2012 Australian Open Tennis Preview (Mens Singles)

Australian Open

Tennis
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Published: 12/12/2011

Tennis is a sport which does not get much sleep.

As soon as the December ATP finals in London bring down the curtain on one tennis campaign, preparation is already being made amongst the players for the following season and in particular the Australian Open in January Ė the first Grand Slam event of the calendar.

And the 2012 renewal looks set to pick things up from exactly where the action was left in 2011 as Novak Djokovic bids to defend his crown at Melbourne Park.

The super Serb brushed aside the opposition in 2011 on his way to reaching the World No.1 spot and a further two major titles at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic will be a solid favourite to retain his title in what should be a special tournament considering that 2012 will celebrate 100 years of Aussie Open tennis.

But main rivals Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray will all be seeking to gun him down and gain revenge for being completely outclassed over the past twelve months.

Nadal of course initiated a brief riposte on his favourite surface at Roland Garros but even that came on the back of three consecutive defeats to Djokovic on clay.

The Spanish ace finished 2011 in laboured fashion, exiting the World Tour Finals at the group stage after being crushed by Federer in straight sets.

Already, the critics are starting to write off the Mallorcan who they feel may now be on the decline having enjoyed his peak at a very young age.

Premature prediction perhaps, but whether the doubters are proved correct or not, it will be interesting to see how Nadal bounces back in the new year and whether he can get his hands on another Grand Slam title.

Sixteen times Slam winner Roger Federer finished off 2011 in grand style after he also faced the wrath of the media earlier in the year.

The Swiss fell short on the big stage as it appeared age was creeping up with him; however he powered to success at the ATP Finals to reclaim the World No.3 berth and put himself back in the bigger picture.

Andy Murray briefly held the World No.3 spot at Federerís expense until he was forced to withdraw from the London showpiece with injury.

The Scot undoubtedly pushed himself to the limit in 2011 and will reflect on a strong campaign after reaching the semi-final in all four majors.

But still, the Dunblane Dynamo remains a Grand Slam maiden and he will be adamant to finally record a Grand Slam title in order to cement his status as Britainís best player of the open era.

For many, honours in Australia will be fought for by the aforementioned quartet Ė but the proverbial dark horse could well emerge in the shape of Juan Martin Del Potro.

Very much the forgotten man with regards to the ATPís elite band of players, the Argentine has been steadily recovering from a damaging wrist injury which left him out on the side lines for a prolonged period of time.

After getting back to winning ways, the 2009 US Open champion has done much to rectify his plummeting ranking and has forced his way back into the top twenty.

He will be a crucial part of Argentinaís Davis Cup final team and providing he can attain optimum fitness for the New Year, Del Potro could easily get back in the thick of things.

The Australian Open, as ever, will be a huge betting event and a highly entertaining prospect as the Menís tour continues to get stronger.

It should also provide a plethora of information and guidance as to how the rest of 2012 could pan out.


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