It's almost 2014 and with the New Year comes a new season of Grand Slam tournaments, starting with Australia. The 2014 Australian Open starts January 13 and goes until January 26 and is the big kickoff to the 2014 tennis season.
A year is a long time, especially in a sport as competitive as tennis. At the beginning of 2013, who would have guessed that Rafael Nadal would end up on top? So how will 2014 start? And what will that mean for the rest of 2014?
First, let's take a look at the current ATP rankings:
1. Rafael Nadal
2. Novak Djokovic
3. David Ferrer
4. Andy Murray
5. Juan Martin del Potro
6. Roger Federer
And, the current WTA Rankings:
1. Serena Williams
2. Victoria Azarenka
3. Na Li
4. Maria Sharapova
5. Agnieszka Radwanska
6. Petra Kvitova
Who will win the Australian Open 2014?
Novak Djokovic has won the last three Australian Open tournaments (four total counting his first in 2008) and many consider him the favorite. However, Rafael Nadal is a serious contender; after all, he took over the number one position in 2013. He won the Australian Open in 2010 and last year won both the French and U.S. Opens. But don't count out Andy Murray, he's made the final in Australia three times and he's recovered from his back surgery. Finally, Roger Federer claims to be in great shape and has hired Stefan Edberg, Sweden's six-time grand slam winner, to help get him back on track. But Federer had a tough year last year. If he wins I'm sure I won't be the only one who is surprised. Finally, David Ferrer is at number three, his career high, and has the motivation and the strength while Juan Martin del Potro holds on to the number five spot and definitely has the power to pull off a win.
On the women's side we have Victoria Azarenka defending her 2013 Australian Open win. A win for Azarenka will give her three Australian Open victories in a row, but she'll have to contend against Number One Serena Williams who looks pretty unstoppable. Serena is definitely the favorite, she won the Australian Open in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010. But, if Maria Sharapova is healthy she could be a contender in Australia. Maria took home the title in 2008.
Who do you think will win the 2014 Australian Open?