and hewitt, he has great slams records last year, though not alot of people notice that, winning AO means everything to him... to prove he can still able to win a slam, and more importantly, in front of his home country
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Ljubicic of course!
And he'll get kicked his arse by another dopper, hopfully in the first round.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Ginepri and Blake.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirkaland
I wouldn't put the last two winners of AO up there on the top. Safin had a crap '05 but he was injured for a lot of it too. And at AO he proved that when he's fit and has his head on straight he's very tough to beat. Fed had one of the best years ever - going 81-4 with 11 titles including 2 GS. Losing that heartbreaker to Safin in the SF didn't affect him in a negative way, so there's no reason to believe the loss to Nalby will either.
One of the advantages that players like Nalbandian and Nadal have had, is operating under the radar and having no media, country or pressure in general from the sport on them to win.

This isn't a luxury that either Roger or Safin are able to enjoy, both put immense pressure on themselves to win, even if they are able to hide it and remain non-chalant at times.

I think that's what will make 2006 so interesting, Nadal has all of the pressure of being #2 tennis player in the world on his shoulders and now he's expected to defend Roland Garros, by the common fan he is atleast and the media in Spain is absolutely draining this kid.

In conclusion, yes, Roger & Safin are the final 2 Australian Open Champions, but there is a story within a story here.

Roger is expected to keep winning Slams and Safin is expected to show that he can compete. The MTF pressure is almost even too much for me to take! If I see one more avatar with Marat's face followed by a random caption, that is it. I may just throw on a wig and 3 inch reebok platforms to impersonate him on a tennis court just so that his fans will shush.

Just my take.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Nadal and Nalbandian. The former has never been past the 1st week of a slam except RG (a bit dubious for a World No 2) and the latter is very consistent in the slams but needs to break through (maybe this TMC title will help).
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaTenista
Nadal and Nalbandian. The former has never been past the 1st week of a slam except RG (a bit dubious for a World No 2)
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

Tomas Berdych should prove his talent, if you ask me! :cool;
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

I would say that mainly Nalbandian and Ljubicic.

* Nalbandian , because after his success in Shanghai his fanatics think he will make a positive mental jump and now will able to show all this potential with regularity , winning Grand Slams ....... Personally , i'm very skeptical about his mental improvement until he shows otherwise and in the short term ( Aus open ) and i don't see him changing his usual irregularity .

* Ljubicic, this year has made a great improvement at indoors showing to be the best player this season at this surface and now he has to show at outdoors that he can be a top player fighting to reach outdoors grand slams finals . Although his physical condition in Australia maybe won't be the best after a very long season like the current.

* And about Nadal , i think the main thing he has to prove is that is able to make a logical schedule , something that seems to be very difficult since the next year will play Sydney before Aus open , and if he arrived to Melbourne with 2 finals played ( Chennai and Sydney ) knowing his exhausting playstyle , i don't see him winning Aus open if he had to play more than a match reaching the 5th set.

Last edited by Galaxystorm : 12-05-2005 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who has the most to prove at Australian Open?

I would agree with Nalbandian and Ljubicic for the reasons Galaxystorm mentioned. I would also add Hewitt - as jenanun says - although he has already won 2 Grand Slams and been World Number 1 - this is the Australian Open and he is very patriotic and no doubt wants to prove himself in his own country by winning his own Grand Slam - that will bring all it's own pressures onto him.
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