Aussie Open Draw Breakdown; Davydenko Fined
by Richard Vach | January 11th, 2007
  • 19 Comments

2007 Aussie Open Preview

The list of players injured before the Aussie Open even starts is long, and the list of possible withdrawals from Melbourne, even longer (Rafael Nadal? David Nalbandian? Nikolay Davydenko? Nadia Petrova?), but it’s summer in Australia and the Aussie Open starts Monday (event if Roger Federer says it should be pushed back a month or two on the calendar).

Here is the quick-and-dirty breakdown of the four quarters of the men’s 2007 Australian Open draw:

Top Quarter
Seeds:
(1) Roger Federer, (7) Tommy Robredo, (11) Marcos Baghdatis, (14) Novak Djokovic, (18) Richard Gasquet, (24) Juan Carlos Ferrero, (25) Mikhail Youzhny, (27) Jose Acasuso
Floaters: Nicolas Massu, Rainer Schuettler, Gael “Force” Monfils, Sam Querrey, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic

After a few opening yawners, the world No. 1 Federer could have his hands full against Youzhny in the third round, the hungry Djokovic in the fourth, and a quarterfinal against last year’s runner-up Baghdatis or Richard “Baby Fed” Gasquet.

Openers of interest in the quarter are (14) Djokovic vs. the Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu, (11) Baghdatis vs. former Top 10er Rainer Schuettler, (27) Acasuso vs. American riser Sam Querrey, and (7) Robredo vs. Spanish countryman Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in a first-time meeting. Baghdatis vs. Gasquet is another potential third-rounder.

Second Quarter
Seeds:
(4) Ivan Ljubicic, (6) Andy Roddick, (9) Mario “Baby Goran” Ancic, (16) David Ferrer, (20) Radek Stepanek, (22) Dominik “The Dominator” Hrbaty, (26) Marat Safin, (30) Agustin Calleri
Floaters: Mardy Fish, Thomas Johansson, Joachim “The Jackhammer” Johansson

A big-boomer quarter between Roddick, Ljubicic, Ancic and Safin. Ljubicic opens against seasoned American Mardy Fish, Roddick against wildcard Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Ancic against wildcard Go Soeda, and Safin against Benjamin Becker. A pretty easy road to the quarters for Ljubicic, who should face Roddick or Safin if he remains healthy.

Third Quarter
Seeds:
(3) Nikolay Davydenko, (8) David Nalbandian, (12) Tommy Haas, (13) Tomas Berdych, (21) Dmitry Tursunov, (23) Robin Soderling, (28) Sebastien Grosjean, (29) Xavier “X-Man” Malisse
Floaters: Janko Tipsarevic, Chris “Penthouse” Guccione, Max “The Beast” Mirnyi, Arnaud Clement 

The “place your bets” quarter, since if the injured Davydenko, Nalbandian or Tursunov take the court, you could pick up some jack with some illegal-in-America Internet betting. Nalbandian could face a tough opener against Tipsarevic if the Serb can keep him out there long enough, while Davydenko opens against Argentine Sergio Roitman, and Tursunov faces a qualifier.

Don’t be surprised to see Haas or Soderling emerge into the quarters against — coin toss.

Bottom Quarter
Seeds:
(2) Rafael Nadal, (5) James Blake, (10) Fernando “Gonzo” Gonzalez, (15) Andy Murray, (17) Jarkko Nieminen, (19) Lleyton Hewitt, (31) Stan Wawrinka, (32) Nicolas Almagro
Floaters: Carlos Moya, Robby Ginepri, Frank Dancevic, Robert Kendrick

Is Nadal still injured? Is Blake still on a roll? Can Andy Murray produce at the Slams? Is Hewitt healthy? Can you spell Jarkko Nieminen?

Lots of questions in the bottom quarter. Blake has beaten Moya, his first-round opponent, in their last two meetings, trailing 3-5 overall in career meetings. (32) Almagro opens against the American Ginepri, Hewitt against a qualifier, Murray against Spaniard Al Martin, and Nadal against the American Kendrick, who led the Spaniard two sets to love last year at Wimbledon before falling to close the deal.

Watch for potential fourth-rounders Blake vs. Hewitt or Gonzo, and Nadal vs. Murray.

The women’s draw is without world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne, and No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo is a mess after getting bageled this week by Jelena Jankovic.

Potential quarterfinals on the women’s side are (1) Sharapova vs. (8) Schnyder, (4) Clijsters vs. (6) Hingis or (9) Safina, (11) Jankovic vs. (3) Kuznetsova, and (7) Dementieva or (10) Vaidisova vs. (2) Mauresmo.

Opening round match-ups to look for are (13) Ana Ivanovic vs. American Vania King, (27) Mara Santangelo vs. Serena Williams, (26) Maria Kirilenko vs. Karolina “The Spreminator” Sprem, and (2) Mauresmo vs. rising American Shenay Perry.

AROUND THE TOUR:
Making up rain-delayed matches on Thursday at Auckland was very good for unseeded American Mardy Fish, who beat (2) Mario Ancic in a second-round match, then later in the day edged Juan Ignacio Chela in two tiebreaks to gain the semifinals. Also winning two matches on the day into the semis were (1) Tommy Robredo (d. A.Martin, Kohlschreiber), (3) Dave Ferrer (d. Bracciali, Vliegen in three), and (7) Agustin Calleri (d. Serra, (Q) Monaco from a set down).

Into the Sydney semifinals were (3) James Blake (d. Korolev), unseeded Carlos Moya (d. (4) Baghdatis 7-6 in the third), unseeded Austrian Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer (d. (5) Berdych), and (6) Richard Gasquet (d. French countryman Mathieu, bagel in the third).

In the WTA Hobart semis, top-seeded Russian Anna Chakvetadze ended the run of wildcard Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-1, and qualifier Vasilisa Bardina made it an all-Russian final by easily subduing Serena Williams’ conqueror Sybille Bammer 6-3, 6-1.

On the women’s side in Sydney, (3) Kim Clijsters (d. Li 7-5 in the third) and hot-handed Serb Jelena Jankovic (d. (8) Vaidisova in three) advanced to the final.

AROUND THE DIAL:
Nikolay Davydenko
was fined $10K for saying nobody cared about the ATP Sydney tournament. ATP chairman Etienne de Villiers in a statement said Davydenko damaged the “very fine tournament” and also also sullied the “reputation of our great sport.”…Lleyton Hewitt tells Australia’s Channel 7 he hasn’t apologized to former coach Roger Rasheed: “It’s [Rasheed's reasons for quitting] going to stay between Roger and I,” Hewitt said. “Obviously with the timing, I’m shocked, but for me, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge…with the last three and a half years. We’ve had some good times, we’ve had some tough times…We’ve spoken…we’re both obviously disappointed with how things have ended.”…James Blake on Nikolay Davydenko dissing Sydney: “I might be a little offended if some of the guys I’m beating are saying they don’t care and that’s the reason I’m winning. It’s a bit disconcerting to hear someone talk about a tournament and not show (it) the respect it deserves.”…From ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe: “You heard it here first…Andy Roddick will win the second major of his career. No, not at Wimbledon, but at the Australian Open, and in doing so, will make the tennis season real interesting. I love the way he turned the corner in the second half of 2006, and having Jimmy Connors in his corner has helped big-time.” And from Peter Bodo on ESPN.com: “Andy Roddick will win the Australian Open. He finished 2006 on an incredible high and has continued his successful partnership with Jimmy Connors. The Australian surface will be faster this year, and this is a tournament that has thrown up a fair number of big-player upsets in years past.” And from Richard Vach, not on ESPN: “Uhh, what are you guys smoking? Roger Federer will win the Australian Open. More wishful American thinking?”…From tennis writer Matt Cronin on Lindsay Davenport: “There were some journalists who loved her, some who were bothered by her and others who couldn’t care either way. I saw her roast plenty of folks and also saw her patiently sit through some ridiculous lines of questioning. She trusted the press more than she trusted the fans, but as some folks found out who covered her as long as I did, you never really knew where you stood with her, and whether she really meant “Call me anytime.” As the WTA can attest to, when she checked out, she would really check out.”


Also Check Out:
Roddick Launches Cash Attack on ATP, Handling of Davydenko Incident
Feeling Davydenko’s pain
Strange Days in Tennis: Clijsters Loses, Schwank Fined, Odesnik Plays Thru
Injured Serena Williams Loses 4th Consecutive Match at Madrid
Nadal Withdraws from Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, Simon Named Replacement

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19 Comments for Aussie Open Draw Breakdown; Davydenko Fined

not reeeeeeally recquired! Says:

re the Recent News under Quick News to the left – it’s Kooyong, not Kooyang….


Bill from Denver Says:

I think Federer is ripe for an upset. I don’t know who or when but from his comments it seems he is not as into the Australian Open, especially this year. While I have not been a witness to any recent Federer practices I suspect he has been more lax in his preparation for this tournament. It will cost him GrandSlam #10.


marieg Says:

regarding Andy Roddick winning the Australian Open…I think the question was who would win a grand slam apart from Federer and Nadal this year.


German_rockstar Says:

Whatever you americans (losers, ego’s, ‘god bless america, which world?’ etc.) say, it will be Roger Federer.

He played like a freaky genius vs. Safin in Kooyong, and has practised superbly.

Most years I would have had my doubts him winning the Slam, but this year even on clay he will be unbeatable. He will win one final on clay vs. Nadal, and then he will turn on the FedExpress in Paris.


JCF Says:

ESPN are indeed wishfully thinking. The court surface is no different to last year, as Federer, Hewitt, and Sharapova have attested.

And saying Jimmy Connors is the reason for Andy winning the AO? The guy isn’t even going to come over. His mom just died.

My opinion of Davydenko has just gone up a few notches. God bless the guy for speaking the truth, what everyone already knew except James Blake, who obviously happens to be in the final of the event. No one cares about it anyway. Look at the turnout. Pretty disappointing. Nadal is the only notable seed in the event, and he withdrew 11 games into the first match. The ‘cool’ people go to Kooyong instead, which has Federer, Safin, Roddick, Ljubicic, Murray, Haas, Gonzalez, Stepanek, and Nalbandian.

No one cares about Sydney? I’d say so. Except Blake who only cares because he’s the defending champ and is in the final again. I certainly wouldn’t want to jeapordize my AO campaign over it, if I were a player.


andy's biggest fan Says:

i hope andy roddick wins the aus open 2007,that would be awsome.love u andy.


kamret Says:

“Nikolay Davydenko was fined $10K for saying nobody cared about the ATP Sydney tournament.”

Is that legally possible? No freedom of opinion in the world??? Can a guy be fined just for giving his personal opinion about a tournament? That must be a joke!


jsnj Says:

I agree w/kamret. He’s not aloud to say how he feels? He didn’t threaten anyone. Fining him for “unsportsmanlike conduct” is a reach. So now anything a player says that a couple people may deem negative for the sport gets a fine? I thought candor was wanted. I felt what he said was tacky & ungrateful, but not finable. The other players and officials can freely disparage his comments, but fining him for them is ridiculous. Instead of fining him, they should’ve just used to his comments to try and create a villanous personality for the sport. That makes alot more sense to me. Now all they’ve encouraged him to do is shut up and continue to feed freely and almost anonymously off of the sport.


funches Says:

First of all, the word is allowed, not aloud, which makes me dumb for even responding to the post, but I’ve got a problem with anyone defending Davydenko on this one.

Yes, the Slams are the most important events in tennis, but there would be no tour without the regular events. To have a player say nobody cares about a tour event would be like saying your job is worthless and it’s a complete waste of time to work there. You wouldn’t be fined $10,000. You’d be fired.

Davydenko just got married. He seems awfully grumpy for a newlywed.


luke Says:

i agree with JCF and kamret about davydenko. he’s just being honest, why would anyone care about a lead up tournament with a grand slam days away, esp. with injury concerns.

noone seems to have considered that nikolay’s english is very poor, and he probably didn’t mean it to sound so blunt.

blake is just a lame goodie2shoes who’s afraid to say anything that would make everyone stop oozing all over him, and he’ll never beat federer because he worships him even more than jim courier, if that’s possible.

these tournaments are just having a cry because seeds withdrawing means less money for their pockets, they don’t give a shit about ‘the sport’.

let’s remember that if the seeds didn’t withdraw and weren’t fit for the aussie open, everyone there would be having an even bigger cry.


JCF Says:

“Yes, the Slams are the most important events in tennis, but there would be no tour without the regular events. To have a player say nobody cares about a tour event would be like saying your job is worthless and it’s a complete waste of time to work there. You wouldn’t be fined $10,000. You’d be fired.”

No Funches. The tour would be fine without the regular events. These events (and the quantity of them) is what’s leading to so many injuries. The players want the season shortened, which means cutting out non Masters Series or Tier I tournaments.

Without these regular tournaments, the tour would still be alive and kicking, and possibly better, with fewer injury pull outs (no compulsory tournaments this year yet, but there’s already been injuries). As long as there’s still MS/T1, we will still have a tour. If Davydenko made the same comments about a Masters tourney, he deserves to be fined. There would be no ATP tour without those events. Sydney international as it is, is an inconsequential event at best (32 players. optional attendance). Oops.. I better edit that before someone fines me for saying it!

Your analogy is not accurate. An event like Sydney would not be your main job. Masters Series would be your day job, and these are little part time jobs you do along the side when you’re bored. Maybe you don’t like it and should be fired, but you’re probably not going to care too much because you still have your main job.


Blakey Says:

Blake’s got a chance to take the Aussie Open as much as Roddick, me thinks.
Also, Federer losing to Roddick at Kooyong doesn’t mean a thing as far as the Open itself is concerned. Federer’s playing games with everyone by deliberately losing. He did that last year too (at Kooyong).


Blakey Says:

What about honesty? Davydenko was being dishonest and despicable in saying that it’s okay to not put in 100% after agreeing to participate in the tournament. That’s not being upfront. It’s cheating the fans, organisers, fellow players and everyone who is honest. Harsh-sounding or not, Davydenko’s meaning was clear enough and he’s fined for behaving like an asshole.

He should be fined further by being banned from all such tournaments (except for the Masters and Grand Slams). Let us then see where his ranking would be and what he’d be saying.


JCF Says:

He’s being honest about it, not dishonest. Lots of players do that, Fed included. They just don’t admit to it. Or they blame the season for being too long.

One thing to remember, that in Davy’s case, he does have a point. He enters waaaay more tournaments than any other player, so he has to respond differently to his body than other players. Another player would have plenty in the tank to play Sydney, and probably wouldn’t have wore themself out or got injured from play. Blame him for entering too many tournaments instead. Blame him for going to Sydney in the first place, not tanking it.

Apparently the organisers and Blake took quite some offense to it, and they brought it up in the men’s final presentation ceremony. Both went out of their way to defend the tournament in their speeches. You probably won’t see Davy back next year. He might go to Aukland instead.


luke Says:

what’s worse:

davydenko pulling out with a stress fracture in his foot,

nadal pulling out with aches and pains in the guccione match,

malisse pulling out because he said he had heavy legs from chenmai and didn’t want to lose his confidence for the aussie open by losing?!

at least davydenko has the balls to call it as it is, and now he’s just the scape goat.

as for blake, when you have the easiest draw in the history of an atp event: 2 lucky losers and a walkover, then an unseeded player who’s buggered after a heap of grueling 3 setters for the final…well of course you’ll be kissing arse.


Blakey Says:

If you are not sure about giving 100% to a tournament you enter, make sure that it’s an exhibition/invitational. Federer tanked at Kooyong and so, I suspect, did Safin.

You can’t behave like that at an ATP ranking tournament as Davydenko did. The injury clause only helps you if it really is such an injury which could negatively effect your performance in other tournaments. But saying no one cares about it crosses the line into the territory of blatant dishonesty. It is a sign of our times perhaps that such dishonesty is being termed as honesty by some people who don’t understand what the sport’s fans identify with.


JCF Says:

Players enter their names into tournaments long before they know they will get injured or not be 100%.

He is being candid. Dishonesty means lying. Honesty means telling the truth, not being a saint. Perhaps you should look up its definition.


Blakey Says:

I always have the dictionary at hand, though I never had to look it up for knowing the meaning of honesty. Maybe your dictionary is something special and has a different meaning for “truth”. Or did you mean “truthiness”, ala Colbert?

Nobody’s asking players through injury. There are just expected to not stop at the slightest suspicion of injury, that’s all. Get it? If not, may be you need to enroll yourself into some English comprehension classes…


luke Says:

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO:

Okay, I start. It’s about last week. I made some comments immediately after my match at the Medibank International in Sydney that I now regret. My English is not very good, and I didn’t mean to say anything bad about the tournament. What I was trying to say was while the Sydney tournament was important, my main focus was on the Australia Open, and it was wise to stop because of my injury I had. At the time of my press conference, I was very worried that my injury would force me out of Australia Open, and with that worry on my mind, I didn’t express myself very clearly. I would like to apologize to the tournament organize and to the fan who support the event so well. I very much enjoy playing in Australia and now want to focus on doing the best I can in the Australia Open. I hope people will understand me making a write statement because it is easy for me to properly express what I want to say. That’s it. I didn’t speak so bad English? First time I read it in English.

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