Djokovic and Osaka will tear it up in 2019
Djokovic and Osaka will tear it up in 2019. Mark my words. This month, by winning the Australian, Djokovic solidifies his number one ranking and Osaka becomes the number one ranked woman. We now have a situation where the last two grand slams have been won by both Djokovic and Osaka, and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t be the favorites going into the French, Wimbledon and US Open.
At the moment they both look simply unbeatable. Although Osaka had a little bit of a harder time getting through in both her semifinal and final matches against two very good Czech women, Pliskova and Kvitova, in my view she never looked threatened. Whenever facing a break point, she would come up with incredible shots. Every. Single. Time. Playing great under pressure is the mark of a champion. And you get the sense that when she’s out there playing the big matches, and the big pressure points, there’s no tightening up going on. She plays freely and without pressure. Osaka will be an incredible challenge for anyone and the clear favorite at the big tournaments in 2019. Also, she’s starting to look like a better version of Serena out there. This is not good news for Serena as she continues to stage her comeback. Look for Osaka to get the best of Serena at the slams this year.
As for Djokovic, it seems as though he is in probably the best position ever to win a calendar Grand Slam, which is winning all four majors in one calendar year. Both Roger and Djokovic have come close but fallen short. It is the most difficult challenge in tennis, and given the state of the men’s game, with older stars declining and younger ones not up to the challenge, it seems as though it is there for Djokovic to take. His biggest hurdle is the French, where Nadal still reigns supreme. However, if the Australian final is any indicator, Nadal better hope he doesn’t see Djokovic anywhere in that French Open draw. Djokovic made Nadal look ineffective and ordinary in the Australian Final. The clay court swing will be very interesting.
As for other players looking to make some noise in 2019, I can’t help but think that Kvitova can potentially keep challenging Osaka throughout the year. She’s playing extremely well, and as they head to Wimbledon, Kvitova will be a tough challenge for Osaka. I also expect to see more improvement from Grigor Dimitrov now that he has Agassi by his side. Lastly, let’s hope to see more of Tsitsipas. What a ride he took us on. Although he was dismantled by Nadal in the Semis, he showed that he may have more of a future than any of the other youngsters out there. 2019 will be an exciting year for tennis!