The Australian Open is already just around the corner! Australian Open 2012 was launched last week at Melbourne Park by the Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, and Aussie legend Roy Emerson.

Australian Open 2012 is set to offer the highest prize money in the history of Grand Slam tennis. The total prize pool will be $26 million, with the men’s and women’s champions taking home a record $2.3 million each.

A few other initiatives have been announced:
– the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, will head to China for the first ever international leg of the Australian Open Trophy Tour this week.
Hawk-Eye to be introduced on Margaret Court Arena
– bigger and better Grand Slam Oval following redevelopment work, with improved access and additional space
– expanded merchandise range to include prestige memorabilia collection
– Australian Open Kids Day returns with more activities and opportunities for kids to play on the Australian Open courts
– improved player facilities, with a new player lounge, gym and entertainment options including a shark aquarium and live music performances.

The Australian Open is my second favorite Grand Slam (the first being Wimbledon, of course), and I am always amazed by their innovations and how they take care of the spectators.

Stay tune for more coverage of Australian Open 2012!

For once, the women’s final was more intense and more interesting than the men’s final.

A disappointing final ended a tournament rich in emotions and incredible matches: Nalbandian-Hewitt, Verdasco-Tipsarevic, Cilic-Isner, Schiavone-Kuznetsova just to name a few.

This match was supposed to be the meeting of the sport’s next two Major rivals. Instead Murray was no match for Novak , who destroyed him 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in 2h39.

Check out the men’s final highlights and Novak’s photoshoot with the trophy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9_-41naFGw[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JtCZ6JA_I8[/youtube]

It was more difficult than expected for Aussie Kim who needed 3 sets (3-6 6-3 6-3) to defeat Na Li and capture her first Oz Open title, her fourth Grand Slam overall.

Check out the women’s final highlights and Kim’s photoshoot with the trophy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqR4zqP8sY[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qPcNWsOuV4[/youtube]

Next for Kim: the Fed Cup in Antwerp and the Open GDF Suez in Paris.

The first time they play each other they were 12 and Andy Murray won over Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-1.
The two good friends will meet tomorrow in final of this 2011 Australian Open, a tournament rich in emotions.
Who will the first Slam of the season? please share your thoughts.

Djokovic’s road to the final

Round Opponent Score
R1 Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-3, 6-1
R2 Ivan Dodig 7-5, 6-7, 6-0, 6-2
R3 Viktor Troicki 6-2 ret
R4 Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4, 6-0
QF Tomas Berdych 6-1, 7-6, 6-1
SF Roger Federer 7-6, 7-5, 6-4

Read More

Kim Clijsters qualified for her second Australian Open final (she lost to Henin in 2004) with a straight sets win over world number 2 Vera Zvonareva in semifinals. It will be her eight Grand Slam final overall.

Kim stated that this final will most likely be her last competitive match in Australia, and that 2011 will be her last full year on tour, in order to have a second child.

Clijster’s road to the final

Round Opponent Score
R1 Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-0
R2 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3
R3 Alize Cornet 7-6, 6-3
R4 Ekaterina Makarova 7-6, 6-2
QF Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-6
SF Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3

With her win over world number one Caroline Wozniacki, Na Li became the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam final.
Li is also the oldest Melbourne Park finalist since 33-year-old Chris Evert lost to Steffi Graf in 1988.

Li’s road to the final

Round Opponent Score
R1 Sofia Arvidsson 6-1, 7-5
R2 Evgeniya Rodina 6-3, 6-2
R3 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-1
R4 Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-3
QF Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4
SF Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 7-5, 6-3

Clijsters leads their head to head 4 to 2 (see below) and she’s obviously the big favorite. But Li won their last encounter in Sydney 2 weeks ago.

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 Sydney Hard Clijsters 6-3 6-1
2006 Wimbledon Grass Clijsters 6-4 7-5
2007 Sydney Hard Clijsters 6-1 1-6 7-5
2007 Miami Hard Li 4-6 6-4 6-2
2009 US Open Hard Clijsters 6-2 6-4
2011 Sydney Hard Li 7-6(3) 6-3

Who will win the 2011 Australian Open?

  • Kim Clijsters (51%, 21 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (22%, 9 Votes)
  • Vera Zvonareva (10%, 4 Votes)
  • Other (10%, 4 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Justine Henin (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Venus Williams (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

Loading ... Loading ...