Article Written By: Nicholas Djordjevic
A double shot of David vs. Goliath is scheduled for the first round at Melbourne Park. The new hopes of Australian tennis, Ashleigh Barty and Bernad Tomic are set to take to the court tonight against the number one’s of their world rankings, being Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, respectively.
“He’s going to be very intimidating to play,” World number 57, Tomic, said earlier on his upcoming match. “You got to stay with him. He is human, he does (make) mistakes but not as much as the other players. I have to play very good tennis to have any chance.” This is quite a change in attitude from Tomic as opposed to claims he had made last year doubting other players on the circuit including Roger Federer.
Barty, currently ranked world number 155, on the other hand should be feeling a little more relaxed than normal about going into the boiler against Serena Williams, who is chasing her 18th major. Especially if your world number one opponent happens to be a fan of yours.
“Obviously they’ll (the crowd) want Ashleigh to win, her to do well. Under any other circumstances, I’d probably be rooting for her, as well. I’ll just have to be ready for that.” Williams also claimed she was “super impressed” after Barty’s appearance at the Brisbane International. “I thought she was a really, really great player.”
While the majority of the hometown support is not expecting a sudden take-over of the tournament by the young hopefuls, what we may see is where the future of the game is headed by the potentially successful results to come. Considering, of course, Serena may or may not slow down within the next 10-20 years.