Halep leads host of contenders for Serena’s crown

(Reuters) – Selecting a Ladies’s singles champion on the Australian Open could resemble a fortunate dip this year with Serena Williams’ endured absence once more leaving the door ajar.

Who will kick it open is a question that a legion of tennis pundits in finding tough to answer with any stage of sure bet.

The American, who gained the title ultimate year in Melbourne regardless of being Within The early weeks of being pregnant to take her grand slam tally to 23, determined in opposition to trying to shield her title, saying she was once no longer yet totally in control.

Whether Or Not or not she will have won a Twenty Fourth slam, and her first as a mom and spouse, is open to question making an allowance for her lack of fit observe, even if if any one can do it the 36-yr-outdated may be the one.

She shall be back on the trophy hunt later this yr however Within The meantime the highlight falls on those hoping to try and establish themselves as LONG-time period successors to the best participant the women’s game has seen.

Simona Halep arrives as world number one however is yet to win a grand slam title, having fallen agonisingly short at the French Open closing 12 months when she used to be ambushed by the ferocious hitting of Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.

Spain’s powerhouse Garbine Muguruza, who triumphed at Wimbledon ultimate 12 months to claim a second grand slam, is tipped because the participant perhaps to assume the dominant position.

Caroline Wozniacki, seeded two, will probably be fancying her chances of a first grand slam title, whereas who would wager towards Venus Williams flying the domestic flag at 37 years of age, even though a first spherical against Belinda Bencic is a tricky opening hurdle.

Russian Maria Sharapova, back in Melbourne for the first time on the grounds that she failed a doping take a look at for meldonium in 2016 and completed a ban, is some other with the expertise and firepower to succeed and together with Angelique Kerber is considered one of simplest two former champions Within The Girls’s draw.


The LIST is for much longer than that though.

FILE Photograph: Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – 28/1/17 Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a shot all through her Ladies’s singles remaining in shape against Venus Williams of the U.S. .REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

“We Now Have nobody who has taken the bull by the horns, because Serena has been out of the sport, started her own dominance,” twice Australian Open champion Chris Evert, a commentator for ESPN at the Open, mentioned.

“On the other aspect of the coin, it’s most probably extra exciting because you could have 20 players that may win a grand slam. You couldn’t have mentioned that 10 years in the past, even five.”

Her compatriot Sloane Stephens, seeded 13th in Melbourne, proved that on the U.S. Open as she got here out of nowhere to assert a maiden slam against Madison Keys.

Evert, on the other hand, believes it could be Romanian Halep’s flip.

“I say this without a lot of conviction, however I Feel like Halep had such a disappointing 2017 Within The majors, and I Think she is set to turn that around,” Evert stated.

“I simply really feel like she’s taking part in the most effective tennis presently, taking part in essentially the most solid tennis.”

Halep might face twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova Within The 1/3 spherical and is in the identical half of as Muguruza who can have to get past Sharapova in round 4.

In The backside 1/2, Wozniacki might not be unduly worried by the first week, even though Ostapenko may lurk In The quarters.

With so many players in competition and a lot firepower, dealing with the stress will be the key, according to Mats Wilander.

”They’re so wild and uncooked it’s hard to select a winner,“ the Swede instructed Reuters. ”The Best Way they serve and the velocity they hit the ball which you could be out of the event in Forty Five minutes.

“Psychological stress for ladies in a slam is harder than the lads as a result of it’s harder wreck a recreation down In The Girls’s game with defensive talents.”

Reporting through Martyn Herman, modifying with the aid of Ed Osmond

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