Dates: Jan 14th - 27th, 2019
As we open the new year with the first of four grand slam events in sunny Melbourne, the RedTix Insights team takes a sneak peek at what's in store over the next fortnight. First held in 1905 on grass courts, the Australian Open has now grown into the largest annual sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere. Attendance last year broke new records with a staggering 743,000+ attending the annual event. Along with huge annual crowds, the world's top tennis stars will battle it out to wrap their hands around the prestigious Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the men and the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the women.
World number 1, Novak Djokovic is firmly in the driving seat as the bookies favourite by quite a margin. However in sport, there is always someone to spoil the party and that someone could be the ever youthful Roger Federer, looking to make it three Australian titles in a row.
Currently ranked at world number three, the 37-year-old is tied on six alongside Djokovic for most Australian Open titles. Will either of these two tennis greats add number seven to their collection?
Serena Williams is back at the Australian Open, for tennis and so much more. Is this where we witness history? Serena has the opportunity to capture her 23rd major title and over-take Steffi Graf at the top of the all-time Grand Slam leaderboard. There are not enough superlatives to describe what she has done for the game in general and more so the women's game.
Making national headlines four months ago, in the final of the U.S. Open for her angry outbursts towards the umpire and winning both criticism and praise but ultimately losing the match. Currently ranked as world number 16 we think Serena could be out to prove a point.
As I write this we have already seen three-time grand slam winner Andy Murray fall short at the first hurdle. This is not to say it wasn’t a classic Murray match. He fought with heart and determination only to run out of steam come the fifth set. Murray has been fighting with a hip problem for the past 18 months, in an emotional press conference held before his opening match in Melbourne, he admitted this might be my last grand slam event.
Is retirement edging ever closer for Murray? We hope not, optimism is in the air that he can close this chapter of his life back in Britain on the world famous grass courts of Wimbledon (As a Brit, it would be phenomenal if Britain’s greatest tennis player could bow out as the champion of the longest running grand slam event - Wimbledon)