Tennis in 2013, and Australian Open Day One round-up

You know the drill, a new year and the first Major gets an overly in-depth focus from yours truly. It’s unlikely, but perhaps 2013 will buck the trend and other tournaments will receive similar attention.

It certainly is the aim if nothing else.
What will this year bring?
Certainly it will be hard to look past Serena and Novak to once again enjoy the sweeter fruits on offer, but Azarenka, Sharapova and certainly a certain Mr Murray will challenge most. Will we see a new champion on the Red Clay in the wake of what is likely – and sadly – to be the beginning of the end of Rafael Nadal’s form years, a swifter route to the twilight years thanks to that style of play and the subsequent pressure on those knees. We wait and see.
Elsewhere, after such illustrious names as Roddick, Ferrero, Schuettler, Gonzalez, Ljubicic and Clijsters (yes, again) bowing out last term will 2013 be the swansong year for the likes of Venus, Lleyton, Nalbandian and Schiavone all immortals in the annals of generations past?
Can the ‘Joey Barton of tennis’ Bernard Tomic or Milos Raonic step up to the plate and will our British girls continue to surge up the rankings and mix it with the ova’s and ic’s? Will Sara Errani continue her rich vein of form or will another repeat her feats of 2012.
Whatever comes our way it will be another hugely rewarding year such is the strength in depth on both tours, not seen for quite a while.
So to Australia then and after all the pre-tournament buzz surrounding the winners of the main pre-Slam tournies (Serena, Murray, Ferrer, Radwanska, Hewitt!) Day One of the Oz Open begun in typical fashion.
The sweltering ‘wish you were here’ midday Melbourne heat emblazons the TV screen in a dark and cold UK living room in the early hours of a Monday morning.
Who impressed and who faltered? The first of many brief (promise) daily round-ups follows:

Day One

A good day for…

Maria Sharapova – Sugarpova was anything but sweet here, ruthless
Venus Williams – 16 years after her first appearance here, Williams snr rolled back the years
Janko Tipsarevic – Came through the marathon task of an in-form Hewitt on home soil
Heather Watson – Back from the brink, a kinder draw than last year remains ripe for picking.

A bad day for…

Casey Dellacqua – A winnable encounter came to nothing
Daniela Hantuchova – Breadsticks aplenty here, and the usual horror show by all accounts.
Lleyton Hewitt – His victims at Kooyong read like a who’s who of the top ten, but couldn’t prevail once ante was upped on this bigger of stages.

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