Well, here is something that no one figured, Dwayne Johnson is a fan of tennis. We do not know just how much time he has to set aside in order to watch tennis matches, but if he is able to spare some and come down to this summer Australian Open we definitely know who he will be watching and cheering for.
Thanks to his Twitter account, we found out that Dwayne is supporting Roger Federer and he is hoping that he will be winning his sixth Australian Open title, which will also be the 20th grand slam crown of his career — at Melbourne Park (if he makes it that is). But tennis is not the only thing Dwayne likes about Federer. Apparently, Roger uploaded a picture of himself to Twitter and asked Johnson if he was nailing the “Smoldering Intensity” look. Since this was a reference to Johnson’s latest film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Dwayne, of course, took that with open hands. He answered to Roger’s question by applauding his impersonation and called him the GOAT (greatest of all time) who has “no weakness.”
When you’re the GOAT there is no wrong brother. Perfect form 😉👏🏾👊🏾
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) January 12, 2018
Everything Federer now has to do is live up to Dwayne’s hype and hopes, and we believe it will not be that difficult since the year’s first major Open is riddled with injuries and absentees. From Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who are two among the walking wounded to Serena Williams who has surprisingly announced that she will not be defending her title this year. But this is not something that concerns Federer who is making a comeback as defending champion and managed to bounce back from and heal up his injured left knee. Last year he was able to beat Nadal in a five-set final for his 18th grand slam title, and his first since 2012, just to continue that momentum which brought him a glorious win on Wimbledon.
Federer recalled this and stated, “I just thought that the game and the wins weren’t going to come … because I would just run into a red-hot Djokovic or Murray or Nadal or somebody, and my game wasn’t going to be good enough.” He continued by adding “I had all these great five-setters and, at the end, the epic match against Rafa. After six, seven matches, you start feeling like a different player, that you can’t miss anymore. The fifth set (of the final) was maybe the best set I ever played. What a comeback it was and it was definitely the highlight of the year.” What is even more interesting to see is if his 2017 comeback will be a huge inspiration to Djokovic, who held the Australian title a record six times and who has been sidelined ever since Wimbledon thanks to that unfortunate right elbow injury.
Now, these two are in the same half of the draw, together with No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 5 Dominic Thiem, No. 7 David Goffin and No. 9 Stan Wawrinka (who is also returning from injury). The season will start very interesting for all of us fans as well as players. Nadal, as you probably know, skipped the year-end championship last November and delayed the start of his 2018 season which only means that he had easy exhibition matches and he is uncertain how his right knee might hold up at tennis-ace stress level. On that topic, he stated “If I’m not feeling good, probably I will not be here. So that’s the good news.”
The next interesting thing is that five-time finalist Andy Murray withdrew more than a week ahead of time, after his (very late) decision to have surgery on a right hip problem that made him stop the tour after Wimbledon. Kei Nishikori also opted not to play, and as we line the withdrawals up, this seems to be the 2018 edition of the Australian Open which will be called survival of the fittest. Not a good thing considering that 2017 was probably the one for the ages with the revival of the Federer – Nadal rivalry and one more Williams sisters final.