I wish I could say that I had the time, the patience and the inclination to be a dedicated follower of tennis. Any given year I’ll watch the final rounds of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and if I happen to be home and the television happens to be tuned to the right channel I’ll watch the finals of the French and Australian Opens.
Now that the semifinals in this year’s Australian Open are set they have definitely shaped up to be view-worthy. I have my PVR set to catch the match between Federer and Roddick. The patriotic side of me is pulling for Andy-boy while the sports fan in me loves to see a master like Federer play to his potential like he did against Del Potro in the quarterfinal.
If the Roger Federer that played in the quarterfinals shows up in the semis, then Roddick doesn’t stand a chance. But if the leaner, meaner Roddick, who is playing well in this tournament under new coach, Larry Stefanki, meets the Roger Federer who struggled to get things going in the fourth round against Tomas Berdych then there may be hope.
The other men’s semifinal will see Fernando Verdasco of Spain face off against Rafael Nadal. As much as I’d like to see things go in a different direction, I still believe we’ll see Federer and Nadal in the men’s final.
On the ladies’ side, again, I want to see Serena Williams in the final against a Russian (both competitors in the other women’s semifinal match, Vera Zvonareva and Dinara Safina are Russian) but my gut tells me it will not be so.
Elena Dementieva has played well against Williams in the recent past and she is due to win a grand slam title. So, for no other reason other than timing I’ll stick with my earlier pick of an all-Russian women’s final and go one step further to say the winner will be Dementieva.
Elena Dementieva, my pick to slam down a victory and win her first grand slam at this year's Australian Open.