Well there isn’t a ton of drama heading in to this year’s Australian Open, which begins on Monday. On the women’s side Serena Williams is still absent from the game (nursing a foot injury from July), one of my favorites Elena Dementieva retired in November, and Li Na just beat Clijsters in Sydney to win the title.
On the men’s side, the top 100 players are entered, Nadal is looking to be the first man in 42 years to hold all four grand slams at once, and Roger Federer is now 30 – usually the beginning of the end in players past. With all of this considered, including the draw, here are my semis, finals, and champions for the 2011 Australian Open:
Semis: 11 Henin vs. 9 Li and 3 Clijsters vs. 2 Zvonareva
Final: 9 Li vs. 3 Clijsters
Champion: 9 Li
It’s a bit of a long shot for Li to win a slam considering she never has, and she’d have to beat Aussie favorite, and U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters to do it probably. However, Li just beat Clijsters today to win in Sydney. Maybe Clijsters is a little more fatigued than usual? Either way I expect Li to make a deep run.
Semis: 1 Nadal vs 4 Soderling and 4 Djokovic vs. 2 Federer
Final: 1 Nadal vs. 2 Djokovic
Champion: 1 Nadal
I really went back and forth about putting Djokovic or Federer in the final, but am thinking that with an aging Federer and a vengeful Djokovic, maybe Djokovic could win. Djokovic has beaten Federer before so it’s not a long-shot really. I just hope that Nadal is over his recent flu that derailed him 2 weeks ago. It would be amazing to see him hit yet another career record!