Whilst some in the tennis world think the season is over for 2019, purists will revel in a week of best-of-5 set tennis from Melbourne Park. A spot in the 2020 Australian Open is up for grabs in what looks to be a competitive 16-man field.
In terms of ranking and form, the top half looks to be incredibly stacked. This week is important for top seed Alex Bolt, who is looking to defend his points from a third round appearance earlier this year. It looks to be a tough first round match, as Blake Mott did get the better of him a couple of months ago in Traralgon.
One to watch this week from the top half is Max Purcell. He has the game that can hold up over the 5-set format, and could cause a couple of upsets this week. Other seeds in the top half include Luke Saville and Harry Bourchier.
The bottom half of the draw looks to be quite wide open, with a number of players able to to reach the final with their best tennis. The outcome of this section could come down to the first-round match between 2nd seed Andrew Harris and u18 title winner Tristan Schoolkate. The last we saw of Harris was his retirement from a winning position in Playford, so it will be interesting the see how these two battle it out in scorching conditions on Monday.
My player to watch in the bottom half is Jacob Grills, who has put together some solid results over the last couple of months and has the game to suit the conditions and the longer format in my opinion.
It will be a fascinating week . Looking forward to covering the action from Melbourne tomorrow live on site.
Players to Watch
Top Half – Blake Mott and Max Purcell
Bottom Half – Jacob Grills