The 2014 Australian Open begins on Jan. 13 and ends on Jan. 26. It will be the 102nd edition of the tournament that will take place on the tough courts of Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.
The top 20 male and female players have already agreed to join the 2014 Australian Open. Organizers believe that the championship will be the toughest in the history of the tournament.
"Every top player has committed to play," Craig Tiley, tournament director, said in an article published by The Herald Sun. "The Australian Open will have the strongest playing field of any event throughout the world," he added.
Who do you think will win the first Grand Slam of 2014?
Plans and schemes are already taking shape for the 2014 Australian Open involving the tennis stars such as defending champions Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray and so much more.
Novak Djokovic hits a return to David Ferrer during their final tennis match at Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.(Reuters)
Will the defending champion claim his fifth Australian and seventh Grand Slam title? The second-ranked player recently added retired tennis legend Boris Becker to his team in the latter part of 2013. It will be exciting to find out what Becker can contribute to Djokovic's playing skills. Djokovic seems quite ready to defend his title as he practices at the Rod Laver Arena. Click here to watch the video.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus disputes a point during her women's singles final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. at Brisbane International tennis tournament. (Reuters)
Azarenka, the reigning 2013 Australian Open champion, lost to top-ranked female player Serena Williams in the freshly concluded 2014 Brisbane International. The 24-year-old Belarusian player has been doing some warm-ups prior the 2014 Australian Open. Before she headed to the Brisbane International matches, Azarenka and Williams both participated in an exhibition match in Thailand.
Williams of U.S. holds up Brisbane International trophy after defeating Azarenka of Belarus in women's singles final in Brisbane. (Reuters)
Williams won the Australian Open for five times. However, she has not won the tournament since 2010. In an interview after the finals match against Azarenka, she revealed that Brisbane International was a great test for her. "It showed me where my level was," Williams said. "I want to improve on going into Melbourne," she added. Williams noted she was glad to have played Azarenka and Maria Sharapova.
"They brought their A games against me," she said. "I know now what I need to do for Melbourne," she added. It sure looks like Williams is not going to make it easy for the other players to win the title that easy.
Federer of Switzerland holds up runners-up trophy after being defeated by Australia's Hewitt at men's singles final match at Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane. (Reuters)
The former World no. 1 player who had a not-so-good 2013 season has suffered a shocking three-set defeat to Lleyton Hewitt in the finals of Brisbane International. Federer needed a more resounding performance to salvage his unsatisfactory 2013 season, especially now that he has Stefan Edberg as a coach. The Swiss athlete, some said, might be in the final years of his professional tennis career. But there is still that impression about him that makes you trust that he can still win a Grand Slam.
Sharapova of Russia reacts to lost point during women's singles semi-final loss to Williams of U.S. at Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane. (Reuters)
Many people are also eager to witness how Maria Sharapova will perform in the upcoming tournament in Melbourne. She did a lot of training and recovery efforts to aid her performance in the 2014 season. After Sharapova lost to Serena Williams in the semi-finals of the Brisbane International, she has been doing practice sessions ahead of the 2014 Australian Open.
Murray of Britain reacts during his match against Mayer of Germany during their Qatar Open tennis match in Doha. (Reuters)
Andy Murray last played competitive action in September. The British athlete, who became the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years in 2013, returned to action when he participated in the Mubadala Tennis Championships in Dubai. It was the first time that he played in competitive match following his back surgery. He headed towards the Qatar Open where he lost to Florian Mayer. Murray is convinced that he is not going to win the 2014 Australian Open.
"I wouldn't expect to win the Australian Open," Murray said in an article posted by ESPN. "I'm just saying that I know that I've trained hard and physically I've done a lot of good work," Murray added. "It would be unrealistic to expect to win the Australian Open, but I may start to feel better if I can get through a match or two," he noted.
Australian summer has gotten even more exciting because tennis enthusiasts get to watch the best players compete for the first Grand Slam of the year.
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