Over the last couple of posts we’ve talked about planning, goals and alignment. We’ve now had the first two days of the Australian Open and in the men’s five seeded players lost, though none of the top 10. In the top 10 all bar 10th seed Almagro won in straight sets and, other than Tipsarevich (who played three tight sets against Leyton Hewitt), with ease. The ease of win of the top players is not indicative of the lack of depth in men’s tennis – Almagro took five sets to beat the 175th ranked Steve Johnson – more their focus on the first key goal of the season.
However, as pointed out last time the top players have teams that are focused on preparing their players for these events and clearly the best are ready from the off. Since Nadal won the first of his 11 slams in 2005, only he Federer and Djokovic have won more than one, with del Potro and Murray each winning one and rarely have any of them lost early. This speaks volumes for the degree of focus and their preparation. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the tournament pans out. However, with Nadal out, clearly Djokovic, Federer and Murray (having won the last slam) are seen as the favourites, though del Potro, Berdych Ferrer and Tsonga will also consider they have a chance.