Am I the only one having trouble getting a "feel" for the 2015 season?
Maybe it's because the 2014 season was a bit odd, maybe it's because I'm rather distracted these days. Or maybe it's because as I write this, I'm living under tornado and flash flood warnings. Whatever. I just don't feel quite ready for the Australian season. The fun part is that I really have no idea who will win the Australian Open.
I think there will be Azarenka drama. I think there will be Princess drama (well, there already is, isn't there?). There is no Li Na, but there is Serena. Yet Serena doesn't appear invincible like she used to. This is a big chance for Kvitova, and a better chance for Halep than some may think. But what of Sharapova? Ivanovic? Wozniacki? And the increasingly dangerous Makarova?
Heat is always a factor in Melbourne, so fitness (and a certain inborn tolerance of extreme heat) is key. The heat issue can be a bit of a mess. Ice, IV fluids and stretchers have all served as props at the Australian Open. Before the officials got rid of the Rebound Ace surface and replaced it with Plexicushion, rolled and sprained ankles were part and parcel of the event.
Meanwhile, action has begun in Brisbane, where Maria Sharapova is the top seed and Ana Ivanovic is the second seed. (And JJ is playing as I write!) Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova are the top two seeds in Shenzhen, and Caroline Wozniacki and Sara Errani are the top seeds in Auckland.
(And one wonders whether Lucie Safarova, competing in Perth, is serving cream cheese or Vegemite with that bagel.)