Tennis is one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet and players must be in peak condition, if they are to win the top tournaments. With the Australian Open starting in January, players have had a little time to recover from the previous year’s exploits and recharge their batteries ahead of the new season.
The Australian Open is a very exciting tournament, as it is the first Grand Slam of the year and every player comes in with a clean sheet, excited about that they could possibly achieve and 2018 will be no different. So, which players could be challenging for top honours at the 2018 Australian Open?
1. Men’s Singles
Roger Federer is our pick to take the title in 2018. Coming off a dream season where he collected titles at two grand slams and a handful of other ATP 1000 series events, Roger has the momentum…..Having been born within one week of each other, in May 1987, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will be 30 by the time the 2018 Australian Open comes around. With another year on the clock and another long season of ATP Tour tennis in their legs, will they continue to be among the top of men’s tennis? The answer must be yes. Both players will be extremely fit and happy with their tennis and there is every suggestion they will both be at their top of the men’s game come the start of 2018. Murray and Djokovic are the two to back for the final in 2018.
That’s not to say there will be no challengers. Home favourite, Nick Kyrgios will have another season of experience under his belt and may have learnt to cope with a temper which can lead him astray during matches. Kyrgios certainly has the talent to go far at the 2018 Australian Open and makes a good outside bet.
Other serious contenders include Milos Raonic, who is fast approaching his prime as a tennis player. The Canadian will be 27 come the 2018 Australian Open and needs to start reaching the latter stages of Grand Slam tournaments consistently, if he is to fulfil his potential.
2. Women’s Singles
The question remains as to just how long Serena Williams can continue to compete at the top of the women’s game. The American will be 36 years old come the start of the 2018 Australian Open and it may be time for some new faces to take over at the top or perhaps, an older face to return? By the time the 2018 Australian Open commences, Maria Sharapova will be back in full swing and has won the Australian Open once before, in addition to reaching the final on two other occasions. Having had the 8 months of game time in 2017, the Russian makes an intriguing bet to win the 2018 Australian Open.
German, Angelique Kerber started 2017 as world number one but it remains to be seen if she can hold on to the top spot throughout the year. Having won the Australian Open in 2016, Kerber now knows what it takes to win a Grand Slam and will feel confident of repeating her triumph before she retires. If not in 2017 then why not 2018?
Looking elsewhere and there are some interesting possibilities for the 2018 Australian Open women’s singles. Young Swiss talent, Belinda Bencic is improving all the time and going deeper at Grand Slams every year. She will be 20 by the time the 2018 tournament comes around and with another year of experience on tour behind her, could be a real challenger. What about Johanna Konta? She reached the semi-final in 2016 and seems to be improving every time she steps onto the court. 2017 is set to be a big year and if it proves to be successful, Konta could start 2018 as one of the top players in the world and with a great chance of winning the Australian Open.
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