By Luís Santos
The beginning of a new season is always an intriguing event. On the one hand I am deeply envious of people down under soaking up the sun while I’m in winter and studying for exams, but on the other, I can wait to see who did the hard work in the off season.
Since I can’t go to the beach in Australia, I decided to summarize the players who I’m looking forward to watching in action this season.
On the ladies’ side
Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki
If you ask me, Kvitova is the true number 1 in the field. Everybody wants to beat her, including Wozniacki. I won’t continue to bash the Dane but I do hope she brings something new to the table or else the end is near for her. An injured Kvitova was enough to beat her at the Hopman Cup so she must improve. Looking forward to see Petra establish herself as number 1 and win a couple of slams. Melbourne seems like a good place to start.
Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova
I would say these are two of my favourites now, and not just because of the looks. Maria had good results last season but that big win eluded her. She is yet to make the court in 2012. Ana on the other hand seems fresh and ready to go higher up the ranks. Her loss to Clijsters was bitter though, and she’ll continue to hover the top 20 unless she starts winning those key matches. Hope she goes back to winning slams.
The Williams sisters
is this the swan song for them? The sisters have given a lot to tennis, but is there anything left? Still, Serena may well have another slam in her…Venus is yet to show up after her illness diagnosis, will she be at winning-slams level again? Wimbledon could boost a 3-way run to the title if both sisters and Kvitova peak in time for the grass.
On the men’s side
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Call me Captain Obvious for these choices but these are still the guys bringing the good rivalries to the table. Can Djokovic keep up his stellar 2011? It’s a brutal task to achieve again, especially if you have a hungry Nadal and a 20-match-winning-streak-Federer on the lookout. Waiting to see who will dish out the slams this year.
Juan Martin del Potro
A personal favourite of yours truly. The man is an injury magnet, so for him I want to see a full season with no injury hiccups. If he remains healthy, the three musketeers should stay on their heels.
These are my expectations, but to be honest, all I need is good tennis when I turn on the tv.
Are you looking forward to in 2012? Drop and line and let us know!