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Weve embarked on tennis offseason, but just to keep things in perspective, consider this: The time between the end of the 2016 Davis Cup competition and the start of ATP World Tour play on Jan. 4, 2017, is almost exactly the same as the length of Novak Djokovics break earlier this year between Wimbledon and his next tournament appearance.The new year in tennis is a fresh start in only one significant way: psychologically. It isnt even relevant rankings-wise because of the rolling system that refreshes every week over a 52-week period.But never discount the importance of mental factors, which is why everyone, including tennis players, tends to look at Jan. 1 as a time to make a new start, to do better, to adopt and keep resolutions. This helps explain why the Australian Open, Januarys Grand Slam event, so often serves up unexpected results.Here are five surprising performances we could see next month in Melbourne:Milos Raonic will win the tournament.Nobody is quite as ready for a Grand Slam breakthrough as this 25-year old Canadian. Now No. 3 in the rankings, Raonic won just one event in 2016 (Brisbane, an ATP 250 tuneup for the Australian Open). But he was a Wimbledon finalist and routinely lifts his game at the majors. Raonic gave Andy Murray all he could handle before bowing in five sets in the 2016 Australian Open semis.Unlike some of the other players on the best to never win a Slam list, Raonic isnt an older habitual also-ran, like a Tomas Berdych or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, nor subject to shrinking away from big opportunities, like a Kei Nishikori. Raonic has had bad luck with injuries and tough draws, and hes lost some very close key matches against the top players. After losing the Wimbledon final to Murray he said, This ones going to sting. He is primed.Neither Angelique Kerber nor Serena Williams will win.Kerber is in a unique position. She proved through 2016 that she can handle the pressure that goes with becoming the top player by finishing No. 1 for the year. The pressure is off -- so off that Kerber, whos always blown hot and cold, may be hard-pressed to find her motivation.Williams is 35 and just one Grand Slam away from breaking a tie with Steffi Graf to become the Open eras most prolific major singles titlist. Shes been having a great time since last September, expanding her social life, hobnobbing with celebrities, posting open letters on Facebook. What she has not done is hit a tennis ball under competitive conditions since she lost in the semifinals of the US Open.Williams was in the same situation in 2016 and still made the final in Melbourne. But its a year later at a time when the toll on her body is greater, the opponents are tougher and her aura of invulnerability has faded.Juan Martin del Potro will go deeper than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.Del Potro wrote one of the great feel-good stories of 2016. He mounted a spectacular comeback following a series of wrist injuries and surgeries that essentially ruined his career following his triumph at the 2009 US Open. At that tournament, he defeated Nadal and Federer back-to-back to win his lone major.Federer is now 35, and Nadal is 30. Ranked Nos. 16 and 9, respectively, both are coming back from long injury-induced layoffs. Wouldnt it be ironic if No. 38 del Potro met and defeated them in successive matches again -- preferably in the second week. Yikes!Madison Keys will challenge for the title if she can get past early-round jitters.The big opportunity may come in the form of a match point against Kerber, an upset of Williams or a draw that opens up like a superhighway to the final. If she can get some traction early, Keys could win her first Slam.Look for last years seeding bloodbath -- just nine WTA seeds, five of them top 10, limped into the round of 16 -- to be repeated. The game remains unsettled, and Keys gained a lot of valuable experience last year. Her ability to stay the course for a seven-match title drive remains in doubt, but keep in mind shes still just 21.Andy Murrays seven-year streak of reaching at least the quarterfinals will come to a grinding halt.One scripted storybook moment for Murray could have been a win over Melbourne nemesis Djokovic in the 2017 Australian Open final, bringing with it the No. 1 ranking. Instead, the crescendo occurred early and with an even greater prize: the prestigious year-end No. 1 ranking for 2016.Murray, 29, rode a 26-match winning streak into the offseason. His efforts must have been draining, physically and emotionally. Expect him to be vulnerable Down Under. Marlins Jerseys 2019 . During the athletes parade, the 23-strong Ukrainian team was represented by a lone flagbearer in an apparent protest at the presence of Russian troops in Ukraines Crimean peninsula. Miami Marlins Gear . Louis Blues teammates who would also be participating in the Olympics, Alex Pietrangelo felt right at home, no different in some ways to the travel experience of any old road trip – save for the length of the journey, that is. https://www.cheapmarlinsjerseys.us/ . Reigning world champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland opened with a 12-2 rout of Winnipegs Jennifer Jones in a battle of teams bound for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Custom Miami Marlins Jerseys . Breaking three of his own world records on his way to winning in Paris, Chan silenced the critics and left the audiences standing in appreciation and awe. Marlins Jerseys China . Collaros, 25, was solid last season, posting a 5-2 record as the starter while incumbent Ricky Ray was injured. Collaros also started Torontos 23-20 regular-season finale loss to Montreal — Ray didnt dress because the Argos had already clinched first in the East Division — but was one of three quarterbacks to play that day. Newcastle coach Mark Jones has given his A-League players a stern ultimatum, calling for more quality in key moments or warning hell find others who can do a better job.Jones was visibly vexed after Sundays 2-0 loss to Sydney FC, a contest they were never really in despite the Sky Blues wastefulness in the final third.On the one hand, he launched a passionate defence of his injury-ravaged squad, adamant they were still in the fight after a dour first half.Yet the clubs first-year coach was clearly wearing the pain of a seventh winless match.Jones was content with his teams formation and tactics, but lamented their tendency to turn the ball over at key moments.Thats extremely frustrating because thats all we work on at training, Jones said.(I told the players) its not good enough. We need that quality and if we dont have that quality then we need to find players that do have that quality.We didnt sit back back and park the bus, we tried to press up high and play through them and have a go.I expect them to be able to execute and play through and keep the ball in tight areas through the middle of the park.Not helping the Jets fortunes have been the injuriess that have ripped the guts out of the squad, including captain Nigel Boogaard (knee).ddddddddddddIn a timely boost, Jones expected to regain in-form winger Andrew Nabbout (ankle), key defender Daniel Mullen (knee), Danish attacker Morten Nordstrand (hip flexor) and, potentially, young defender Lachlan Jackson (ankle) for this weekends away clash with Perth.Finnish striker Aleksandr Kokko is still recovering from a broken jaw.Ben Kantarovski, who made a club-record 135 appearances for the Jets on Sunday, limped off in the second half with seemingly yet another knee injury, but Jones said the makeshift defender had pulled up fine.Having slipped to ninth and on equal points with last-placed Wellington, Jones admitted it was difficult maintaing morale.The longer you go without a win, morale and confidence drops, he said.But theyve got to learn to play.At the start they were actually confident enough to play through a good team. They just need to keep doing that until we score a goal.Obviously, some firepower up front would help. ' ' '

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