Nic Atkin, ESPN UK: Andy Murray will be the favorite to claim what would be his first Australian Open. And you know he will be hell-bent on finally taking his chance after five final defeats.
Carl Bialik, FiveThirtyEight.com: Novak Djokovic has won this event five of the past six years. He’s still No. 2 in the world. Murray will surely be desperate to get his first after five runner-up finishes in the past seven years, but the Serb remains the man to beat in Australia.
Peter Bodo, ESPN.com: Andy Murray will overcome years of tears and frustration with a title in Melbourne. Hey, fifth time lucky, right?
Greg Garber, ESPN.com: Novak Djokovic. He’s won five of the past six Down Under, so why not six of seven?
Lucas Hanashiro, ESPN Brasil: Andy Murray. The new No. 1 has played five finals at the Australian Open and didn’t win a single one. What better way to start 2017 than winning a Grand Slam title he came so close for so many times?
Atkin: It was at Melbourne last year that we finally saw Serena Williams vulnerable once again. After a nice extended break, which included getting engaged, she will likely be healthier and happier and ready to finally topple Steffi Graf’s major record.
Bialik: Angelique Kerber. Every women’s field looks wide open this year. When in doubt, go with the world No. 1 and defending champ.
Bodo: The way Kerber popped up to win last year tends to obscure what a terrific record Serena Williams has accumulated in Melbourne. She’s won it six times, and she’ll break her Open era Grand Slam singles title tie with Steffi Graf by winning her 23rd major.
Garber: Simon Halep. It’s time for her to break through. Aussie coach Darren Cahill gets her over the top.
Hanashiro: Serena Williams has won six Australian Open titles. She will rebound this year and regain the No. 1 ranking, and it will start Down Under.
Atkin: Andy Murray excelled on clay last season despite the uncertainties surrounding his coaching situation. With Ivan Lendl back in his box, the world No. 1 will have his best chance ever of winning the French Open. No one is more motivated and driven right now than Murray.
Bialik: Rafael Nadal looked like a contender until withdrawing last year and still has lost only twice in 74 matches at Roland Garros. He’s a risky pick after playing little since that withdrawal, but he showed he’s still a big-event player with his form at the Olympics.
Bodo: Novak Djokovic is much more lethal on clay than his lone Roland Garros title suggests. The odds of Nadal recapturing his former indomitable form are by this time slim.
Garber: Rafael Nadal. At 31, Rafa collects his 10th title at Roland Garros.
Hanashiro: The reigning champion of Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic, has showed tremendous improvement when playing on clay in the past few years. The former No. 1 reached the French Open final in 2014 and ’15 before winning it in 2016. Expect a repeat.
Atkin: Garbine Muguruza shocked Williams in the 2016 French Open final, and clay is her best surface. Roland Garros will present her best chance for another Slam in 2017.
Bialik: It’s risky to pick Maria Sharapova so soon after her suspension is over, but it’s also hard to imagine anyone who’d be more motivated to come back strong and disprove her doubters.
Bodo: Garbine Muguruza made a hash of it in 2016 after winning the title at Roland Garros. Expect her to hit the reset button at the tournament where she’s had so many great wins.
Garber: Maria Sharapova. Her comeback after a long drug ban goes deliriously well. It’s her third French Open title.
Hanashiro: Serena Williams has progressed tremendously well on clay courts, even though she lost last year’s Roland Garros final to Muguruza. Williams has the tools to win every single tournament this season, including the French Open.
Atkin: Starting to sound like a broken record here, but I think 2017 is going to be a special year for Andy Murray. While an 18th major for Federer would be a fairytale scenario, Djokovic is likely to be the only man standing in Murray’s way. I would still pick the Scot to retain his Wimbledon title.
Bialik: Andy Murray has always been great on grass, but now he has the confidence of a world No. 1 player who excels on all surfaces. Make it back-to-back years for Murray.
Bodo: Roger Federer‘s long wait for that 18th Grand Slam title will be over when he wins at the All-England Club. The five-year Slam-less drought will end.
Garber: Andy Murray. He’s won two of the past four at the All England Club. The Scot is very comfortable on Centre Court.
Hanashiro: Roger Federer. Bold statement, I know. This might be the last chance for Federer to win a Grand Slam. Having himself injured last year won’t help the cause, but Federer has been preparing himself properly for the 2017 season.
Atkin: Serena Williams shouldn’t have too many problems picking up another Wimbledon title this year. She is peerless on grass, and her challengers simply don’t come close.
Bialik: It’s always hard to pick against 22-time major champ Serena Williams, especially at Wimbledon. One of her biggest threats, two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova, might not be 100 percent, even if she does come back in time.
Bodo: Serena Williams rules Wimbledon. Only her sister Venus has a comparably grass-friendly game. Serena will be unstoppable, especially if she hasn’t won either of the previous two majors.
Garber: Serena Williams. Just like last year, this will be her only Slam win in 2017.
Hanashiro: Angelique Kerber has showed tremendous resilience on grass. It takes time to become a champion in such a unique court, and Kerber’s experience from last year might be just enough for her to beat Williams.
Atkin: Based on the past six months, it will take something special to stop Andy Murray, making it a clean sweep at the Slams. With no Olympics cluttering up his schedule, Murray can properly prepare for Flushing Meadows this year.
Bialik: In a year that feels wide open, why not pick a different champ for each Slam? Juan Martin del Potro won in New York and received enormous crowd support there last year. By September, he’ll have had a chance to amass enough points for a high seed and an easier draw.
Bodo: It’s going to be another year of hard lessons and learning for Nick Kygrios, but by the time the US Open rolls around he will be ready to win his first major.
Garber: Juan Martin del Potro. After 2009, lightning strikes twice for the beloved Argentine.’
Hanashiro: This might be the toughest tournament for Andy Murray, who hasn’t reached the US Open final in four years. But he’ll win it and finish the year No. 1 again.