Tennis has resumed, and we are on our way to grace the first Slam of the year. But before the main event, many promising talents will battle in the Australian Open 2021 Qualifiers set in the Middle East.
The qualifiers for men and women will take place between the 10th and 13th of January simultaneously. Of the many aspirants, 16 of each will make it to the 128 players’ main draw of the Happy Slam.
Apart from the qualifiers, top players get seeded on account of their rank in the main draw. Some also receive a wildcard on the basis of their previous achievements.
Currently, we are looking at the players who most likely will make it to Melbourne Park. They can even influence the fate of the Australian Open.
Former World No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard will be the favorite in women’s qualifiers this year. However, since her breakthrough in 2013, the 26-year-old has been in and out of the tennis tour.
Last year, she failed to qualify in the main draw, losing against Martina Trevisan in the last round. The Canadian will definitely look to make a big comeback this year.
Give her power-arm, Eugenie has outlasted many top players in the past. To add to her advantage, she has been the semifinalist at the 2014 Australian Open. Therefore, she is the number 1 prospect to qualify for the main draw as well as do some damage at the Slam.
Another name to keep your eyes on is the Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova. The 33-year-old returned to tennis after 3 years in 2020. Despite the gap, she excelled en route to the quarterfinals at the US Open last year.
Pironkova has made it into the second round in Melbourne Park 8 times in her career. So, it is likely that she will be heading to the main event this year as well.
The young aspirants from Spain and Italy, Carlos Alcaraz and Lorenzo Musetti, stand as the favorite men to qualify. They are 17 and 18 years-old respectively and are filled with incredible tennis talent.
While Musetti won the 2019 Australian Open boy’s singles, Alcaraz recorded a 39-7 win-loss season in 2020. The pair have both been ranked as the junior World No. 1 in tennis.
Along with these names, there is always a good chance to see new talent coming out in Australia. Since the qualifiers are held for the first time in Dubai, there is unique anticipation behind it.
Only time will tell what names will progress from the middle east to the main draw of the first Slam of 2021. Will these players make it to Melbourne Park this coming February?