Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem to return to action at Australian Open

ANI
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Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal (R)
Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal (R)

New Delhi [India], February 5 (ANI): Australian Open is all set to welcome the top seed players like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Ash Barty and Simona Halep among others to compete for the Grand Slam title, which commences on February 8.

India's ace tennis player Sumit Nagal will also compete in the men's singles event. He will face Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis in the first-round clash on Monday.

The Australian Open 2021 would also be the first major Grand Slam which will welcome a live audience back in the tournament since the lockdown.

For some time, tennis has been dominated by the 'Big Three' -- Roger Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal, but finally a star outside the Big Three managed to win a Grand Slam as Dominic Theim lifted the US Open title in 2020.

On being asked by ANI whether we could expect players outside the Big Three to win more Grand Slams going ahead, Nagal had said: "Tennis is a sport where anything can happen, to me if someone wins from the Top 3, it would not be a surprise as well."

On his preparation for the Australian Open, Nagal had said: "It is the same situation for everyone, for me, I would have liked to play some more tournaments, but unfortunately I had to end my last season a month earlier. There is nothing I can change, I am trying to practice as much as possible. I have a gut feeling that I am going to play someone who is ranked in the top-ten. I think I was lucky enough that our flight had no Covid cases, I would call myself lucky that I got to practice or be out of my room for five hours a day."

Former tennis players like Somdev Devvarman, Gaurav Natekar, Purav Raja and Enrico Piperno are all set to feature as expert panelists on Extraaa Serve while Manish Batavia, Gaurav Natekar and Atish Thukral will provide the Hindi commentary for the tournament on Sony Ten 3 channels.

To celebrate the tennis extravaganza and welcome a star-studded contingent from across the globe at Australian Open 2021, Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) has launched their campaign 'The Greats Are Back'. The campaign film revolves around the premise that the greatest tennis players would make one of the biggest comebacks in Tennis history in Australia after a global setback faced due to the pandemic. (ANI)