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Joel Drucker: Holding Court on Tennis - 2/8

Three Quick Takes

+ Will Serena Williams’ victory at the Australian Open compel her to play more tournaments? In 2016, she played just eight events, including the Olympics. For anyone else, a year marked by a Wimbledon singles title wouldn’t be so bad. But not for Serena. The thinking here was that in ’16, Williams felt the residue of her pressure-packed 2015 and the disappointment of losing in the semis of the US Open. Still, tough to say how much she will commit to non-Slam events. At the Slams, though: look out.

+ Perhaps even more impressive in Melbourne was seeing 36-year-old Venus Williams reach her first Grand Slam singles final in more than seven years – and first on a hard court since the ’03 Australian. How will she springboard from that result, both at events such as Indian Wells and Miami, as well as the majors?

+ Venus and Serena, along with doubles finalists Mike and Bob Bryan, were the siblings-of-note during the Aussie Open’s final weekend. But the middle weekend was captured by another pair of siblings. On Saturday, 19-year-old Alexander Zverev threw his heart and soul into an epic versus Rafael Nadal, running out of a steam in the fifth – but, as he has for sometime, giving evidence of a powerful, forceful and fluid playing style that could well be the shape of things to come. The next day, his older brother, Mischa, 29, took a page from the past, upsetting world number one Andy Murray with a nonstop serve-and-volley attack – the kind of approach that once upon a time helped host nation Australia rule the world. Fascinating to see what’s next for these two. Will Alexander continue his progress and refine his frontcourt skills (he butchered several volleys versus Nadal)? And how will Mischa’s netrushing game fare throughout the year?

Coming Up

+ Thursday: America’s Fed Cup Team Kicks Off Its 2017 Campaign

+ Friday: Happy Birthday To A Tennis Icon

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