The Australian Open…
…Was good to see Marat Safin win the Australian open, his second Grand Slam, four and half years after he handed Pete Sampras probably the worst Grand Slam defeat of his career in the 2000 US open. He’s had an up and down time since, some great wins, some mediocore periods, and a few tough losses in Grand Slam finals.
He beat my favourite player Federer, but heck, what a match that was. Would love to see him win at least a couple more in the next few years. Men’s tennis has probably never been in such fine shape. An awesome top four – Federer, Safin, Hewitt and Roddick, and sniping at their heels the gifted Argentine – David Nalbandian, and that army of Spaniards. Of course one can never rule out the hungry & incredibly focussed Agassi. I just hope all these guys stay injury free. And like I did the same time last year, here are my predictions for the next 3 slams.
The French is always the toughest to call – it’s a Grand Slam that’s been overrun by the Spaniards & the Argentines in recent years, and Federer notwithstanding, I can’t see that changing this year. David Nalbandian and Guillermo Coria have come close the last couple of times with Coria in particular suffering a couple of heartbreaking losses. But I think this will be David Nalbandian’s year. But if Federer makes it to the semis, it will be tough to beat him.
The Wimbledon – Roger Federer. I think he will again play Andy Roddick in the final.
The US Open – Roger Federer Vs Marat Safin. And I am going to go for Federer again.
My predictions went reasonably well last year, let’s see how I fare this time. I feel that Federer will continue to bamboozle his opponents, but after his loss to Safin in the semis, maybe the others have found a few chinks. Nevertheless, here’s hoping Federer continues to mesmerize all of us with his astounding brilliance. In an age of crunching groundstrokes (and he can whip them mighty well too), he has brought back qualities to the game that I haven’t seen since Stefan Edberg/John McEnroe retired – “Supreme Touch & exceptional creative ability”.