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Australian Open 2019: Analyzing the chances of the Big 3

Satyam Jha
Top 5 / Top 10
533   //    14 Jan 2019, 14:46 IST

The year 2018 turned out to be an interesting year for the world of tennis, with the old warhorses Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal winning the year's first two Grand Slams respectively. They threatened to continue the same trend as they did in the 2017 season, winning the 4 Grand Slams alternately. 

However, a mid-season resurgence from Novak Djokovic meant that the road was not too easy for the two tennis legends. 

The Serbian player dominated the second half of 2018, winning at Wimbledon and the US, hence returning to his No. 1 ranking after a streak of losses.

With the Australian Open having begun today, the year's first Major will be an extremely interesting prospect - with the return of Andy Murray (and the probability of this being his last ever tournament) increasing the excitement manifold.

The return of Murray means that the Big Four (as they are fondly called) will compete in the same tournament after a long hiatus. Here we take a look at their prospects at the 2019 Australian Open.

1. Roger Federer

Defending champion Roger Federer will have his task cut out against a resurgent Djokovic.
Defending champion Roger Federer will have his task cut out against a resurgent Djokovic.

If tennis was an art, Federer would have been the greatest artist on the planet. The 20 time Grand Slam champion will be vying for his 7th Australian Open title and a third in succession as he takes on Denis Istomin to kick-start his tournament. 

The Swiss World No. 3 has had an amazing couple of years in Melbourne, winning the last 2 Majors in Australia. Though many believed Federer's winning streak in the last 2 years coincided with a major dip in form for Djokovic as well as an extended injury break for Murray, Federer would be unperturbed by such reasoning having seen it all in his long career.

The major threat this year could well be in the quarter-finals, where he is most likely to face Croation giant Marin Cilic. With age not on his side, Federer would like to break little sweat in the initial rounds as he is expected to play Nadal in the semis as well, who we all know can be extremely exhausting for opponents.

With 20 Slams already in his kitty and the title of the greatest of all time, Federer and his fans would want an encore of last year's performance from the defending champion.

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