It’s time for some 2021 Grand Slam tennis predictions.
The new season will get underway in a matter of days, and it promises to be… well, better than 2020.
For a start, we should have four Grand Slams to watch, rather than just three, with Wimbledon to take place regardless of the situation with crowds. (Sky Sports)
So with a full season of majors ahead, who is likely to be picking up the crowns on both the men’s and women’s side?
I may, or may not, revisit these in December.
It’s hard to see past Novak Djokovic in Melbourne. The Serb has won seven out of the last 10 Australian Open’s and, as world number one, will be a red hot favourite to seal an 18th Grand Slam title.
On the women’s side it is, predictably, a lot more open.
Sofia Kenin could be a real contender to retain her title won last year.
Ash Barty has been getting closer to glory in her homeland in recent years, and the fact she can move freely around Melbourne while her rivals will be in quarantine, means this could be her year to clinch a second Grand Slam.
But it will be really interesting to see what the likes of Bianca Andreescu and Iga Swiatek can produce.
Rafael Nadal. Need I say anymore?
As for the women, the aforementioned Swiatek could well be the favourite, although a lot can happen between now and May.
Paris has seen first-time Grand Slam winners crowned in each of the last five years: Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Simona Halep, Barty and Swiatek.
So another maiden Grand Slam victory is very possible.
If that is the case, then we’ll plump for the unlikely figure of Amanda Anisimova.
The American teenager reached the last four in Paris in 2019 – and seems to enjoy playing on clay in general.
Now our 2021 Grand Slam predictions get a bit more interesting on the men’s side.
This will likely be the first Grand Slam of the year featuring all the members of ‘The Big Three’.
Anyone fancy a ninth Roger Federer triumph at SW19?
That would be the fairytale, but it’s hard to see beyond Novak Djokovic for more success here.
We’ve never really seen Bianca Andreescu at the All England Club, but something tells us the supremely talented Canadian could have something to say this year – if she can stay fit.
Flushing Meadows has been the place Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have been most vulnerable over the years.
The likes of Dominic Thiem, Andy Murray and Marin Cilic have clinched their maiden Grand Slams here since 2012 – and we’re tipping another first-time winner this year.
Step forward Daniil Medvedev.
The Russian loves New York, hard courts and the American swing in general.
On the women’s side – Naomi Osaka looks like the one to beat, albeit nine months ahead of time.
She’s won two of the last three titles in New York.