Those of us who were dying for tennis’ return got more than our fair share over 2018‘s opening week. There was so much, in so many places, that’s it’s hard to know exactly what to make of what we saw. Simona Halep, Nick Kyrgios, Gael Monfils, Julia Goerges, Elina Svitolina and even Gilles Simon all won titles. With the exception of Simon, each of those players should go into the Australian Open as a potential title—or at least a semifinal—threat.
But there’s still one more week, and four more tournaments, before we arrive in Melbourne. The seven days leading into any Slam are traditionally the calm before the ensuing storm, and that’s largely true on the ATP side this time. As far as I can tell, even Dominic Thiem isn’t in action. At this point, it’s more about avoiding injury than trying to gain last-minute momentum.
But that’s not as true on the women’s side. The WTA event in Sydney has a strong draw, led by three of last year’s major title winners, Jelena Ostapenko, Garbiñe Muguruza and Sloane Stephens. They can all use a little extra work, and a little extra confidence; none of them has won a match so far in 2018.