The 2021 Australian Open: Totally insane, but great matches

Naomi Osaka

Who will reach the semis at the 2021 Australian Open? Between the men and the women, there are a number of previous Grand Slam winners. So, because they are the favorites, that doesn’t mean that they can actually go deep in the second week. Here are eight people who will play terrific ball.

Novak Djokovic has won Melbourne eight times. He is aggressive and confident. He really likes playing on the hot hard courts. Maybe the talented Alexander Zverev can knock him in the quarters, as well as Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils. The cagey veterans.

Dominic Thiem has a amazing one-handed backhand. He likes to hustle, and he is very patient. There are four good players, such as Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimintrov who can block his path. The two Canadians look very good, but they have to improve their mental game.

Daniil Medvedev will reach the semis again, which he did at the 2020 US Open. He is very robust and steady. As long as he comes into the net, and is returning well, he has another chance to win his first Slam.

Andry Rublev has become so much better. And now, as long as he is zoning, he has a decent chance of upsetting Medvedev. Two other players have a chance to upend the big players: Casper Ruud and Borna Coric.

Rafa Nadal has an awesome lefty slice on his first serve. He battles and is a grinder. At the net, he can put the ball away. He has won 20 Grand Slams and is tied with Roger Federer, but has only won once at the AO. He was hurt a lot. One player standing in his part of the draw is Stefano Tsitsipas had a good year in 2020, but  he wasn’t flawless. He can be anxious, but he has a lot of huge shots. He is learning, so that is very fine. If they meet,  those two will have a tremendous battle. The two others can reach the second week are Italian Matteo Berrettini and Aussie Alex de Minaur.

The No. 1 Ashleigh Barty just beat Garbine Muguruza 7-6(3), 6-4 to win another title, with so much assortment and spin. She has yet to win in Melbourne at the AO. Why? She was a little bit uneasy, so she pushed back, instead of going for it. Right now, though, inside her head, she is more secure.

Four of them can beat her, as long as they are playing 100 percent, such as the huge hitter, arolina Pliskova, two rising Russians, including Ekaterina Alexandrova and Karolina Muchova,  as well as the talented Swiss, Belinda Bencic.

American Sofia Kenin pumpls the ball each way, smashing it with depth. At the 2020 Australian Open, she won it all, and now, she certainly has a chance to grab it again as long as she continues to nail it into the corners.

When she is happy, Garbine Muguruza can win her third Slam, but that is a big if.
Three others veterans are very powerful and driven, such as Victoria Azarenka, Elina Svitolina and Johanna Konta. They can beat anyone, when they are playing great.

Three-time champ Naomi Osaka can dig in and then she will go for it immediately. She smack the ball, with her forehand and backhand. She can get down when she isn’t playing well, but when she is returning well, she can kiss the lines. After that, she attacks.

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has not played for a long time, but she won the 2019 US Open. She was so good that we thought she would win many more.  Now though, the jury is questionable, over the next two weeks. Coming back takes a long time.

This is the toughest field in the fourth round or even the quarter. Try three people who won the Slams, such as Serena Williams,  Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek.

Still, at the age of 39, Serena Williams is one of the best players on the planet. She has almost everything, with her massive serve, her heavy forehand, her slick backhand, and potent return. Over the past decade, Simona Halep was excellent at times, but also being emotional.  Swiatek goes for the lines. What about Aryna  Sabalenka? She just won astring of events. She is going hard.  

Everyone will be watching some insane, great matches at the Australian Open.

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