The tennis season’s structure is quite amazing.It never ceases to amaze me how in December everything is pretty much dead, from a tennis traders perspective, then as soon as the fireworks are over on new year’s eve, there are over 30 tennis matches available for trading. And it’s not like these are just any matches.These are high quality matches, with top players taking part.
Of course the Australian Open has a big part to play here, as all players are trying to gain as much form as possible before the first Grand Slam of the year. But the positioning of this event, so early in the calendar, has always been a problem for a large number of players, mainly due to the fact of not having enough time to prepare. And as a consequence, this has led players to be more prone to injuries; and similar to what we have seen in the past, this season we will have a number of players that will have the misfortune to get injured before or during the AO.
The first example that comes to mind is from a few seasons ago, when there were 3 withdrawals in one day. I remember that day quite well because I took a fairly big hit on that day, having had an open position on all 3 players. Gael Monfis, Jie Zheng and Victoria Azarenka all decided to call it quits on Day 8 of the 2009 Australian Open. Looking back, that wasn’t such a fun day for me.
In 2010, Hewitt, Safina and Nadal, were the most notable withdrawals of the 2010 edition of the AO.In 2011, the first withdrawal that comes to mind is Nalbandian, who had to retire in the match against Berankis, because just didn’t have enough gas left in the tank after playing an epic match against Hewitt. Other notable withdrawals last season, were the ones of Baghdatis, and Troicki. One more match that could have been recorded as a withdrawal, is the QF in which Nadal did not retire against his countryman Ferrer, but might as well have done so.
And this year, only 5 days into the new season and two players already suffered injuries.Both Sabine Lisicki and Serena Williams were unable to continue in their AO warm-up tournaments in Auckland and Brisbane, respectively.
The world no.2 also decided to let us know that he will be taking a break after the AO to look after a shoulder injury that has been bothering him for some time.In a recent press conference he also spoke about some of the much needed adjustments he’s trying to bring to his game. He decided to try and play with a heavier racket, with the main goal being more power into his shots. He stated that he hasn’t had the time to fully get accustomed with the new changes, so we’ll see how that goes for him.
To wrap it up, there are less than 12 days to go to the start of the 2012 AO, and injuries are something to take into consideration – as always – but even more so, at this stage of the season.