The Australian Open is getting underway in Melbourne for the first grand slam of the year and names like Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal , Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will be in action over the first few days and players like Venus Williams, Monica Puig, Laura Robson, Sam Querrey, Stanislas Wawrinka and more will be in action and all the matches can be watched on the WatchESPN and ESPN3 websites and TV coverage will also be on ESPN and ESPN2 through the week.
Monday has a number of matches going down with David Ferrer, Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych, Tommy Haas and Novak Djokovic playing and Nadal and Serena Williams will be after that and they are two of the top players in the tournament and they come in as the number one seeds on the men's and women's side. Djokovic is the three time reigning champion and he will play on Rod Laver Arena in the fourth match late. Nadal is on the tougher side of the draw and Djokovic has a much easier path to the finals, while Federer Nadal, Murray and others will have to battle.
Williams and Nadal come in as the winners of the last grand slam at the US Open and both had amazing seasons in 2013, with Williams losing just four matches all year and Nadal dominating on hard courts after coming back from his injury. Victoria Azarenka is the defending champion of the Australian Open and she has been dominated recently by Williams and so has Maria Sharapova and those two are on the same side of the draw and she will be considered the top favorite on the women's draw.
Here is more on the Australian Open and Roger Federer, who comes in below the radar after not winning a grand slam last year and now he will start off down under as he tries to get to the finals and he is on the tougher side of the draw with Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray and everyone will be playing to match up with Novak Djokovic and he has won three straight titles here and that makes him the favorite and Federer will have to play well and here is more on his run to the major from Reuters.com as the tournament gets started up on Monday. The Swiss has been overshadowed by Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic in recent years, winning only one grand slam title (Wimbledon 2012) since his 2010 victory Melbourne Park and dropping to sixth in the world rankings.
However, the 32-year-old told reporters on Saturday that he could fly below the radar.
"I definitely have less pressure this year, less to lose," he said. "I'm not the defending champion or any of that.
"So I should be able to play more freely, and other guys are supposed to make their move or defend again, all these things.
"Things are maybe a little bit more comfortable this year around. But at the same time maybe the draw becomes tougher in the process.
"But I'm happy I'm back here, I'm very proud of my grand slam streak (57 straight slams). I hope I can keep playing for a long time."
Federer is playing with a slightly bigger racket-head but it is the addition of former world number one Stefan Edberg to his coaching team which has caught the imagination of the tennis world.
The unflappable Swede, who served and volleyed his way to six grand slam titles, is to work with Federer for 10 weeks this year, including the grand slams.
"I'm just really excited that he's taken up the offer because I didn't think he was going to do it because he's got a life," he said. "He doesn't need this.
"For me, clearly it's very exciting to have him as part of the team. I'm looking forward to every week I'll spend with him on the tour this year."
Four times the champion in Melbourne, Federer is seeded to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round, with Andy Murray and Nadal potentially between him and another final.
So long the favorite for every tournament, Federer is beginning to get used to being in the shadows of Nadal and Djokovic, who won three of the four grand slams in 2013.
"I think it's normal that they are considered the one and two favorites for the tournament," he said. "(But) of course, we do believe we can knock them off.
"At the end of the day it all comes down to how well I play, to see how big my chances are to go really far and win the tournament.
"But I'm very focused right now on getting through the first week and making sure I get things underway nicely."
Federer plays James Duckworth of Australia in round one. Rafa Nadal began his year in perfect fashion with victory over Gael Monfils in the Qatar Open in Doha on Saturday.
The Spanish world number one put down an ominous marker for the forthcoming Australian Open as he claimed his 61st career title with a 6-1 6-7(5) 6-2 win over the flamboyant Frenchman in the desert city.
Victory took Nadal past Andre Agassi into eighth spot on the all-time list of ATP Tour title winners and helped him extend his lead at the top of the rankings over Novak Djokovic who opted not to play this week.
Monfils's two career wins over Nadal had both come in Doha, in 2009 and 2012, but apart from the second set he was out-muscled by the Spaniard who moved smoothly on the hard court and was far too rugged.