Having just been social media/online manager for WTA and ATP tourneys the past 2.5 weeks it will be fantastic to be just a 'fan' again (and actually get to watch the tennis).
This year, on my fifth visit to the Australian Open, I'm going to be a Fanbassador! What a cool idea the folks at the Aussie Open have come up with - to me there's nothing better than hearing first hand from someone caught up in the action and that's what I'll be doing - tweeting and blogging when possible during my time at Melbourne Park!
Will be in Melbourne for the first week - enjoying a grounds pass and a few stadium tickets. I've reviewed the draw and here are my first round picks:
- Lucie Safarova-Christina McHale. This should be a battle. Lucie is always dangerous and the young American is coming off a huge season in which she defeated Wozniacki twice.
- Victoria Azarenka-Heather Watson. Intriguing yes, but I think the young Brit is going to be well overmatched - she hasn't played this season and hurt her ankle playing footy, which forced her out of Auckland.
- Peng Shuai-Aravane Rezai. Sigh. These two had a great battle in Auckland, which the Chinesewoman won in three sets. Lots of hard hitting in this match.
- Sam Stosur-Sorana Cirstea - the Romanian has so much talent and this year lost a tight match with ASB Classic finalist Flavia Pennetta in Auckland and had Angelique Kerber on the ropes in Hobart. I think she'll challenge the Aussie.
- Jelena Dokic-Anna Chakvetadze. WHY tennis gods? WHY?
- Fernando Verdasco-Bernard Tomic. Sigh. Fer looked pretty good in both Hopman Cup and the Heineken Open. I feel like Tomic might take this but please Fer - don't let that happen.
- Juan Monaco-Philipp Kohlschreiber - The German had a good run to the semis in Auckland while Pico skipped the Heineken Open. Pico has a dodgy wrist - Philipp is a great player. Sigh.
- Stan Wawrinka-Benoit Paire. Watch the Frenchman - he's awesome!
- Andy Murray-Ryan Harrison. I think Muzz will get through this handily.