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Tennis Down Under

It’s that time of year again.  When the snow begins to fall, awesome music is playing in the stores, Jews are lighting their chanukiyot , and it’s 80 degrees  in Melbourne, Australia as they are preparing for the first Grand Slam tennis event of 2012.

The Australian open first took place in 1905, and is the only Grand Slam tennis event held in the southern hemisphere.  It is currently held each year in Melbourne Park during the last two weeks of January.

This year, 99 of the top 100 ranked men are competing in the tournament, as well as 98 of the top 100 women.  This year will be the 100th men’s singles tournament at the Australian Open, and it promises to be exciting.  Although Novak Djokovic has everything going for him heading into the tournament, Roger Federer, currently ranked 3rd and one of the greatest Grand Slam competitors in tennis history, is coming off of a win in London that may give him an extra boost in the tournament as well.

Novak Djokovic (Serbia), currently the top rated men’s player in the world, won the men’s Australian Open in 2011, and has won three of the past four major tennis tournaments, being ousted in the semifinals of the French Open. Needless to say, he’s on a roll.  Kim Clijsters (Belgium) won the women’s Australian open in 2011, and is currently ranked 13th behind USA’s Serena Williams.  Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki lost in the semifinals to China’s Li Na, who is currently ranked 5th.

Once again, there are no women from the United States ranked in the top ten, although a good showing from Serena Williams (12th) may enable her to break in.  USA’s Mardy Fish (8th) remains the only men’s player from our country ranked in the top ten.  Let’s see if he can get something done.


On the women’s side, top ranked Caroline Wozniacki is hungry for her first Grand Slam title, but looks to be challenged by seasoned veteran, Maria Sharapova (4th).