I love tennis. I played it growing up. Played varsity all four years in high school, and even played collegiate tennis at the Division I level. I was one of the few players that played with a true one-handed backhand, since most of my peers went to two hands. I was a baseliner, grinding and pounding - I could kick a topspin serve right over my opponents' heads.
But that was twenty years ago. YIKES. Although I still play today, it's more for fun.
I enjoy the Australian Open, although the broadcast times make it tough to watch on TV here in the States. During the course of the tournament, it gets SO freaking hot, I remember seeing the players' shoes literally melting on the court one year. The main arena court at Melbourne Park, named after Australian great Rod Laver, has a state-of-the art retractable roof. And if the weather dictates, play can continue.
Recently, the Australian Open has been touting itself as the tennis Grand Slam of Asia. And I think that's awesome. With the other three Slams being played in the Western world (Wimbledon, French Open, and US Open), it's great that Asia/Pacific can tout its own main event.
Asian tennis has been getting better, particularly the Chinese women. Li Na, for example, lost in the finals of the Australian Open last year. She was the first Asian in a Grand Slam Final. (I don't count Michael Chang, because he is an American). And then she won the French Open last year, being the first Asian Grand Slam Champion.
My picks for the final 4 for this year's Australian Open:
Men: Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray.
Winner: Novak Djokovic
Women: Serena Williams, Li Na, Victoria Azarenka, and Petra Kvitova
Winner: Petra Kvitova