Australian Open 2017: 5 players who can surprise with their performance
A closer look at the players who could cause some serious damage in Melbourne.
While the likes of Novak Djokovic & Andy Murray remain strong favourites to take the title at the Australian Open starting next Monday, there are quite a few players who could surprise us at the Open. A rejuvenated Federer, a resurgent Dimitrov, a confident Nadal, & a motivated Kyrgios can surely spoil the party that people are expecting the Serb and the Brit to have at Melbourne Park.
Let us take a closer look at the players who could cause some serious damage in Melbourne.
#1 Roger Federer
This is surely the biggest story at this year's Australian Open. Tennis fans can hardly imagine Grand Slams without Federer, for he had taken part in 65 consecutive Grand Slams, starting from 1999. This streak was halted at the French Open last year, due to an injury.
He would then also go on to miss the US Open a few months later. It goes without saying that the Swiss maestro was dearly missed at these two Grand Slams, and his fans would really look forward to watching him play in Melbourne.
Federer has worked really hard in the off-season, training with Lucas Pouille and coach Ivan Ljubicic in Dubai. He made his return to competitive tennis at the Hopman Cup last week, in a tournament that acts as preparation to the first Grand Slam of the year.
Out of the three singles matches he played, he won comfortably against Britain's Dan Evans & France's Richard Gasquet, and lost a very close match to Germany's Alexander Zverev. But the best part of his campaign at the Hopman Cup was that he bettered his performances with every match.
Without even exaggerating, he looked like Roger Federer of the old in the match against Richard Gasquet, hitting backhand winners at will, a proof of him getting his old touch back.
Federer last won a Grand Slam in 2012, but has always looked dangerous to win another one. He reached three Grand Slam finals after that, losing to Novak Djokovic on all three occasions. It's just the last step that was missing. Federer fans would be hoping that his six-month hiatus from the game might just act as the magic potion that would help him take that final step.