Welcome to 2003 FATP Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year. Melbourne, is one of the best city and the second largest in Australia. For ten days, it will be the center of attraction of tennis fans and FATP players as it hosts the Australian Open. As it takes place so early in the year, the players only had one warm-up tournament and ready to have a big battle in their quest to grab the second ever Grand Slam in FATP tours. Whoever comes out as the winner, without a doubt, it will be rightfully earned.
While there is no "Grand Slam" on the line for a player, for Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, it signifies another chance to win the only title that will solidify his position as No. 1. Kuerten was last year's US Open Finalist and this week’s Adidas Champion. He’s sure one hot contender to win the Grand Slam. Kuerten has had some flashes of brilliance but his passion for the game seems to have waned. The tournament leader this year, has a potentially difficult round of 16 against Sweden, Thomas Enqvist, who had not been doing well in Sydney or young Croatian Mario Ancic, that could pose a problem to him. Expect Kuerten to push through quarterfinal. Though Kuerten draws one of the hardest if not the hardest quarterfinal round match against quintessential dark horse and No. 6 Alex Corretja, the semifinalist in Adidas. Kuerten will need to be on his game from the get going as Corretja loves to play against the higher ranked players.
If anyone is feeling pressure it should be American's Andre Agassi who owns the only Grand Slam Title. The US Open Champion had just lost his reign world title and is on fire to grab back the no. 1 rank from Kuerten. The no 2 seed will have a tough road ahead of him if he wants to leave home with the second Grand Slam. However, whether or not he can contain his nerves will be a serious question, not to mention the dangerous opponent he will face in the second round, the new star, David Nalbandian or former top 4 player, Tim Henman of Great Britain.
Andy Roddick, the third seed at Australian Open is hungry for his second career title and ready to topple down Kuerten. The No. 2 ranked American played extremely well in his run to the final of Adidas beating Nalbandian, Srichaphan and Agassi before losing to Kuerten. The third ranked finds himself in a rather tricky part of the draw with the crafty Ferrero or surprised quarterfinalist of Adidas Lleyton Hewitt in the second round. Expect Roddick to try and barge his way into the later stages of Australian Open.
Franco Squillari is definitely one of the most consistent player of FATP. The fourth seed is quickly becoming one of the new starlets of the FATP circuit. Since her improbable run at US Open, he has quickly become one of the smarter players on tour. No longer is he trying to blast winners on the first shot, but now he's mixing it up, adding slice, drop shots, and much more variety to his game. He had rather the easiest past of the draw among other top 4 players. Facing either the feisty, Mikhail Youzhny or the home crowd favourite, Mark Philippoussis. If he can get pass through one of them, the seventh seed, Marcelo Rios, who had a major slump after winning Ohio, will probably wait for him for a spot in semi final.
There are a lot of dark horses and dangerous floaters in this tournament who could find their breakthrough here. Rebound Ace specialists have been waiting for this time of year since the start of the tour and will look to show why serve and volley is still important in the game and capable of winning. Roger Federer is another player that seems to be on the rise. The doubles specialist can perhaps up his level once again at the first Slam of the year. The Switzerland finds himself in the unlucky position of facing off against Agassi early in the rounds. Whether or not he can pull of the biggest win remains to be seen but he will have to deal with junkster Gambill or Mathiue in the opening round which could be just as tricky.
Maybe it will be the new rising star from Asia, Paradorn Srichaphan or Alex Corretja who had shown great improvement over the months. This year's Australian Open will definitely be exciting, the rebound ace is the perfect surface for titanic matches under the blazing sun that causes all kinds of drama. In doubles action, the no.1 pair, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer are looking for their second doubles Grand Slam title. However, they were not able to show the crowd after losing in semifinal to Agassi and Kuerten in semifinal of Adidas. The other contender is second seed, Alex Corretja and Juan Carlos Ferrero who is also the Adidas semifinalist , losing to the eventual winner, had shown pretty good results. Much more on them later, but now I present to you 2003 FATP Australian Open Championship.
:wavey: For those who lost in the first two rounds (Round 16 and 32) will play in Heineken Open that will start on Saturday. Points to be used is from Australian Open's points. So DO NOT SEND IN New points
Send in your points ASAP
to avoid the distraction of the schedule that had been made.. Remember to commit your mix doubles partner and send in the points too