Eleven of the thirty-two seeds on the men’s side are still in the draw, with the top two seeds, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, still very much with the possibility of duplicating their results from last year. The return of Novak Djokovic has added a new wrinkle to things though and many are waiting with bated breath to see if he can disrupt their plans.
Tennys Sandgren is the male player that has risen to the occasion much to the delight of American fans. Everyone loves to see the underdog do some damage; yet, they are also probably thinking that realistically he has no chance of going much further. Lest we forget, Jelena Ostapenko won her first singles title at a major; thus, Sandgren still has a chance to stun the tennis world.
There are ten seeded women still in the draw. The top two seeds, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki came pretty close to elimination; however, they demonstrated their mental fortitude by withstanding the challenge of their lower ranked opponents. The only remaining major champion in the draw is the twenty-one seed, Angelique Kerber. Has Kerber recovered enough of her form to replicate what she did in 2016?
Su-Wei Hsieh has to be the player that has risen to the occasion. Although she was once ranked in the twenties, her recent results have been spotty, and at thirty-two this is a good effort. While any of the other unseeded players could have gotten the honors, I do not consider them underdogs. Elise Mertens just missed being seeded; Carla Suarez Navarro was once a top ten player; and Petra Martic and Naomi Osaka were consistent top fifty players.
Seeded or not, the remaining thirty-two players have their eyes on the Australian Open trophy and the next week of tennis will produce as usual some inspiring matches. With the number one ranking on the line for two men and four women, expect the tension to mount as the prize gets closer.
SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally originals (1999 AO)
Featured: Pat Rafter
Inserted: Left to right: Martina Hingis, Amelie Mauresmo and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.