An Australian Open without Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the men’s tournament like the one that opens in Melbourne is a prelude to a sure novelty in the roll of honor of the first slam of the season, which from 2010 onwards saw only the current and the ex n.1 in the world, with the exception of the Swiss Stas Wawrinka who is also absent.
The last to prevail before them, in 2009, was Rafa Nadal, the only survivor of the trio of ‘giants’ who will do everything to conquer his 21 / o career slam, thus overcoming the two rivals but will have to get the better of younger competitors eager to start changing history: from Daniil Medvedev to Alexander Zverev, from Stefanos Tsitsipas to Matteo Berrettini, just to name four candidates in order of ranking.
The Roman, already on the pitch during the night together with three other Italians (Lorenzo Sonego, Fabio Fognini and the lucky loser Salvatore Caruso), will have a less complicated scoreboard due to the exclusion of the Serbian, who could have faced the quarterfinals. Berrettini’s goal – on the field against the 20-year-old USA Nakashima – is to do better than the last 16 achieved last year when, however, he did not take the field against Tsitsipas due to the abdominal problem that between ups and downs dragged himself up to exclusion from the Atp Finals. of Turin. Another Italian spearhead is Jannik Sinner, who bookmakers consider even more favorite than the n.7 in the world. The South Tyrolean, n.11 in the ranking, will debut on Tuesday against the Portuguese qualified Sousa, and the first complicated obstacle would be found on paper in the second round, the Norwegian Ruud (n.8). Also on the second day of the tournament, Lorenzo Musetti’s Open experience is likely to end quickly, as opposed to the more experienced Australian De Minaur, Gianluca Mager who has to contend with the Russian Andrey Rublev, n.5 in the world, and Stefano Travaglia, which will face the Spaniard Bautista Agut. On paper, the commitments for Marco Cecchinato with the German Kohlschreiber and the veteran Andreas Seppi with the Polish Majchrzak are easier.
On the other hand, the four Italians in the race make their debut in the night: Camila Giorgi, Jasmine Paolini, Lucia Bronzetti and Martina Trevisan, who are all in the top of the board, manned by world number one, and home favorite, Ashleigh Barty. Even in the women’s tournament, the candidates for the title are numerous, above all Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep, although both veterans of a complicated 2021, but by ranking the most accredited are the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and the Spanish Garbine Muguruza.
Source From: Ansa