Future hits

The only 23-year-old João Sousa displayed all the credentials necessary to assure a permanent Portuguese presence amongst the world’s top 100 male tennis players during his 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 second round Australian Open defeat to Andy Murray.

The British third seed is one of the favourites for the title along with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

In the ladies draw, the even younger Maria João Koehler (20) came to within two points of beating former world No1 Jelena Jankovic and a third round appearance during her narrow 6-2, 6-7, 2-6 defeat and also looks to be a genuine top 100 contender.

As for the first ladies Grand Slam title of the year, it is hard to look beyond Maria Sharapova who has been in devastating form to date.