Posted: 16 January, 2017 by Daniel Batten

If AFL players competed at the Australian Open

Tags: AFL, Tennis

The biggest tennis tournament in the world (according to us) begins today, and if you don’t know Margaret Court from Margaret Court Arena, we have put it into simpler terms for you.

That’s right – by comparing tennis players to footballers. Enjoy.

Novak Djokovic – Patrick Dangerfield

No better person to start with than the man who has won the last two Australian Open titles – Novak Djokovic.

The Djoker has six AO titles to his name and should be the favourite to take out another.

Dangerfield is the obvious comparison here considering his dominant 2016 season, and the fact that both of these men are entertainers on and off the field. Who knows, we might even see the Djoker take a dip in the Yarra Jim Courier-style in a suit like the Brownlow Medallist did in the surf.

Andy Murray – Ross Lyon

Andy Murray is currently the Number One ranked male tennis player in the world, but that means bugger all (to us) when you haven’t won a single Australian Open. Similarly, Ross Lyon at times has been dubbed the best coach in the game despite never achieving the holy grail. Both have fallen perilously close though. Murray has lost five AO finals, Lyon has lost three (and drawn one) AFL Grand Final’s.

Watching a Brit lose suits us fine anyway.

Serena Williams – Daisy Pearce

If you haven’t heard of Serena, you have absolutely no idea about tennis. The American is a dominant force in the women’s game, just like Daisy Pearce in the women’s AFL. Over her career she has won a casual 22 Grand Slams including six Australian Open’s. Fair record if you ask me, and expect Daisy Pearce to flex her muscles in a similar fashion when the women’s competition begins in February.

Roger Federer – Gary Ablett

Like Serena Williams, Roger Federer is one of the biggest names in tennis. This is to be expected when you have taken out 17 Grand Slams. Federer and GAJ have dominated their respective sports throughout their careers, however the aging Swiss star has dropped to 17th in world ranking. In recent years we have hardly seen Gary Ablett Jnr on the park – will this be the year that the little master really starts to decline?

Maria Sharapova – Jobe Watson

Sharapova isn’t playing in the Australian Open this year, just like Jobe Watson and his other eleven banned teammates did not participate in the 2016 AFL season. The Russian shocked the tennis world this year when she confessed to testing positive to the banned substance Meldonium during the 2016 Australian Open, and was subsequently suspended from tennis for two years by WADA (that has now been reduced to 15 months). This draws parallels to Jobe Watson’s own admission on AFL 360 that he received AOD, despite being unaware that it was a banned substance at the time.

Lucky ASADA weren’t on the job, otherwise Sharapova would still be playing and the matter wouldn’t be resolved until 2019.  

Gael Monfils – Cyril Rioli

Monfils (pronounced ‘Monfees’, don’t be that uncultured bogan who calls him ‘Monfillz’) is arguably the most exciting player in the game of tennis. Oozing athleticism and class, the Frenchman has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. Cyril Rioli fits this description to a tee, being one of the most dangerous and damaging small forwards in the competition.

And yep, Bruce McAvaney will most likely be commentating one of Monfils’ matches. Hopefully he doesn’t see the similarities, otherwise he might just get a bit exxxciiiiiteedddd in the commentary box - you just feel, don’t you?

Nick Kyrgios – Dane Swan

Now onto the Aussie’s. It is a touch unfair to compare the likeable Swanny to the unlikeable Kyrgios, but they both share a common attribute – they do things their own way, and they make it work.

While Swan didn’t do this by shaving speed stripes into his eyebrows, telling an opponent that a teammate banged his girlfriend, turning his hair into Neapolitan icecream or by wearing “F*** Donald Trump” t-shirts, Swanny still had his critics. But like Krygios – who currently sits at 13 in the ATP World Rankings – Swan was successful despite not ‘going by the book’. Kyrgios may be a flog, but he is bloody good at what he does.

Bernard Tomic – Lindsay Thomas

Another Aussie. To put it simply – some of their own supporters hate these blokes. Recently admitting he plays at 60% in his matches, Tomic is a world class flog and is pretty easy to hate. Just like Lindsay Thomas when he drops his knees and dives to get free kicks.

Tomic is inside the Top 30 in the world though, and clearly has talent. As much as we hate to admit it, Thomas is pretty good too.  

Sam Stosur – Trent Cotchin

Stosur is our highest ranked women’s player at no.21 in the world, and you would think she would relish playing in her home country.


Unfortunately for us, Stosur has never made it past the fourth round of the Australian Open, and bowed out in the first round last year. Her performances on home soil are synonymous with Trent Cotchin’s efforts in big games – she simply goes missing.

Let’s hope she at least wins her first game this time around.

Sam Groth – Tom Fields

Who…? Ohhhh, the guy from those ads that serves the ball real fast!

Yep, that is Sam Groth (holds the record for fastest ever serve in a match, clocked at 263.4km/h) who unfortunately doesn’t possess much more than a belter of a serve. This draws similarities to former Carlton player Tom Field’s, who was known purely for his monster 85m torpedo from a kick out in the VFL last year.

Unfortunately for Tom, he played just two matches for Carlton before being delisted. But hey – how many people can say they torped a ball 85 metres or served a ball at 263.4 km/h?

Steve Johnson – Steve Johnson

Their names are pretty similar. 

Daniel Batten


Dan is a footy, cricket and Richmond tragic - finding himself emotionally detached from footy for unknown reasons.

Tags: AFL, Tennis

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