As we await the first major of the season, it’s time to take an early look on how the 2013 season might shape up.
LOSING DEPTH: The most unfortunate part of the early season was Rafael Nadal pulling out of the Australian Open. The last time we saw him was losing in the first round of Wimbledon following his French Open title. The sport is always better when Nadal is there. With Roger Federer, they formed one the greatest rivalry in the sport. And with Novak Djokovic’s rise to power, the sport had a powerful and historic trifecta. Without Nadal, it leaves a big hole.
SERENA IS STILL SERENA: She maybe 31, but Serena Williams is still dominating the sport like no other. And the Australian Open has really been a site for some special performances by Serena. Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova are ranked ahead of Serena, but anyone who watches tennis knows that Serena is a level above. Unless Serena desides to downshift, expect her to run past the competition pretty easily.
WHERE’S DJOKOVIC AT: Djokovic hasn’t played much, but at the Hopman Cup, he had a surprising loss to Bernard Tomic. Then the Serbians lost in the final, although Djokovic won his singles match. Granted, this is the start of the new year, and you can’t read too much into the Hopman Cup. And Tomic is a rising star and that could be an indication that he’s ready for a breakout year. But Djokovic usually doesn’t lose to players like Tomic. Glitch, or sign of something to come?
DO YOU CARE WHO SHARAPOVA IS DATING: According to a USA Today post, Sharapova is dating a fellow Russian named Grigor Dimitrov, who is No. 39 after reaching the finals of Brisbane. The USA Today post said he has been referred to as the next Federer. Not sure about that. For the 21-year-old Dimitrov, it will be interesting how he handles being part of a glamour couple. He will certainly have more media requests than he normally would. Hopefully he can handle it well or his rising star will have a thud.
SPEAKING OF DATING: Caroline Wozniacki is one half of the sports power couple as she dates Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 golfer in the world. But in the last year, she has gone from No.1 tennis player to kind of lost. And she didn’t open her year up to well by losing in the first round of Sydney and then had to deny rumors of an engagement. Hate to say this, but McIlroy is having the kind of impact Brooke Shields had on Andre Agassi’s carrer. Hopefully Wozniacki can regain her form. She’s a special player the sport needs to succeed.