First of all, Merry Christmas, tennis fans! Or Happy Christmas, depending on where you live, I imagine. Just one more day until that special day (I hope it's a special day for you anyway).
We are now less than a week away from the United Cup getting underway. This will be the second year for the event that features both WTA and ATP players so it differs from both the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup in that manner. But the event still features top players such as Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek.
We are also just three weeks away from the Australian Open beginning. Once the tennis season starts it will start in full. So who are the favorites in Melbourne? More on that in just a minute. We will start with Andy Murray.
Tim Henman hints at an Andy Murray retirement
Tim Henman has known Andy Murray for a very long time, so if anyone might think Murray is close to retirement, Henman would be the guy. According to Eurosport, Henman thinks 2024 could not only be Rafael Nadal's swan song, but Murray's as well. Henman said, "I think it might be (Murray's last year)...He’s the only one that really knows that. But look, he’s still so motivated."
Henman believes Andy Murray still wants to try to make one last deep run at a Grand Slam event. Murray seems healthier after battling various ailments for years. He has also won the Australian Open before and will participate in the major as an unseeded player. The dream for many tennis fans would be if Nadal and Murray both retire this year than Nadal goes out winning the French Open and Murray leaves after winning Wimbledon.
Andy Roddick holds the edge on Novak Djokovic
Roddick and Djokovic will never play a professional tennis match, of course, but what makes Roddick different from most other players that have a lead in the all-time head-to-head against Djokovic is Roddick played the Serb nine times. 11 players lead the head-to-head against Djokovic, but seven of those players played Djokovic only one or two times. Five players have beaten Djokovic the only time the ATP No. 1 played them.
Roddick's lead over Djokovic is no fluke, though. The two met those nine times between 2007 and 2012 and Djokovic won two of the first three meetings. Roddick then beat Djokovic four straight times between the 2009 Australian Open and the 2010 Masters 1000 in Cincinnati. Roddick holds the edge 5-4.
Alex Corretja names Novak Djokovic as the obvious favorite at the Australian Open
Corretja has become a good analyst about tennis, though sometimes he accidentally-on-purpose drums up some drama. But he is definitely correct when he recently named the favorites at the Australian Open and Djokovic tops the list on the men's side. After all, Djokovic has won the major a record 10 times.
Said Corretja, "(Djokovic) is the main favorite; I think it’s going to be one of the most (open) Australian Opens we had in the last few years, because we have several players that can do very well and are playing their best, physically," So Djokovic is the favorite, but Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are right behind him, according to Corretja.