As the year’s first major gets underway, the storylines are building for an unforgettable fortnight—particularly on the women's side. Here are some of the biggest questions for the women to answer Down Under:
Will one of the Slam-less stars finally win?
Potentially the most intriguing storyline of the 2018 season for the women is if there will be a new face holding up a major trophy.
Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki are the top two seeds in Melbourne Park and neither has a Grand Slam to their name. It finally feels like it's their time to get it done, but will it happen this fortnight? Meanwhile, No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina, who just won Brisbane, is long overdo for a second week appearance. .
Does lightning strike thrice?
Last season provided two shocking first-time Grand Slam winners with Jelena Ostapenko at the French Open and Sloane Stephens at the US Open. Will another lightning strike happen in Melbourne?
Big hitters like Johanna Konta, Julia Goerges and CoCo Vandeweghe all possess some huge weapons and can beat anyone on their day, but can any of them catch fire for a whole fortnight?
Can a resurgent Angelique Kerber win again?
Kerber went from No. 1 at the start of 2017 to outside of the Top 20. The 2016 Australian Open champ looks to have her form back, winning Sydney for her first title since the 2016 US Open.
She seems confident, and relaxed in her former role of underdog. Can she keep it up and repeat her Melbourne heroics from two years ago?
Kerber opens against Anna-Lena Friedsam on Tuesday.