Will 2012 will be the year Murray conquers Melbourne?
According to ‘scientists’ today is ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year. While a combination of arbitrary factors including bad weather, debt and a lack of motivation combine to create a heady cocktail of post-Christmas depression for the average man or woman sat behind a desk, it appears there is no escaping the pain even if you’re a British tennis player in sunny Melbourne.
After battling their way through last week’s qualification session to ensure passage to the 1st round of the Australian Open, Heather Watson, Laura Robson, Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong and James Ward all exited the tournament in quick succession on its first day.
The disappointing state of affairs leaves Andy Murray once again carrying the nation’s expectations all on his lonesome – but does the surly Scot really stand a chance in the face of such stiff competition from Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer?
The simple answer is yes. On his last two visits to Melbourne Park, Murray has reached the final. Indeed, only superb displays by Federer (2010) and Djokovic (2011) have prevented him from breaking his Grand Slam duck on his favourite surface. Fingers crossed the 24-year-old can start 2012 with similar momentum, although it remains likely that he’ll have to overcome one of his old rivals to become champion.
With no homegrown women left to cheer, Brits could do worse than turn their attention to world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki. A self-confessed supporter of Liverpool football club, the Dane is the current girlfriend of Northern Ireland golf star Rory McIlroy (that’s enough for a Union Jack wave surely?) and a bit of a joker to boot. She’s yet to win a Grand Slam, despite sitting top of the rankings since late 2010, but with the bookies backing her to come good she could be worth a punt.
Elsewhere in the women’s draw the likes of reigning champ Kim Clijsters, last year’s losing finalist Li Na, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and well-known duo Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams will also be hoping for glory in an open draw.
You can catch all the action from Melbourne on Eurosport and if you fancy a flutter on the action you could do worse than check out the great range of offers available on Quidco's Sportsbook.
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