Thursday, December 13, 2007

Australian Open Tennis 2008: Some Reflections

Australian Open tennis is one of the four grand slam tournaments of tennis. Among the four grand slam tournaments, Australian Open is held first. The tournament takes place at the Melbourne Park on January every year. The leading tennis players across the world participate in the competition in both singles and doubles category. In singles category, there are events for men, women as well as for boys and girls. There is an additional event called ‘mixed’ in doubles category besides the events for men, women, boys and girls.

Now, there is only 32 days left before Australian Open 2008 kicks off on 14 January 2008. This year, Australian Open matches will be held on the Plexicushion surface which is different from Rebound Ace surface where the tournament was held for the last 20 years. With its features, the new surface is very similar to US Open surface DecoTurf. So, it is expected that the players will experience a faster surface in Australian open this year.

Australia Open was first introduced in 1905 under the name of Australian Championship. The tournament was held on grass court at Kooyong. However, the venue was shifted to the then Flinders Park, known as Melbourne Park now. It was until 1968, the launching year of Open era, only top ranked amateur player could take part in this competition. However, Australian Championship turned into Australian Open since the start of Open Era in 1968. With this historic change, Australian Open has become more open for the tennis players in the world.

The tournament is held mainly on Rod Laver Arena and Vodafone Arena. Rod Laver Arena is named after legendary tennis star Rod Laver. It has seating capacity of 14820. Vodafone Arena has seating arrangement for 11000 fans. Australian Open has a long history in the tennis world. With lots of tennis legends winning lots of historic matches, Australian Open has become one of the most popular sports events in the world. The winner of the women’s singles is awarded with Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup which is named after legendary Australian former tennis player Daphne Akhurst. Norman Brookes Challenge Cup is given to the winner of men’s singles. The trophy is named after another Australian legendary player Norman Brookes.

Roger Federer is the current champion of Australian Open Men’s Singles whereas Serena Williams is the winner of women’s singles. No doubt, Roger Federer is the most favorite to win the Australian Open 2008 title as well. He has 12 grand slam titles to his credit and at this moment he is ranked no. 1 in the ranking of ATP. Federer won the last two Australian Open men’s singles titles. So, the title of Australian Open 2008 will be his third consecutive title. Moreover, Federer needs two more grand slam titles to level the Pete Sampras’s record highest 14 grand slam titles. So, it seems to be a significant year to come for Roger Federer. However, he might face strong challenge from Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic.

In women’s singles, there is no single player who is currently dominating over others. Rather, there are some players who are winning the tournaments these days. Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, maria Sharapova are in the lost of favorites to win the women’s singles title of Australian Open 2008. Any of them can win the title of this year as all of them have the quality and skill to prove their worth.

Australian Open 2008 is now the main attraction in the tennis world. Tennis fans are eagerly waiting for this tournament. Naturally, when it comes to grand slam tournament, tennis fans feel additional excitement in them and want to enjoy the fullest of it. Not only the fans, participating in a grand slam or winning a grand slam is a dream to many players. So, let us see if Australian Open 2008 becomes a story of ‘dream comes true’ for a player. I hope to see an interesting tournament with some historic matches in Australian Open 2008 tournament.

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