Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Grand Slam season will get underway Monday at the Australian Open in Melbourne, where a new champion will be crowned this year. Li Na was the runner-up in 2011 and 13 before she nailed down her first Australian Open title last season by beating pesky Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in the final. But the Chinese star retired toward the end of last season, opening the way for a new Aussie champ in 2015. Who are the favorites to fill the void, you say? Well, lets take a look. You dont have to look much further than five-time Aussie titlist Serena Williams, whos never lost in a final in Oz while holding the Open Era record for titles there. The 18-time Grand Slam winner will be the favorite at the latest Aussie fortnight ... and for good reason. Surprisingly, however, the world No. 1 superstar and reigning U.S. Open champ is seeking her first Aussie title in five years. From 2003 to 2010, the mighty Serena nailed down the five Aussie championships, beating five former No. 1 stars in all of those finals (Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova, Dinara Safina and Justine Henin, respectively). But she hasnt gotten past the quarters in Melbourne since the 10 championship, including a fourth-round loss a year ago. Sharapova will take a crack at Serena, even though she hasnt beaten her American rival since 2004, or 15 straight meetings. Fifteen straight! The reigning French Open queen captured her lone Aussie title in 2008 and is a two-time runner-up at Melbourne Park, where, like Serena, she exited early in the round of 16 last year. The five-time major titlist from Russia opened her 2015 season last week with a title in Brisbane, where she beat fellow former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in a sexy final. Simona Halep will be the No. 3 seed in Melbourne, where she reached the quarterfinals a year ago. The quiet Romanian star was last years French Open runner-up to Sharapova and opened her 15 season with a title in China last week. Haleps a Grand Slam title waiting to happen after reaching at least the quarters at three of the four majors in 2014, including a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon. The best left-handed woman on the planet is Petra Kvitova. The world No. 4 star is a two-time Wimbledon champ and currently holds that coveted title. The Czech slugger reached the Aussie semis in 2012, but she has struggled Down Under since, failing to get past the second round, including an opening-round exit there a year ago. As a matter of fact, PK failed to get past the third round at three of the four Slams in 14 (but did manage to sneak out a second Wimby title in four years). The aforementioned Ivanovic is coming off one of her best seasons in several years and opened her latest campaign by reaching the final in Brisbane last week. The former world No. 1 from Serbia is no stranger to success in Melbourne, where she reached the final in 2008 and the quarterfinals a year ago. Having said that, in between the 08 runner-up finish and the trek into the round of eight last year, AI could do no better than the fourth round in the Bourne from 2009-13, or a five-year stretch. Ouch. But I thinks its safe to say shes recovered since then. Still the capable Ivanovic, the French Open champion in 2008 and runner-up in 2007, failed to get past the third round at the final three Slams of 2014, including a second-round flameout at the U.S. Open. The rest of the Top 10 is rounded out by former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska; last years Wimbledon runner-up Genie Bouchard; former world No. 1 and two-time U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki; left-handed German Angelique Kerber; and rising Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who is yet another tough lefty. Radwanska just doesnt have enough power to run the table at a major. Bouchard, like Halep, will probably be a Grand Slam champion sooner rather than later. The young Canadian was the only woman to reach at least the semifinals at three of the four majors last year in only her first full Grand Slam season. The former world No. 1 Wozniacki, like the aforementioned Ivanovic, also has enjoyed a resurgence on tour. The popular Dane reached her second U.S. Open final in six years last year and opened her 2015 season by reaching a final in Auckland just last week. Wozniackis best Aussie showing was a trip into the semis in 2011. Kerber has no shot in Melbourne, while Makarova could make some noise Down Under. Makarova has quietly reached at least the quarters at six of the last 12 majors, including a trip into a U.S. Open semi in September. She was a back-to-back Aussie quarterfinalist in 2012 and 2013 and can make any player uncomfortable on the other side of the net. Venus Williams may not be a threat to win it all at the Aussie anymore, but she did open her 2015 season with a title in Auckland last week, beating Wozniacki in an attractive all-former-world-No. 1 finale. Venus is a seven-time major champ, but hasnt nailed down a big one since the 2008 Wimbledon Championships. She was the 2003 Aussie runner-up to her little sister, but hasnt been much of a factor since in Melbourne, reaching only a pair of quarterfinals over the last 11 years. Id say that ship has sailed. Keep your eye on one of my favorite young players on the tour ... Karolina Pliskova. This big-serving Czech was second on tour to only Serena in aces last year and is a dangerous southpaw for sure. She also had her best-ever showing at the last major event, a third-round berth in New York in September. And how about an unseeded Victoria Azarenka? The former world No. 1 star missed months of action last year while battling left foot and right knee injuries. But when healthy, Vika has been nothing short of a force at the Slams, especially in Oz, where she captured back-to- back titles in 2012 and 2013 and has appeared in at least the quarters there four of the last five years. Azarenka is also a two-time U.S. Open runner-up who has been making deep runs at the majors since 2009. In addition to Serena (and in some way, Venus), another American to keep an eye on could be 30th-ranked Madison Keys. The 19-year-old Illinois native could be one of the breakthrough players were looking for this year, and wouldnt that be nice. Well, whos gonna win it all this year? It would be real easy to pick Serena here, but Im leaning in the Simona Halep direction, if things can break right for the steady Romanian. Nate Lowe Rays Jersey .com) - Delon Wright made all 12 of his free throws and finished with 21 points and six assists as No. Tommy Pham Jersey . Ronaldo failed to connect on an ample number of opportunities at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. But Karim Benzema and Jese Rodriguez scored in each half for Madrid to come out of the first leg with the firm advantage. https://www.cheapraysonline.com/406i-charlie-morton-jersey-rays.html . -- Canadas Nicole Vandermade won the Four Winds Invitational on Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title, closing with a 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory. Ji-man Choi Jersey . -- Jerel Worthy and his Michigan State teammates charged across the field, holding four fingers in the air while celebrating another sweet victory over their biggest rival. Ji-man Choi Rays Jersey . Canada will host Japan in a World Group first-round match in 2015. It will be a rematch of their first-round clash last year when Japan defeated Canada 4-1 to reach the World Group quarter-finals for the first time in its history.Heres a video of the final minutes of the game, you can see the joy on Lokomotivs bench around the 9 minute mark ' ' '