January 18th, 2010
10:36 AM ET

Belgians leading the way for Australian Open

So the new tennis season is underway and on the eve of the Australian Open there is so much to be excited about! Unlike last year, the women’s game has a chance to take centre stage thanks to the returning Belgians. Kim Clijsters is a delight to watch and her unbelievable US Open victory helped bring back Justine Henin too.

Justine Henin has looked strong but has much to prove before she wins another Grand Slam.
Justine Henin has looked strong but has much to prove before she wins another Grand Slam.

Henin’s coach, Carlos Rodriguez, recently told us that Justine would take more time than Kim to experience success. I think he’s right. Justine has a lot more to her game than her compatriot – therefore there’s more that can go wrong. Henin is also a lot smaller and much less powerful so hitting hard from the baseline is not something she can fall back on.

On the other hand, there’s an awful lot that can go very, very right, and so, with more matches under her belt, perhaps the French Open is a more realistic target.

Justine’s goal though is Wimbledon, the one Slam missing from her impressive C.V. For her it’s winnable – she has all the tools, especially in the head department, which is arguably the most important department in tennis!

On the men’s side, every Major win for Roger Federer is a bonus from now on but he won’t see it that way, he cherishes each Grand Slam. Every time he steps on court he aims to win – only when Roger is no longer competing for Grand Slam victories will he quit and happily I don’t see that happening for quite a few years.

The problem for the Swiss maestro is that a few pretenders are now contenders. I now see the Aussie Open men’s winner coming from a pool of eight – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, del Porto, Murray, Davydenko, Soderling and Tsonga.

The main thing that amazes me about Federer (quite a lot amazes me, but I don’t have time to write them all down) is how calm he is about everything.

Saturday was media day at the Australian Open, it is always a complete frenzy, and though I’m not there I can imagine he’s taking it all in his stride.

From my experience, despite the fact he has traveled with his wife and twin girls, he’ll answer every question thrown at him, no matter how stupid, and do it all in a very nice way with very little sarcasm.

That’s why (the calmness, not the sarcasm!) I think he’ll win at least another two Slams this year and for us, the fans, it will never get old. The question is: will he beat the pack to win in Melbourne?

I say yes!

Women’s winner: Kim Clijsters
Men’s winner: Roger Federer

What do you think?

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. F1 affciando

    my wishful thinking
    Women’s winner: henin
    Men’s winner: Nadal / Murray

    January 19, 2010 at 7:59 am | Reply
  2. Tina Sue

    Good luck – Kim Clijster ( women's winner )
    and Murray or Nadal ( Men's winner )

    January 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  3. Leslie Vivar

    Women;s winner: Justine
    Men's winner: Rafa

    January 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  4. johne delaney

    can t understand the continued bias against rugby union ,the second most popular field sport in the world . a combined total of one million people will attend matches in the current six nations tournament and almost as much in the tri nations tournament add in various test matches in the course of the year and it gives a massive live audience that other sports like golf , cricket , tennis , basketball all combined could only dream of .i.e 7 million people watched england v wales last saturday on the b b c , nearly 10 million will watch france v ireland this saturday . yet the sports mentioned above get massive and unjustified coverage while r u is not even mentioned no previews no match reports . over 100 countries play r u now and next year 2011 the third biggest sports tournament in the world will happen .i.e. rugby world cup 2011 in n zeland , not golf cricket or boxing but rugby yet this world wide sport is virtually ignored by your sports channell .. i am curious to know why , perhaps some one could e mail back reply or put this piece up on blog for discussion . i p.s. there are more rugby players worldwide than there are golfers boxers or tenis players sailors , racing drivers or skiers combined . please take note . i await developments . thank you johne . rep of ireland

    February 10, 2010 at 2:28 am | Reply

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