Gooday and a warm welcome to All Things Tennis in 2015 where there’ll be more of the same from me (with hopefully a few more positive match results and a cheeky Paris trip to talk about).
First things first, predictions for this year.
Who will flourish?
It’s impossible to tell really, but you’d have to look at Novak and Roger as the ones to beat this year. Djoko is still the world beater in every area, but if he endures a dip or two then surely it will be the great Swiss more than anyone who will swoop in and take the spoils.
What of 2014’s other shining lights? Well Wawrinka should enjoy another good year, no slams but more consistency perhaps, but I fancy Murray and Nadal to struggle this season.
And yes, that includes on the Roland Garros red clay.
Likewise for Cilic who won’t be able to surprise the elite with the smash and grab heroics in NYC, but in his stead we should expect success for Berdych, Dimitrov and – one hopes – Del Potro.
The women? Well the jury is out on Genie Bouchard repeating her 2014 form. Instead we must expect Halep to deliver and perhaps Ivanovic, Radwanska or a Muguruza-type leftfield starlet to join Serena and Maria in the business end of things. Azarenka I fear will find the tour a different animal since she was last at her best two years ago.
Certainly Djokovic, Federer, Serena and Maria remain my picks for success in Melbourne. But any of the aforementioned are capable of taking this unpredictable first slam of the season.
Daily updates from Down Under (including the popular ‘match, hero and shock of the day) start tomorrow.
In the words of one Mr Partridge JOIN ME!!!