I should premise this by saying I am not an expert tennis journalist (sounds like a cool job though). However, I love to watch the tennis and completed a lot of research before writing my debut novel The Harper Effect, so I have some personal favourites and a dark horse prediction - but don’t go putting any money on them.
I’m truly sad that Serena Williams won’t be attending as not only do I love to watch her play, but her views on how sport teaches life skills are spot on. Enjoy motherhood, Serena. I wish Venus all the luck in the world because she has shown the world how to stay focused and to never give up. Don’t ever underestimate Venus.
I should stop stalling and move on to my predictions for the women’s tournament at this year’s Australian Open. My top three picks to win are…
- Caroline Wozniacki. She had a great year last year and I reckon she has the mindset to win.
- Kristina Mladenovic is an amazing athlete with some sharp skills. Could this be the year she makes her name in singles?
- Karolina Pliskova. A new coach can make all the difference when it comes to self-belief.
Out of our Australian girls, I’m backing Ash Barty all the way. She’s proven she can do it in doubles having made the women’s doubles finals in each of the four Grand Slams. I’m crossing everything for her. I’m also backing Daria Gavrilova. Daria’s beaten Grand Slam winners and top ten players – she has it in her to be an even bigger champ.
And as for my dark horse pick – I’m on Team Venus.
Taryn Bashford is an Australian author and tennis fan. Her debut novel The Harper Effect (Pan Macmillan) is a YA novel set in the world of professional tennis.