We have come to the first exciting weekend of the 2024 tennis schedule. We will have finals played at the Hong Kong Open, Brisbane International, ASB Classic, and the United Cup. Things streamline a bit next weekend when the tennis world will focus on the Australian Open that begins on January 14.
This week we had a couple of the best ATP players have injury scares. Novak Djokovic appears to be dealing with a wrist injury and that affected his play at the United Cup. Rafael Nadal may have reaggravated his hip injury in the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International and his participation at the Australian Open is not yet a certainty.
The hope is to have Nadal and Djokovic at near 100 percent before January 14. The Australian Open would not look the same without them. But here is some other tennis news to begin your day.
Patrick Mouratoglou likes Roger Federer but doesn't love him
Mouratoglou is a well-known coach who doesn't mind hanging his players, such as Simona Halep, out to dry. But he also has been around the sport for a thousand years so he has seen a lot. One of the players the coach admires the most is Roger Federer, but he does not believe Federer is the greatest. The GOAT, according to Mouratoglou, is Novak Djokovic.
In a recent X/Twitter post, Mouratoglou put into words what many people feel, "No doubt that Roger’s elegance and inspired tennis is unmatched as much as there is no discussion about who is the Goat. In that matter, sports achievements is the only metric." So Federerer is great, but not the greatest.
Watch Jelena Ostapenko's meltdown
As Lob and Smash's Wendi wrote about yesterday, Ostapenko had another flare-up with a chair umpire. Ostapenko likes to argue and many times that gets a bit wild. That was the case this week at the Brisbane International.
I felt bad for the chair umpire because she should not have to deal with a player's abuse. This is especially true if the player is wrong as was the case with Ostapenko.
Adelaide International starts and ends next week
Between now and the beginning of the Australian Open, there is one important tournament. The Adelaide International which takes place in Alice Springs (I'm joking; it takes place in Adelaide at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre) is a WTA 500 and ATP 250 event. Some players avoid this kind of tournament as it will end a day before a Grand Slam. Still, on the WTA side, top players such as Elena Rybakina, Jessica Pegula, Marketa Vondrousova, and Barbora Krejcikova are involved.
On the men's side, Tommy Paul will be the top seed. Threats to Paul winning the tournament include Ugo Humbert, Nicolas Jarry, and Sebastian Korda.
The tournament starts on Monday, January 8, and the finals will be held on Saturday, January 13. Whoever wins will hopefully get some quick rest. The Australian Open will begin the day after the finals in Adelaide.