The 2024 Australian Open main draw is now just days away. The tournament gets underway in full on Sunday, January 14, and will run through Sunday, January 28. The draw for the first Grand Slam of the year will take place this week.
Practice partners have already been assigned and there are some interesting ones. One is Adrian Mannarino and Daniil Medvedev. Both seem like down-to-earth guys but with completely different styles of tennis.
Some of the practice squad matches, though clearly not played with the high intensity of real matches, might be more fun to watch. You get to see more of some players personalities. But here is some real news for Tuesday.
One coach says Carlos Alcaraz might be the next Roger Federer
Alcaraz and Federer do have a lot of the same similarities in their play. While Carlos Alcaraz likely has more true power in his groundstrokes at a younger age than Federer had, Federer knew better how to use what immense skills he did have. Both have ridiculous touch and extreme versatility. But unlike Federer, Alcaraz's number of titles is being suppressed by an older player (Novak Djokovic) who might be the best ever.
On a recent episode on the Inside-In podcast, former coach Jose Higueras compared Alcaraz to Federer (and Higueras should know because he coached Federer in 2008). According to Higueras, "I think Alcaraz kind of reminds me a little bit of (Federer) too, they play by instinct a lot more than other players that you can actually structure more."
Stefanos Tsitsipas says he needs to prove himself to the younger guys
Tsitsipas is only 25 years old but seems as if he has been on the ATP for decades. He is a fun player to watch with a huge forehand and a great serve. His ability to move around the court easily makes hima threat to win Grand Slams. But he is seemingly starting to feel old already.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, Tsitsipas says he thinks he already needs to prove to young players such as Alcaraz and Holger Rune that he is good too. Said Tsitsipas, "Now there are younger kids on the block that want to show off their new cars, and I need to show I’m still here, like Novak (Djokovic), and that this is not over. I still think my old-looking car is still pretty cool. It’s vintage."
One former player says Alexander Zverev might be the Australian Open favorite
CoCo Vandeweghe is another "old" player, but she is only 32 years old. She no longer plays, but she has turned into one of the better commentators on the sport. And she recently said on the Tennis Channel that she thinks Djokovic might be in trouble at the Australian Open because of his recent wrist injury.
Instead, Vandeweghe believes resurgent Alexander Zverev has a real chance to win his first Grand Slam. Because of Zverev's serve and athletic ability, Vandeweghe picked Zverev to win the first major of 2024 by saying simply, "It really is. I think my favorite, honestly, going in there is going to be Zverev. I’m calling dark horse Zverev."