It is pretty hard to go past Serena Williams for a sixth Australian Open title. More like next to impossible. Her run in Brisbane where she won her 47th career title has only added weight to the argument that...
It is pretty hard to go past Serena Williams for a sixth Australian Open title. More like next to impossible. Her run in Brisbane where she won her 47th career title has only added weight to the argument that challengers are very, very few and far between. Sure, people will say there are World No.1 Victoria Azarenka and World No.2 Maria Sharapova but really Serena is in a league of her own. The last time Serena lost a match was in Cincinnati in August and in one sense that loss was more like a relief. It took away any tension or pressure of being expected to win every time she stepped on the court. “I think you would be a pretty brave person to go against her straight off the bat,” said Sam Stosur. “She's the in form player and has carried that for a really long period of time now. “It's interesting to see what she can do and how she handles it and all that coming along.  I guess she's been in that position recently for a few of those Slams and obviously she won Wimbledon and the US and then had that little mishap at the French. Yeah, I think she's the in form one for sure.” And it’s a comment endorsed by the defending champion Victoria Azarenka when asked if Serena is the player to best: “Yeah, I think so,” she said. That pretty much sums things up as far as the women are concerned. It is not as clear cut on the men’s side even though Novak Djokovic is slightly ahead of his two main adversaries – Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Djokovic is trying to be the first man in the Open-era to win the singles title three straight years. In fact the last time it was done was in 1967 by Roy Emerson. “From my personal experience I like playing here and it is my most successful grand Slam (but) this Grand Slam is also know for a lot of surprises with players reaching the final stages who are not expected to, especially in the last six or seven years,” said Djokovic. The world No1 has not played a regular event so far while Federer has played no event at all. Murray did win in Brisbane and is looking solid. Djokovic was asked if he had noticed a change in Murray's demeanor since the Olympics and the US Open. “He has a shorter haircut,” was the response. He added: “Look, he has become a Grand Slam and Olympic champion.  It's something that not many players in the history have done.  He's great.  I mean, I think mentally something switched in his head and he just started believing much more in his abilities, even though he was always a great player, always was a contender to win a major title. “Now that he's done it, he's definitely right up there, one of the first few favorites for any tournament he plays.  He's an all around player, improved his game, stayed committed.” David Ferrer has put himself in contention and lets not leave out Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro. My picks for the titles are Serena and Murray.