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#5: Tuesday 16 January 2018

This is short post. My head hurts and dazzling light from laptop is making things worse.

Despite trying to avoid inhaling infected air, I have caught a cold. Inevitable to be honest. The coughs and sniffles linger in every office, on the train and in the air.

There are some nasty germs out there. Aussie flu, French flu even Japanese flu! Take your pick. The weather is unhelpful. Cold temperatures one minutes, mild the next.

Here’s the bottom line.

I’m director of AmberGlass PR. I’m a freelance sports journalist and broadcaster. I can ill-afford taking time off. My plan is to lessen the impact. Rest up, drink plenty of echinacea tea and take painkillers for the headache.

Good news is the first Grand Slam of the Tennis season returns: the Australian Open in Melbourne.

No Serena Williams this year. Even without Williams, the Aussie Open’s women’s field is wide open. There are many ladies vying for the title in the singles draw. World no1 Simona Halep is the natural favourite. But, the Romanian lacks a Grand Slam title. Unlike Jelena Ostapenko, Garbine Muguruza and Sloane Stephens.

Last year’s runner up Venus Williams faces Belinda Bencic is the most anticipated opening match. Bencic returns to the season as a qualifier after wrist surgery. Though, she won the Hopman Cup with fellow Swiss compatriot Roger Federer.

As for the men’s draw, Roger Federer is the favourite. A year ago, time seemed to count against the Swiss. This flipped after a pulsating five setter against Nadal in the Australian Open men’s singles final, securing a fifth title before claiming his Wimbledon crown again.

There is no Andy Murray after hip surgery. No Kei Nishikori. There are questions marks on Nadal (knee), Djokovic (wrist) and Wawrinka’s (knee) fitness.

This presents an excellent opportunity for the young guns on the men’s side to come through: Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov.

This is fun. There are plenty of options, here. Who wins the men’s and women’s titles is anyone’s guess.

Thanks for reading.


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