The first major international sporting event of the year starts this weekend.
No, not the Super Bowl. That is strictly a one country obsession. Believe it or not other places play this game as well, although they aren’t so insecure that they have to insert their own name into the title.
They also manage to play this contact sport without resorting to crash helmets and full body armour although given the level of paranoia in the US, it’s only surprising that their heroes don’t take to the field armed with AK 47s. There must be something in the Constitution that would defend their right to do so.
Capricorn Research is so keen on gambling using astrology that I have been known to look up the charts of Japanese Sumo wrestlers when it was the only sport being played last year, but bet on the Super Bowl – no chance.
I’d rather place a spread on the number of followers the latest Youtube astrology ” influencer ” and lingerie salesperson is going to lose on any given day.
The first tournament of the year is naturally the Australian Open tennis, although given recent events it should maybe change its name to the Australian Shut Up For Two Weeks First Tournament.
Because and again this would come as a major surprise to many Americans who have little or no grasp of the way we do things in other parts of the world, Australia has currently had 3 clear weeks of no Covid community cases in the whole country.
There is a reason for this and it really is not rocket science.
Back in March 2020, the Australian government recognised that the main Covid threat was coming from travellers from other places and severely restricted incoming flights while introducing a compulsory fortnight’s quarantine for everyone who was allowed in.
Now Australia is not a place that is known for its liberal attitudes, many of its citizens are reluctant to wear masks and social distance because of freedom, blah blah, but despite this hindrance, the country has still managed to contain the number of deaths to less than a thousand compared to the half million or so in the place formerly known as Trumptopia.
There are many at the top level of sport who live in a bubble, cocooned from the experience of the rest of us, and this particularly applies to the world of tennis.
Imagine the reaction then from these stars who were told that they would have to do their 14 day penance just like the mere mortals.
Roger Federer when given the choice of skiing with his family in Gstaad or a fortnight’s solitary confinement in a Melbourne hotel room, decided that perhaps 20 Grand Slams was enough after all.
But last year’s champion, Novak Djokovic responded to the challenge by doing what he does best ( after winning tournaments that is ) – being an arsehole.
Presumably since he was personally responsible for spreading the disease around a fair chunk of the former Yugoslavia back in June, he didn’t seem to think he should be denied proper practice facilities in the lead up to his Australian title defence.
Bernard Tomic’s wife objected because said confinement meant that she couldn’t get anyone to wash her hair – apparently she’d never had to do it for herself.
Paula Badosa Gilbert was one of the most vocal objectors to being imprisoned and ill treated in this way. Which was fairly ironic as she tested positive for Covid only a few days afterwards.
Needless to say all this fell on deaf ears, not least because the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews had only recently received a mauling in the press for the appalling sin of presiding over a state where a quarantine security guard believed that his job description allowed him to have sex with Covid travellers in return for getting them a pizza and spreading the virus around Melbourne.
Also, needless to say the said press in question are solidly of the Murdoch stable, given that Australia actually invented Rupert in the first place.
And Dan Andrews is a Labor politician.
Still from a sporting perspective, all these tennis players have just recently stumbled into the bright light of an Aussie summer with a built in excuse for crashing out in humiliating style in the early rounds.
It will inevitably be an unpredictable tournament but that doesn’t usually stop Capricorn Research doing precisely that because, as has been said many times in these articles, I go on future form not past.
Going on past form, anti vexer and quarantine disputant Novak Djokovic would be an odds on certainty since he has won the tournament 7 times in the last decade.
These victories have generally coincided with strong transits.
In 2011, he had Pluto square his Moon and Jupiter square Mars
2012 – Uranus square Mars and Jupiter coming onto his Venus
2013 – Jupiter sextile Moon
2015 and 16 Pluto on his Ascendant
2019 – Jupiter close to his Midheaven
2020 – Jupiter coming onto his Ascendant.
Roger Federer broke the Serbian stranglehold in 2017 and 18 with Pluto trine his Venus and Jupiter conjunct his Moon respectively.
The only other winner was Stan Wawrinka who needed Uranus conjunct his Sun to break through in 2014.
Last year I backed Dominic Thiem on the basis of Jupiter being square to his Mars / Jupiter. He fell just short at the final hurdle in an amazing 5 setter, but as I had him each way and had picked up a fair sum for his win over Rafael Nadal, I wasn’t too disappointed.
I have never backed Djokovic, mainly because I can’t stand the bloke, but also his pre tournament odds are so miserly that its hardly worth it.
And 2.3 / 1 this time falls under the same category although Uranus being conjunct his Venus will probably confirm those odds as being fair.
Daniil Medvedev could be his nearest challenger as Jupiter will be heading towards his Sun. It doesn’t actually become exact until March so the Aussie Open might be a touch early for him but its perhaps worth a shot.
Rafa Nadal has Jupiter on his IC, which could be interesting but I don’t feel that’s strong enough to win.
Dominic Thiem’s best chance was last year.
Alexander Zverev has Uranus conjunct his Mercury, but again I dont feel this is strong enough to get past Djokovic.
Stephanos Tsitsipas has Jupiter applying to oppose his Sun so he has a possibility to win.
But as an outsider, local boy Nick Kyrgios might be a decent bet at 41 / 1 as he has Uranus conjunct his Sun. This might make sense as he is probably one of the few big players who hasn’t had to deal with the quarantine experience.
One reservation, however is that Kyrgios has an eminently losable 1st round match to Frederico Silva who has Jupiter opposite his Mars and could also do well in the tournament.
So if Kyrgios gets through the 1st round he could be one to watch.
The Women’s tournament has been much more evenly contested with 8 different winners in the last decade.
Given this fact, its probably more of an achievement to win it which could well be reflected by the number of major Pluto transits involved
2020 – Sofia Kenin had Pluto trine her Mars
2019 – Naomi Osaka with Pluto square both her Sun and Moon
2018 – Caroline Wozniacki with Pluto opposite her Sun – see Caroline Wozniacki – Everything Comes to Those Who Wait . I was particularly pleased this year because I picked up a Wozniacki / Federer double before the tournament started.
2017 – Serena Williams had Pluto conjunct her MC
2016 – Angelique Kerber had Pluto conjunct her Moon
2015 – Serena had Jupiter conjunct her Mars
2014 – Li Na had Uranus conjunct her MC
2013 and 2012 – Victoria Azarenka had Pluto trine her Venus for both years
2011 – Kim Clijsters had Jupiter trine her Venus
The Women’s is harder to predict than the Men’s tournament, but one to look out for could be Garbine Muguruza with Uranus opposite her Mars and Jupiter trine her Sun.
Aryna Sabalenka has Jupiter square her Sun, so would also be one to watch.
Simona Halep has it square to her Moon so is also in with a chance.
Victoria Azarenka is another possible with Uranus square to her Sun.
Jennifer Brady has Jupiter opposite her Mars so is also perhaps worth an outside bet
But the same transit is happening for Serena Williams which could give her the chance to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams.
And what better place to do it than at the Aussie Open, especially as Court has just been honoured for having racist, homophobic, crazy religious views by a government that basically agrees with her.
So if one American could make a positive statement in Australia, let it be a Serena slam.
11 / 1 odds for a nearly 40 year old Mum is absurd, but I’m going to take them anyway, just to make a point.
Posted 7 February 2021