The Australian Open is one of the highlights of the tennis calendar and one of the four majors. Winning the tournament will allow players to go down in folk law in the sport and whilst it’s probably fair to say not quite as prestigious as Wimbledon or the US Open, having a win in the Australian heat is definitely something to savour.
The tournament is not only very important because it’s a major, but it’s the first major of the year. There is a sizeable break between the last major, the US Open and the Australian, which takes place in January. Often players will be using this period to solely concentrate on this event, meaning it gets plenty of interest and focus.
It’s held at Melbourne Park, Melbourne and is played on the hard courts there. Interestingly, up until 1987, the tournament was actually played on grass, but switched in an attempt to get a more consistent playing surface, mainly down to the extreme heats that can be on offer.
Men’s Singles Betting Tips for 2020
The backdrop for the 2020 Australian Open is rather more serious than most years. The wild fires which have ravaged so much of Australia have seen a host of big names come out and raise funds for the relief effort. The fires have also badly affected the air quality around Melbourne leading to the cancellation of some of the qualifying rounds and players really suffering with breathing difficulties in games that have gone ahead.
Although concerns about the tournament itself being cancelled thankfully seem a little wide of the mark, conditions are sure to have an impact. The players and organisers can only hope that the two weeks pass without any issues in that regard and that the excellent tournament we have in prospect is allowed to take centre stage.
Australians have a famous love of sport and whilst the terrible fires and the destruction they have wrought in many ways put tennis into perspective, in other ways this championship could be a welcome tonic to many in the country. Who, though, should punters consider backing in the men’s draw and can anyone stop the clear favourite?
Novak Djokovic (5/4)
For so many years tennis fans and pundits focused their attention on the big four ahead of each Grand Slam. It’s very different this time around, not least due to Andy Murray’s ongoing injury issues and absence from this event and the top of the game. Indeed, we may be in the position this time around of having a big one, against the rest of the field. Last year, Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open for the seventh time and he is the clear favourite with the bookies to pick up title number eight at Melbourne as he looks to push Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam winners list.
After struggling with injury issues that were bad enough to threaten his career, not to mention suspicions of personal problems, Djokovic roared back to form in the second half of 2018. He kept that form going during last year’s Australian Open where he was rarely troubled en route to the final before dispatching of Rafael Nadal in straight sets to claim glory.
Djokovic went on to win his 16th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and produced some stunning tennis along the way. Although the second half of the year was a little less successful, and he is only ranked second in the world, he returns to Melbourne fresh from helping Serbia towards victory in the inaugural ATP Cup.
The best price you’ll find on Djokovic is the 5/4 that bet365 are quoting. That is a fairly short price for anybody to win a Grand Slam but Djokovic is the best hard court player on the planet by some distance, in particular when it comes to the Plexicushion surface used here in Melbourne. He absolutely loves this tournament and the Australia fans love him. Expect Djokovic to entertain the crowds at Melbourne Park and all around the world with yet another Australian Open win.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (11/1)
Stefanos Tsitsipas has been talked about as an up and coming superstar for some years now. That says just what a talent he is given that he is still just 21. The Greek youngster really came of age during last season even if it is was far from smooth sailing. Tsitsipas began the season very strongly but his form fell off a cliff after the French Open. His poor showing at Wimbledon and the US Open suggested that he had much still to learn but he fought back very well, showing an impressive combination of mental strength and technical class.
For Tsitsipas and his growing army of supporters, 2019 will always be remembered for his win at the ATP Finals. Despite losing against Rafael Nadal in the group stages, he defeated Roger Federer in the semi final and then beat Dominic Thiem in a classic final.
Tsitsipas heads to Melbourne a better player than ever. Given that he made it to the semi final stage 12 months ago, it’s hard not to get excited by the odds of 11/1 that Coral are quoting about Tsitsipas’ chances of winning the Australian Open on a surface he is very well suited to. Clearly, it will demand an even higher level of performance but Tsitsipas is a Grand Slam champion in waiting and has every chance of breaking his duck at the highest level in Melbourne.
Marin Cilic (100/1)
There are some excellent younger players pushing for a big breakthrough in the 2020 Australian Open and in the season that lies ahead but there are also several older players who retain the hunger to be competitive at the very top level. Marin Cilic is one such player and may be worth small stakes support at the huge odds of 100/1 currently offered by Coral.
It’s easy to forget that Cilic is only 31. Perhaps that’s because his results last year looked very much like those of player who is over the hill. It’s far too early to write this big-hitting Croatian off though.
He worked his way out of a serious slump during last season and looked much more like his old self during the US Open. Cilic is an excellent hard court player who made it to the Australian Open final as recently as 2018. Clearly, his chances of winning are very slim but if he hits the ground running he could make a serious run through the draw and keep you interested well into the second week at a huge price.
Women’s Singles Betting Tips for 2020
Qualifying for the Australian Open has fallen foul of some pretty hideous conditions in Melbourne. Although the wildfires across Australia have thankfully been quelled somewhat by the recent heavy rain, it’s done nothing for the air quality across large swathes of the country.
Melbourne hasn’t escaped and whilst it almost seems churlish to worry about tennis at such a time, in a country where sport is an obsession, events such as this can provide a welcome relief. What’s more, the Australian Open and the wealthy players (and many fans) have helped raise a huge amount to help ($5m and counting). Whilst some have their doubts many feel the show must go on and the event organisers can only cross their fingers and hope that the air clears up before the tournament proper is scheduled to get underway on Monday 20 January.
If the event does go smoothly then we can all enjoy what should be another cracking women’s Grand Slam. This is a real golden age for women’s tennis with a slew of world class players capable of turning up in their best form and getting over the line in a major. There are certainly plenty of players to consider for the 2020 Australian Open but which women make the most appeal from a betting perspective?
Ashleigh Barty (8/1)
Predictably, Serena Williams is the bookies’ favourite for the Australian Open. She is widely regarded as the best woman to ever pick up a racquet with her seven previous titles at Melbourne just a part of the legacy she will eventually leave.
Williams is not thinking about that legacy just yet, she is focused on earning more success at the top level. She has 23 Grand Slams to her name but has been waiting over 1000 days to add the 24th that would move her level with Margaret Court on the all-time list. Her recent win in Auckland has convinced many that she remains the player to beat but it’s clear that this is not quite the Serena of old. With questions persisting about her fitness and mobility, not to mention her mental fortitude to close things out of she makes the final, it makes sense to give the favourite a pass but you don’t have to look too far to find a more tempting option from the top of the betting markets.
Ashleigh Barty is always going to attract support in the betting from patriotic Aussies and with the country in a terrible state a win for the home favourite would provide some small crumb of comfort. However, backing the 23-year-old is no heart over head play.
Barty is the number one ranked woman in the game right now and showed that she has the technical ability and temperament to win a Grand Slam with her stunning success at Roland Garros last year. If anything, Barty’s game is better suited to hard courts than clay and she will be much more comfortable at home too, which should be a major concern for her rivals in Melbourne.
The Queenslander will get huge levels of support from the fans inside Melbourne Park as she looks to give Australia something to smile about. The amount of pressure that Barty will face would be enough to sink most of her competition but there is a steeliness about her that can help to carry her over the line at amazing odds (considering she is world number one and Australian) of 8/1 with Ladbrokes.
Karolina Pliskova (10/1)
Karolina Pliskova has been competing at the top level of tennis for a considerable time longer than Barty. In that time she’s shown that she has the technical qualities to beat any player on any stage but it’s the mental side of her game that has sometimes been questioned in the past.
However, there are signs she is improving in that regard and Pliskova is only getting more dangerous as she matures as both as a player and as a person. Her tennis game is now more well-rounded than ever before whilst she is beginning to develop an aura about her which puts some opponents on the back foot when they get on court before a ball has even been hit in anger.
That aura will grow should she hit the ground running in Melbourne where she has had success previously. Last year saw Pliskova make the semi finals for the first time whilst she won the Junior Australian Open in 2010. Another who has a game well suited to the Melbourne Park courts, this could well be where Pliskova finally gets over the line in a Grand Slam so she certainly offers plenty of appeal at nice odds of 10/1 with Betfred.
Garbine Muguruza (33/1)
It seems as though Garbine Muguruza has only just recently broken through at the top level of tennis. In reality, the 26-year-old won her first Grand Slam in the 2016 French Open and added the Wimbledon title the following year. Indeed, Muguruza has been around long enough to earn over $19 million in prize money and for her career to have already had some serious ups and downs.
2019 was a year of real struggle for the former world number one. A serious loss of form has reflected in her world ranking which isn’t high enough for her to be seeded in the Australian Open. Doing it against the odds might be just what Muguruza needs though.
A couple of early wins against seeded opponents would mark her out as a real danger and could see Muguruza in with a chance of winning the tournament at 33/1 with bet365. At that price she offers real each way value, not least because the women’s game is just so open right now.
About the Australian Open
As the Australian Open is exactly that, an ‘Open’ essentially anyone can qualify to play in the event. Providing that you are able to make it through the qualifying rounds then you are eligible to play.
But, for most of the formats there will be a limited number of spots on offer. For the men’s game for example, there are 128 places in total, with the top 104 in the world rankings being guaranteed entry into the tournament.
8 more selections are made up of wild card entries. As the host of the tournament, the Australian internal selection committee get to pick 4 of those, with the French also getting one pick. Wild card entries into qualifying events are also reserved in this section, where 3 more players who have won their respected tournament, based on geographic loction are entered also.
On top of that 16 players will qualify for the event via any of the qualification tournaments held around the world.
Titles on Offer
The beauty of the Australian Open is that there are hundreds of games to watch throughout the fortnight of the event. They have a huge variety of competitions on offer, that include men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles, boy’s and girl’s singles, boy’s and girl’s doubles, men’s and women’s wheelchair, wheelchair quad singles, men’s and women’s wheelchair doubles and wheelchair quad doubles.
The world rankings play a huge role in the draw. The top 2 ranked players in the world are kept at opposite ends of the draw, which means that should they both win all of their matches, they would be set to meet each other in the final. The draw is broken down into 8 sections and with each section will be a player ranked from 1-8, then 9-16, then 17-24 and 25-32. The rest of the players will be then drawn randomly within each group, meaning wild cards and qualifiers are then mixed.
Men’s Singles Draw 2020: Top Half
|Seed||Player||Theoretical Round Meeting|
|1||Rafael Nadal||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals|
|27||Pablo Carreno Busta|
|23||Nick Kyrgios||3rd Round|
|10||Gael Monfils||3rd Round||4th Round|
|29||Taylor Fritz||3rd Round|
|4||Daniil Medvedev||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals|
|19||John Isner||3rd Round|
|11||David Goffin||3rd Round||4th Round|
|26||Nikoloz Basilashvili||3rd Round|
Men’s Singles Draw 2020: Bottom Half
|Seed||Player||Theoretical Round Meeting|
|8||Matteo Berrettini||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals|
|22||Guido Pella||3rd Round|
|13||Denis Shapovalov||3rd Round||4th Round|
|31||Hubert Hurkacz||3rd Round|
|6||Stefanos Tsitsipas||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals|
|21||Benoit Paire||3rd Round|
|9||Roberto Bautista Agut|
|14||Diego Schwartzman||3rd Round||4th Round|
|30||Daniel Evans||3rd Round|
Women’s Singles Draw 2020: Top Half
|Seed||Player||Theoretical Round Meeting|
|1||Ashleigh Barty||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals|
|18||Alison Riske||3rd Round|
|10||Madison Keys||3rd Round||4th Round|
|25||Ekaterina Alexandrova||3rd Round|
|3||Naomi Osaka||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals|
|24||Sloane Stephens||3rd Round|
|12||Johanna Konta||3rd Round||4th Round|
|27||Qiang Wang||3rd Round|
Women’s Singles Draw 2020: Bottom Half
|Seed||Player||Theoretical Round Meeting|
|6||Belinda Bencic||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals|
|19||Donna Vekic||3rd Round|
|16||Elise Mertens||3rd Round||4th Round|
|26||Danielle Collins||3rd Round|
|5||Elina Svitolina||3rd Round||4th Round||Quarter-finals|
|21||Amanda Anisimova||3rd Round|
|15||Marketa Vondrousova||3rd Round||4th Round|
|30||Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova||3rd Round|
The draw has been designed like this to give the best players a reward for being a higher ranking. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will have easier games to play but on paper it is meant to give them an easier run in.
With so many games on offer, it may come as little surprise to see that there are 20 courts in total within Melbourne Park, often attracting crowds of over 750,000 over the course of the 2 weeks. In fact, the Australian Open is the highest attended major of the year, although it’s often very closely run with the US Open in terms of visitor numbers.
The majority of the courts are smaller offerings, but there are three that are classed as the main courts within the complex. These are the Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and the Margaret Court Arena. The biggest of the three is that of the Rod Laver, which holds 14,820. The second, and newest of the three, is that of the Hisense Arena with 10,500 capacity and the third is the Margaret Court, with 7,500. All three courts have retractable roofs, which can be used in the unlikely event that it rains, or if the temperatures get too hot.
As you would expect, the finals are held at the Rod Laver Arena, as it’s here where the highest capacity is found.
The prize money has been a hot topic of debate within the game of tennis, mainly because of the movement towards having equal pay for both the men’s and the women’s games. In total, there is a prize fund of $71 million (Australian Dollars) on offer, which get split up between all of the events.
The winner of the singles will get $4.12 million and the runner up will get $2.065 million. For the doubles the winners get $760,000 per team and the runners up $380,000 per team. The mixed doubles is $190,000 and $100,000 respectively per team. Below is a table of prize money for the 2020 tournament. All prices are listed in Australian dollars.
To give you an idea of the money involved, it was only announced in 2012 that the record amount of prizemoney in tennis would be at the Australian Open, with $26 million on offer. By 2020 this amount has almost trebled and looks set to keep rising.
The scoring system in a match follows the usual sets of rules, in terms of 15, 30, 40 and deuce. But, in terms of games it works a little different to most tour events. The men’s games, for example, is played as best of 5 sets. In the first 4 sets of the match a player must get to 6/7 games before their opponents and to win by 2 clear games. If the result is tied at 6 games, then they will play in a tie break to decide the winner of that set. This means they will be playing in points with the first to 7 points winning the play-off match. This also must be won by 2 clear points.
The final set of the match must also be won by two clear games. From 2019, there will be a final set tie break where games reach 6-6, though 10 points are required to win. Again this must also be by two clear points.
The women’s works in much the same way, but games are played as best of 3 sets. Regular tie breaks will occur in sets 1 and 2, with the 3rd and final set again needing to be won by 2 clear legs or a 10 point tie break.
The Australian Open only became a professional event in 1969, much like the other 3 majors. So, the records, as a result, are often separated between pre and post this date. The modern-day records are often used when refereeing to most winners etc. but, bear in mind that there are other winners before these dates, of which any major ones we will mention.
The most successful men’s player in modern times is that of Novak Djokovic, who’s won the Australian on 8 different occasions. It’s a pretty incredible feat when you think of it as he’s done it in an era where three of the best of all time (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray) have all be in circulation. Roy Emerson of Australia has also won the Open on 6 times as well, all of his wins coming in the 1960’s, with 5 coming consecutively from 1963 to 1967.
Men’s Singles Finals: 2011 – 2020
|2020||Novak Djokovic||Dominic Thiem||6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|2019||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6-3, 6-2, 6-3|
|2018||Roger Federer||Marin Cilic||6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1|
|2017||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3|
|2016||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6-1, 7-5, 7-6|
|2015||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0|
|2014||Stan Wawrinka||Rafael Nadal||6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3|
|2013||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|2012||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5|
|2011||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6-4, 6-2, 6-3|
On the women’s side a similar sort of story is painted with the names two of the most iconic of all time in women’s tennis. First off from the modern era you have Serena Williams winning on 7 different occasions. Williams has publicly stated that the Australian hasn’t always been her strongest surface, so to win 7 times on a surface you don’t like is nothing short of incredible.
The other name is that of Margaret Court. You may have noticed that earlier in the article we mentioned that a court was named after her (no pun intended), The reason behind this that she won the women’s single titles 11 times, from 1960 to 1973. It’s also impressive to see that she did it after the switch from amateur to professional in 1969 as well.
Women’s Singles Finals: 2011 – 2020
|2020||Sofia Kenin||Garbine Muguruza||4-6, 6-2, 6-2|
|2019||Naomi Osaka||Petra Kvitova||7-6, 5-7, 6-4|
|2018||Caroline Wozniacki||Simona Halep||7-6, 3-6, 6-4|
|2017||Serena Williams||Venus Williams||6-4, 6-4|
|2016||Angelique Kerber||Serena Williams||6-4, 3-6, 6-4|
|2015||Serena Williams||Maria Sharapova||6-3, 7-6|
|2014||Li Na||Dominika Cibulkova||7-6, 6-0|
|2013||Victoria Azarenka||Li Na||4-6, 6-4, 6-3|
|2012||Victoria Azarenka||Maria Sharapova||6-3, 6-0|
|2011||Kim Clijsters||Li Na||3-6, 6-3, 6-3|
In terms of the doubles, on the men’s side the winner is that of brothers, Rob and Mike Bryan. The pair have become the most decorated doubles players of all time and the Australian was a coup they managed to achieve on 6 different occasions from 2006 to 2013.
Men’s Doubles Finals: 2011 – 2020
|2020||R Ram & J Salisbury||M Purcell & L Saville||6-4, 6-2|
|2019||P-H Herbert & N Mahut||H Kontinen & J Peers||6-4, 7-6|
|2018||O Marach & M Pavic||J S Cabal & R Farah||6-4, 6-4|
|2017||H Kontinen & J Peers||B Bryan & M Bryan||7-5, 7-5|
|2016||J Murray & B Soares||D Nestor & R Stepanek||2-6, 6-4, 7-5|
|2015||S Bolelli & F Fognini||P-H Herbert & N Mahut||6-4, 6-4|
|2014||L Kubot & R Lindstedt||E Butorac & R Klaasen||6-3, 6-3|
|2013||M Bryan & B Bryan||R Haase & I Sijsling||6-3, 6-4|
|2012||L Paes & R Stepanek||M Bryan & B Bryan||7-6, 6-2|
|2011||M Bryan & B Bryan||M Bhupathi & L Paes||6-3, 6-4|
On the women’s side of things, legend Martina Navratilova has been able to lift the title 8 times from 1980 to 1989. Her playing partner for much of that was Pam Shiver, picking up 7 of those wins all in a row from 1982 to 1989.
Women’s Doubles Finals: 2011 – 2020
|2020||T Babos & K Mladenovic||H Su-wei & B Strycova||6-2, 6-1|
|2019||S Stosur & Z Shuai||T Babos & K Mladenovic||6-3, 6-4|
|2018||T Babos & K Mladenovic||E Makarova & E Vesnina||6-4, 6-3|
|2017||B Mattek-Sands & L Safarova||A Hlavackova & P Shuai||6-7, 6-3, 6-3|
|2016||M Hingis & S Mirza||A Hlavackova & L Hradecka||7-6, 6-3|
|2015||B Mattek-Sands & L Safarova||C Yung-jan & Z Jie||6-4, 7-6|
|2014||S Errani & R Vinci||E Makarova & E Vesnina||6-4, 3-6, 7-5|
|2013||S Errani & R Vinci||A Barty & C Dellacqua||6-2, 3-6, 6-2|
|2012||S Kuznetsova & V Zvonareva||S Errani & R Vinci||5-7, 6-4, 6-3|
|2011||G Dulko & F Pennetta||V Azarenka & M Kirilenko||2-6, 7-5, 6-1|
The Australian Open has been running since 1905, which makes it one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. But, the tournament wasn’t called the Australian Open until 1969 when the event first went professional, moving away from amateur scene.
It was first known as the Australasian Championship before then becoming the Australian Championships in 1927. It wasn’t notified as one of the majors until 1927 and throughout the majority of the early years was run by the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, before switching to hard courts in 1989.
The tournament has been hosted in a number of cities within that time before finding it’s home in Melbourne. These have included Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Christchurch and Hastings. But, because of the crowds that Melbourne pulled in over the other cities it was decided that this would become the home of the tournament.
The switch to Melbourne was one that saw almost immediate success. They enjoyed crowds of over 250,000 in 1988, up over 50% from the previous year. As the remoteness of Australia in the early 20th century meant that many players from overseas didn’t take part in the event, it wasn’t until the 1940’s that players from abroad came to play, most notably the US Davis Cup team. These days accessibility is much easier and so, like all tennis tournaments, players and even fans flock to the event from around the world.
Attendances at the Australian Open have seen steady increases, almost year on year from the switch in 1988 to Melbourne. They now boast over 700,000 fans each year throughout the 2 weeks, a number that is only rivalled by that of the US Open.
Rod Laver and Margaret Court
We’ve spoken about these names briefly throughout this article, mainly down to the naming of certain courts within Melbourne Park, but it was both Laver and Court that were able to really put Australian tennis on the map.
Rob Laver has managed to win 11 grand slam titles, making him one of the most successful men’s tennis players of all time. He won the Australian Open on 3 occasions and was the first winner of the event after it switched from an amateur to professional status in 1969.
His success was highlighted by the fact that he managed to earn over $1.5 million in prize money throughout a long career spanning through to 1977, when he later retired. His aggressive play was typical of the Australian sporting mentality and was a massive influence for the next and future generations of the sport.
Margaret Court was even more successful than Laver throughout her career and the two were pinned as the top tennis players in their respected fields for a generation. Court won a staggering 24 major titles and was only the second women to have completed the Grand Slam, winning all four majors in the same year in 1970.
But, what’s just as impressive as her singles record is her doubles record, winning another 19 major titles throughout her career. Combined, no women or man has won more titles than Court, even to this day.
Their success has been highlighted by Tennis Australia, naming two of the show courts that take centre stage for the tournament after them.
Djokovic is going to go down as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But, his dominance within the modern era at the Australian Open has laid way to his latest success. He’s won the tournament on 8 different occasions, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him add to this number in the coming years.
The hard-hitting Serbian won the first of his titles in the 2008 final, beating Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. In fact, of the 8 finals he’s been a part of at the Australian Open he’s managed to life the trophy on each occasion.
His most memorable battles and probably biggest rivalry at the courts throughout this time has come in the form of Scotsman, Andy Murray. Djokovic has beaten Murray 5 times from his 7 finals, with some marathon games thrown in for good measure. The closest and most memorable has to have been that of the 2013 final, where Murray went 1 set up, before Djokovic won the second on a tie break. At this point the game could have gone in any direction, but Djokovic stepped up to play some unbelievable tennis and win the game 3 sets to 1.
For what it’s worth, Murray was a beaten finalist at the Australian Open in 5 out of 7 finals between 2010 and 2016.
Many people rank Serena Williams as the greatest female tennis player of all time. The 23 major titles certainly stand her amongst the elite, with 7 of those wins coming at the Australian Open, her joint most successful major alongside Wimbledon.
She has over 70 career titles to her name at the time of writing and looks set to add more to that in the years to come. She’s been able to hold all 4 Grand Slam title in a calendar year on 2 separate occasions, tying the record with Rod Laver and Steffi Graff. She sits just 1 major title behind that of Margaret court in the all-time list, but is the most successful in the Open era.
Whilst the numbers are all very impressive, her most impressive victory had to have been that of the 2017 Australian Open where she beat her sister, Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4. Another win yes, but the fact that Serena did it whilst she was pregnant is almost mind-boggling, and highlights just how tough she is both physically and mentally.