Countdown to the Australian Open
2005 just ended and the 2006 season already is under way. Joel Drucker looks at the top five story lines.
But there's a downside Down Under. Thanks to the long, chaotic tennis calendar, results from Australia rarely matter as the year unfolds. If tennis' four Grand Slams were the Beatles, then the Australian would be Ringo: beloved, charming, a vital mate -- and short on enduring resonance.Last year's champs, Marat Safin and Serena Williams, didn't win again in 2005, falling out of the top 10 by year's end. But as '94 Open finalist Todd Martin says, "Australia's a no-lose. Do poorly and you can write it off. Do well and you're off to a good start going into the thick of the year."
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