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Practice Practice Down Under: Dimitrov, Barty, Osaka, Alcott and others hit the courts
With the 2022 season just days away, the top players are adding final touches before action begins.
Published Dec 29, 2021
Can you believe it? The 2022 season is just a few days away and the players are polishing up their games and adding final touches. A handful of top names have not only arrived Down Under, but they are already out on the icy-blue courts in Melbourne.
Take a look at the players gearing up for the Australian hard court swing.
1. Ashleigh Barty
The Aussie has sat comfortably in the No. 1 spot for over 100 consecutive weeks and she will return to action on home soil in Melbourne. The long stretch at the top spot could give her the confidence needed to prevail at the Australian Open, but pressure and history remain on the line.
There hasn't been a single Aussie woman that's won the major event since 1978, she could change that. Only time will tell...
2. Grigor Dimitrov
The world No. 28 was spotted getting in his reps on Rod Laver Arena. He's always posted solid performances Down Under, reaching the semifinals in 2017 and the quarterfinals on numerous occasions. He will undoubtedly aim to bring the same energy in 2022 that's gotten him far in the past.
3. Naomi Osaka
It's been quite a while since Osaka has been in the conversation due to her time away from the tour. Protecting her mental health and happiness has been the top priority in 2021 and since touching down in Australia she can't wipe the smile off her face.
Just ten months ago, she was a force to be reckoned with and picked up her second Australian Open title with a straight-set victory over Jennifer Brady. She will look to defend her title next month.
4. Dylan Alcott
The Aussie is just about ready to hang up his racquets, but first he will attempt to capture his eighth AO title and 16th Grand Slam trophy overall before doing so. Alcott was seen getting in another tough practice session on Tuesday.
5. Roberto Bautista Agut
The Spaniard is getting ready to lead Team Spain alongside Pablo Carreno Busta at the 2022 ATP Cup. Spain is set to take on Serbia in a re-match of their 2020 final clash on January 5.