2010 Australian Open Tennis Predictions
by Ben Pronin | January 15th, 2010, 12:33 am
  • 107 Comments

At long last, the first slam of the season is upon us. The 2010 Australian Open starts on Monday (in Australia). After all these years of watching tennis, I still don’t know the difference in the time zones but this site has always been helpful: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/.

Last week, after only a week of tennis, I pegged Novak Djokovic to top Roger Federer in the semifinals and then Nikolay Davydenko (a would-be winner over Marin Cilic in the other semi) in the finals. Now that the actual draw is out, I’m completely taking that back. Not just because of the draw but because everyone who’s anyone has played at least one competitive match in 2010.

Federer’s Quarter: For all those Fed-haters who like to claim Federer gets easy draws, well, don’t complain about this event. The World Number 1 opens up against Igor Andreev. Andreev may not be a tier 1 player, but he’s not in the first-round-of-a-grand-slam tier, either. The Russian prefers the clay but he can definitely play on hard courts. He extended Federer to 5 sets as recently as the 2008 US Open. The surface at the Aussie Open should suit Andreev even better since it’s closer to clay than the courts at the US. And in terms of being mentally up to the task, Andreev knocked out Andy Roddick in the first round of a slam before (French Open or not, that’s a big win/upset). It’s surprising to me, but for once Federer is a part of an intriguing FIRST round match.

Looking down a bit, Lleyton Hewitt has a chance to make some noise until he runs into the winner of the second round match between Gilles Simon and Marcos Baghdatis. I’m going with Baghdatis to face Hewitt in a repeat of their epic encounter several years ago. The winner of that match? Too close to call.

Fernando Verdasco crushed Djokovic as recently as yesterday and he played great tennis in reaching the semis here last year. Can he repeat? Unlikely. Not because he’s bad, but because he won’t beat Davydenko in the fourth round (h2h 6-1 in Davydenko’s favor).

Ernest Gulbis still has a lot to prove but his draw isn’t too hard until he runs into the best player in the world, Davydenko. The surface in Australia suits Davydenko quite well and he’s made a number of quarterfinals here before. Expect him to make his fourth.

Quarterfinal Prediction: Federer def Davydekno 4-6 7-6 7-6 6-3

Djokovic’s Quarter: Obviously Djokovic can’t beat Davydenko in the final, but he can still beat Federer in the semis. The Djoker has a pretty easy draw until he has to face… Richard Gasquet in the fourth round. Gasquet opens against Mikhail Youzhny (another unfortunate but intriguing first round match-up) but he’s been showing great form in the first two tournaments of the year. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Djokovic-Gasquet will be one of those Australian Open epics.

The favorites for the other quarterfinal spot are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling. Soderling is currently dealing with an injury and he’s also never progressed that far at the Australian. Tsonga was a finalist in 08 and a quarterfinalist in 09, going down to two worthy opponents in each (Djokovic and Verdasco). Look for the big Frenchman to do well Down Under for the third straight year.

Quarterfinal Prediction: Djokovic def Tsonga 5-7 7-6 6-4 6-3

Del Potro’s Quarter: Last year, Juan Martin del Potro made his second consecutive major quarterfinal only to fall to Federer in three sets, winning a measly three games. How quickly things change. Can del Potro now make it his second consecutive major win? I wouldn’t count on it, but I wouldn’t count it out, either. The monstrous forehand from Argentina should have no problem making his way to a second quarterfinal in Australia. The only interesting match that might come out from that side could be a second round clash between del Potro and James Blake. In his loss, Blake will wonder why his huge forehand could never carry him to a major win the way del Potro’s did for him.

There are several interesting first round match-ups in the quarter, however. Veteran German and 2003 finalist Rainer Schuettler takes on America’s next hope, Sam Querrey. Big hitting Tomas Berdych takes on a lesser known big hitter in the form of Robin Haase. Haase put on quite a display in losing to Hewitt in a 5 set tussle at Wimbledon a few years ago. Olivier Rochus should fluster Fernando Gonzalez quite a bit but won’t have enough fire power to take him out. And the soon-to-be-breakout star of 2010 Marin Cilic takes on Fabrice Santoro. Santoro is only playing here so that he can say he played a major in four different decades. Awesome Fabrice, but are you going to play to win? Knowing the retired-then-unretired-then-retired-again Santoro, I’m going to say yes. And he will give Cilic plenty of trouble.

Quarterfinal Prediction: Del Potro def Roddick 6-3 4-6 6-3 7-5

Nadal’s Quarter: Defending champion and world number 2 Rafael Nadal won’t face any problems until the third round where he can meet John Isner or Philipp Kohlschreiber. My money is on the German who put on an incredible display against Roddick in 2008. Contrary to common belief, lightning is more likely to hit the same spot than another spot. Can Kohlschreiber produce another dislpay of over 100 winners? Roddick claims that he unintentionally allowed Kohls to play lights out tennis. Luckily for the German, Nadal’s game is tailor-made for players to get into a groove and play lights out.

The intriguing first rounder in this quarter comes in the form of Radek Stepanek and Ivo Karlovic. I’m sure everyone remembers their epic clash in the Davis Cup semis last year where Stepanek withstood 78 aces to win 16-14 in the fifth. I don’t think they’ll top that but I expect the same winner. Stepanek almost came back against Roddick in their Brisbane final and is once again playing well in the beginning of the year.

There were plenty of Andy Murray fans who were worried about his ranking slipping to five and resulting in a lower seeding for the Scot, but I think things worked out pretty well. The Scot has a favorable path to his first Aussie Open quarterfinal.

Quarterfinal Prediction: Murray def Nadal 6-1 4-6 6-3 7-6

In the first semi, Federer takes on Djokovic, again. The Serb won their most recent encounter in Federer’s hometown, quite the blow. But after two grueling 5-setters, Djokovic is going to have trouble recovering enough to stop the 15-time slam champ. Everyone seems to be questioning Federer’s motivation and focus and all that junk, but I think those questions need to be redirected at Djokovic. While Federer is saying things like, “But if I am healthy this year I can win many more tournaments. And that could also get me more confident, more momentum, and even more things could also become possible – even though last year was fantastic,” Djokovic is whining, “”I played a lot of matches last year, almost a hundred matches so I, to be honest, I’m a bit fed up with the matches.” It’s no secret how much I love Novak, but that’s just unacceptable from a grand slam champion and world number 3.

Semifinal Prediction: Federer def Djokovic 6-4 3-6 7-5 6-3 (turning point in Djokovic’s career?)

In the second semi, we have the US Open champ Del Potro taking on expected-to-be-US-Open-champ-by-now Murray. Murray has never lost to the big man on hard courts and I think that’ll be enough to push him over the hump and get back into a slam final. Del Potro is the third toughest guy in the mental department on tour, but Murray has got to be the hungrier of the two at the moment. Not to mention the slower surface should also give Murray a good edge.

Semifinal Prediction: Murray def Del Potro 6-3 4-6 7-5 2-6 6-4

Since their first and only slam final to date, Federer reached the final at the next four slams. Murray went zero out of four. Immediately after their 2008 US Open clash, Murray made sure to dominate Federer as much as he could, but Federer’s been closing in lately. The Swiss claims he knows how to beat the Scot now, by being aggressive. This is no startling revelation and it’s also left Federer on the losing end more often than not. But this is a Grand Slam final and Federer is going to be determined to show everyone he’s still the best.

Final Prediction: Murray def Federer 6-3 4-6 6-2 4-6 6-3

At the US Open, Del Potro showed the world that the new era of tennis is upon us, Murray is going ton confirm that!


Also Check Out:
Federer Falls, Abu Dhabi Tennis Day Two
Serena Williams, Nadal on Deck: Tennis-X Predictions
Federer, Murray on Opposite Sides of Australian Open Draw
Tennis-X Contest: Pick the 2009 Year-end Men’s Top 10
Roddick, Cilic, and Davydenko off to a Running Start, Murray disappoints at Hopman Cup

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107 Comments for 2010 Australian Open Tennis Predictions

blah Says:

Thanks for going through the draw. I think going by the draw, Federer pretty much is a lock to come out of that section. No one can take him out there. Hewitt should once again make some noise though, but his lost athleticism won’t carry him further than the qfs.

I am always rooting for Gasquet but until he starts to post some results, I am not going to expect anything from him- he might be sent home by Youzny. I like Tsonga in this section if he’s healthy.

DelPo’s section is wide open- I see that you didn’t list any of Roddick’s opponents yet picked him to make quarters- don’t know why. But Cilic, Gonzo, Roddick, Del-Potro are all capable of being the one to come out in this section. I am going to go with Cilic if all he has to deal with is Santoro in the early rounds. I think this is his turn to make a splash.

Nadal’s quarter- This looks to be the most boring section. If Murray runs into Nadal, I’ll still go with Nadal over Murray. I don’t see any very flat hitters that gives Nadal trouble going by your list…

So my semi picks are- Federer defeats Tsonga, and Cilic defeats Nadal.

Federer defeats Cilic.


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

I have the exact same predictions down to the tee up until the finals. I believe we are going to get a Federer vs Murray final, but I see Federer winning in 4 sets.

Federer def. Murray (7-5,7-6,4-6,6-2)

Federer= 16th slam


Janadev Says:

QF:

Davy def Fedex in 4
Djoker def Tsonga in 4
Roddick def Gonzo(Delo reties by then)
Nadal def Murray in 3

SF1: Davy def Djoker in 4
SF2: Nadal def Roddick in 4

Final: Nadal def Davy in 4


blah Says:

on the atp website- “Federer’s daunting draw.” That’s funny.


tennisfan#1 Says:

Janadev,

I am a Nadal fan as well, and wish that it could turn out like that, but I am afraid it will not my friend. Davydenko cannot beat Federer in a best of 5 set format, and it is time for Andy Murray to break through. I also do not think Delpotro is hurt at all, and will make the semis to play Roddick. What is amazing to me is that quite a few people on other sites have Cilic making the final. I am sticking with mypredictions though.


tennisfan#1 Says:

Blah,

They are making it out like that so Federer will look like a hero when he wins it. Pathetic.


tennisfan#1 Says:

Why can’t Nadal get a good draw. I mea Isner in the 3rd round and than Karlovic in the 4th round, and than Murray in the quarters. Are you kidding me. Talk about duanting.


Mary Says:

Blah: On ESPN nobody picked Federer to win it.

I think this year it will be two new people making it to the men’s final.


blah Says:

Mary: Hopefully, but I would say that’s wishful thinking. As I said before, I am picking him to at least make it to the final every time until he, well, stops making it to the final every time.


Janadev Says:

Tennisfan,

Well, I can understand your comments about my predictions and your comments are very realistic..

After watching the Doha tourney including final, some how I felt that Nadal got his old spark back. He lost the final than Davy won it.. Rafa’s shot selection at some moments was went completely wrong(He straightaway put the ball to Davy instead to open cout).

I hope he solved the problem by now.. and he can destroy the oppostion in AO…

Regarding Davy def Federer.. we know that Davy is not good in 5 sets, still I give him an edge in Qtrs as I think he can turn it around this time..

Lets see what happens in next couple of weeks :-)


jane Says:

Bah Ben – how come you changed you’re earlier prediction? Don’t you think a Murray/Djoko final would be better? : ]

I could see Murray winning, so I can see why you made that choice. He’s going to want to break through this year and he will be extra careful not to slip up. But if he meets Nadal, it will be tough. Rafa’s is the best in their H2H meetings, leading 7-2, 4 of Nadal’s wins being on hard court. So that’s a pick em match to me, should it come to pass. Delpo and Roddick are also both on the bottom half, so it won’t be an easy path.

In all honestly, I am not sure what to think about Novak. One minute I think he’s ready to repeat; one minute I worry he’ll lose early. It’s a wait and see proposition. I’d love to see him better his quarterfinal loss from last year, anyhow.

Fed’s got a good draw, so I’d be surprised if he lost before the quarters/semis. If/when he gets there, it depends who’s on the other side. Ben, Andreev has been in the dregs for a long while; last year he lost again and again in the early rounds, slipping from #18 in 2008 to #36 now. Have a look at his results from last year. Fed should get by him in straights. Same with Hewitt. Baggy just beat him in Sydney. Neither Hewitt nor Baggy can beat Fed imo; they’ve both been struggling.

I wonder about Davydenko breaking through a little bit. But it’s tough to really know if he can do it over 5 sets. The odds clearly favor Fed but Davy does seem reinvented and reinvigorated. Is this to be his last hurrah year? Dunno.

Anyhow, there will no for certain predictions for me; I will wait and waffle as usual.

I just hope it’s good and that there are some surprises. Maybe like a Roddick vs. Davydenko final or something? or Cilic vs. Gasquet in the finals? I mean really: that would be fun and a breath of fresh air!


Janadev Says:

Jane,

Its good to see Roddic vs Davy or Cilic vx Gasquet finals or some thing like that..

That will shake the rankings up at top as both Rafa and Roger defending a lot of points from last year…

Cant imagine that at the early season though it bound to happen at some point of the season…

Cant wait for for Monday…


James Morrison Says:

Nadal is equally talented as Roger. But my choice is Roger. He is the Bradman of Tennis.


rafa Says:

My picks:-

Davydenko/Verdasco beats Federer in 4 sets

Tsonga beats Djokovic in 3 or 4 sets

Gonzalez beats Cilic/Delpotro in 5 sets

Nadal beats Ferrer/Monfils in 3 sets

1st Semifinal Nadal beats Gonzalez in 3 sets.
2nd semifinal picks will be made after watching Kooyong final.


Voicemale1 Says:

Federer does in fact have a complicated draw. It’s not just Andreev to open. Hewitt took a set from Federer at the 09 US Open, and ditto Gulbis in Doha. Verdasco was a Semi Finalist here last year; the rejuvenated Baghdatis took a set from Federer in the 06 AO Final; two aged Major Winners from yester year lurk here in Ferrero and Moya; and then Davydenko – who’s won their last two meetings. It’s not the kind of draw to make Federer happy. Not that he can’t get through it. But he’s facing some rather long matches if he meets more then a few of these guys and it’s not the way he wants to show up in the SF, with a lot of miles already logged on the court.

Djokovic would dearly love to get a battle weary Federer in the SF. But he’s got some tricky waters to navigate too. Gasquet, Tsonga and Haas are all in here. Soderling will have to show me he can make another substantial run through a Major before I become a believer.

Del Potro, now having pulled out of Kooyong because of a wrist problem (the same one that hampered him for a while post US Open)doesn’t really come to this Major in great form. Blake, Warwrinka & Cilic are all in his section of the Quarter. They can make it rough sailing for him. Meanwhile this section has one man at the top of it who’s delighted he won’t have to navigate the Federer Quarter: Andy Roddick. Unlike JMDP (and Murray), Roddick’s current form is great. He can go a very long way here, especially if Del Potro craps out early.

Murray and Nadal do look on a collision for the QF. Murray’s played the hit & giggle Hopman Cup and that’s it. Ferrer can make a long match for him. I’d say Monfils could also, but there’s yet another injury report for him (shoulder now), so who knows what that crazy Frenchman will do? Meanwhile Nadal’s draw looks ideal for him, fairly uncomplicated. Intriguing 3rd Round here between the aging vets Ljubicic & Stepanek. That’s likely to go long, and either one would have to then face the prospect of taking 3 Sets from Nadal in the Australian Heat. Best of luck to either of them there.

The court here is a medium fast hard court, and that helps both Federer & Nadal enormously. It’s hard to see Murray take 3 sets from Nadal on a court like this. Nadal’s Forehand is a bigger shot than anything Murray has, and the slower court will enable him to run down a lot of Murray’s junk balling. The court will also help Nadal’s uber spin not only get high up, but also veer left fairly often. Murray has to hope that Nadal makes a lot of errors to lose 3 Sets, and that just doesn’t seem plausible. Nadal will get through to the Semis to meet Roddick.

Federer should come through his matches to meet Djokovic in the Semi Final. The slower court allows Federer to run around his backhand a lot more often, and that will help him if that shot is still holding up. But if Federer’s weary from a lot of long matches early, then it should be Djokovic eking out a narrow win. That’s one is a Pick Em until we know the cumulative effects of Federer’s matches. The less time he’s on the court, the more likely he is to return to the Final.


Kimmi Says:

Ben, you have been telling us how Murray sack almost every time you talk about him, and how he is not going to win a slam soon. Then miraculously you pick him to win all..surprise surprise…
Oh, could it be you want to jinx Murray? (I don’t believe in jinxing though..but maybe you do) I believe you did not pick Djokovic because of his performance at Kooyong? or maybe you don’t want to jinx him? Your predictions are a little iffy!

Yeah Murray..Go for it, it will be a turning point in your career too. Go Murray Go!!


Kimmi Says:

jane: “But if he (murray) meets Nadal, it will be tough. Rafa’s is the best in their H2H meetings, leading 7-2, 4 of Nadal’s wins being on hard court.”

Do you still believe about the H2H thingy? please say you don’t, we have seen too many reasons to suggest, it does not matter..especially at this instance, a lot of Nadal wins on HC happened during those days when Murray was losing 6-1 6-2 to nadal and Djokovic…


Kimmi Says:

Why do you have Venus picture in front while ALL YOU TALK ABOUT IS MENS DRAW? hmmmm


rafa Says:

@ kimmi

Although your posts almost always make good sense but this time you are a bit off.

Nadal only defeated Murray 6-1,6-2 once which was less than an year ago at IW.

His other 3 victories have been 2008 canada 7-6,6-3, 2007 Madrid 7-6,6-4 and 2007 AO 6-7(3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 where murray was dead tired after the third set.

Murray has beaten Nadal twice on Hard courts(although both times in questionable circumstances). Last year Rotterdam 6-3,4-6,6-0 (where everyone thought Nadal would concede and even Murray himself admitted in post match interview that Nadal took that 2nd set playing on one foot) and second time was USO 2008 (where again Nadal seemed injured). The score here was 6-2,7-6,4-6,6-4 in Murray’s favor. It has to be remembered that Murray again looked dead tired in the 3rd set(which he lost) but due to rain the fourth set was played next day where Murray finally finished Nadal.

Apart from these 4 victories Nadal has thrice straight setted Murray (in 08-09)on clay and grass combined.

I am not saying that Murray can’t beat Nadal. Surely he can but their H2H is really indicative of the fact that for Murray to win Nadal needs to be a lot below par and Murray close to his best.

I think Voicemale1 made some perfect points about their possible encounter and I totally agree with him.


rafa Says:

@ kimmi

Just to add to the above post. Your point is definitely valid for Murray Vs Djokovic though. With Djokovic convincingly winning their first 4 encounters between 06-08 while Murray winning the next 3 between 08-09 in straight sets. So their H2H may be 4-3 in Djokovic’s favour but actual situation is different.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Prediction w/ explanation.

Simon, or Hewitt, could trouble Roger in the 4th Rd because it is not the same Roger in 2010, and Simon has trouble Roger in the past and Hewitt has home court advantage. After Kolya’s 2 straight wins over Roger, these players should have belief and motivation. There is no “reliable” sign that Hot Sauce will repeat his 2009 feat. Not sure whether Roger’ll have to play Kolya, the player in best form and confidence. If Kolya reaches the semi, he may be the one to spoil the party?

Nole’s road to R16 is not that difficult, if not cake walk, except maybe Chardy and Youzhny. If Tsonga, who’s lately struggling, goes down early, Nole should secure semi birth without sweating. Soderling has never gotten past 2nd Rd and will not do better than 3rd Rd (or at best R16) this year.

1st Semi final: Roger/Kolya/ Simon vs. Nole/ Tsonga

Del Potro or Cilic should emerge from the 3rd qtr. Roddick won’t probably reach qtr (his alternating pattern of good and bad). If he does, I doubt he will get past Del Potro.

Murray’s only obstacle to R16 is Monfils.
Kohls is not an easy cookie for Rafa in the 2nd Rd. Murray’s AO record is not as good as any of the top 7. It is well-known that AO’s surface suits Rafa better, and he’s playing better and takes Slam seriously plus he’s the defending champ.
2nd Semi final: Rafa/Murray vs. Del Potro/Cilic

Final? Winner? I cannot predict.


Tennis Racquet Says:

I just looked at the vegas odds… and Murray is paying $300 to $100.


andrea Says:

kimmi,

we talk about the men’s draw cos no one really cares about women’s tennis these days. which is definitely a bummer. maybe henin and clijsters and some of the younger pups can put on some ferocious displays at the AO and get us jazzed again.

yawn….another GS and another prediction for murray to win. this is like the movie ‘groundhog day”.


sar Says:

I am hoping for a Djokovic-Nadal final where Nole finally beats him!


Gordo Says:

Ben – good analysis.

The first round match Fed has against Andreev will only be interesting – as will all of Fed’s matches leading up to the second weekend, if Roger’s serve is inconsistent.

If his “A” serve is on board then he should cruise to the semis. If not, then not only would Andreev prove to be a hurdle, but so would Verdasco, should he make the quarters.

How injured is Soderling anyway? The Swede has not lost a set to Tsonga in 2 meetings.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I need to see signs of H2Hs turning around before I rule out their significance. But I agree with you that nothing is set in stone. I just think Rafa may be more tenacious than Murray; Rafa doesn’t usually have sets where he loses focus/concentration. And Rafa has typically not been beguiled by Murray’s game. So if that match comes to pass, and I hope it does, I think that to win it, Murray will have to have both razor sharp focus and an aggressive game plan. He can win it. He has beaten Rafa in best of 5 at the USO (when Murray got to that USO final I thought he played more aggressively,though I haven’t reviewed those matches or anything) and he pushed Rafa to five sets at the AO in 2007. However, Rafa never goes down easily and he’s defending this title. So… it will be a great match if it happens.

I am just going to wait and see.

I agree with some of the pundits who feel this is an OPEN open.


Davydenko Says:

Why not give Davydenko a chance to win the Australian Open?
With his recent victories over Nadal and Federer it seems he has reached a new level.


Gordo Says:

andrea Says:

yawn….another GS and another prediction for murray to win. this is like the movie ‘groundhog day”.

Too funny. Groundhog Day Part 2 – another beginning of the year and more “Federer is not the same old Federer he used to be and he will not make the semis this year.”

At the start of 2008 it was “Yeah, well 14 semis in a row is pretty impressive, but that streak ends this year!”

At the start of 2009 it became “18 semis in a row, but he won’t keep it up this year.”

Now it’s “22 semis in a row, but he’s not the same guy he was.”

I have a sneaking hunch at the start of 2011 it’s going to be “Yeah, yeah – 26 semis in a row, but tennis is a young man’s game and Fed’s pushing 30!”


madmax Says:

Hi Jane and Kimmi!

I wanted to post what I found about rafa’s opponent in the first round (very funny), and a post also about roger. The rest of another post, you can find on the link that I’ve posted which is interesting for those of you that want to look at it – refers to the top 5.

Cheers everyone! Can you believe that we have waited this long? and – it’s almost upon us! Federer is motivated to win. That’s all I am going to say – Go Federer!

(hope that wasn’t too overboard for you Ben?).

Rafa Nadal has a much smoother route to the last eight as he sets out to defend the title he claimed in a five-set thriller against Federer a year ago.

The Mallorcan world number two was paired with Australian Peter Luczak when the draw was made on Friday but may face a third-round hurdle against big-serving American John Isner, who knocked Andy Roddick out of the U.S. Open last year.

“I was just boarding the plane actually and one of my mates called up and he said I (had) Nadal,” the 78th-ranked Luczak told reporters. “Yeah, it was a bit of a depressing flight that one.”

Federer:
Fatherhood can make an athlete rethink. The toughest and roughest footballers can smell their newborn daughter’s skin, look into her eyes and find he’d been wasting his time on trivialities.

Federer says his daughters are ”the big priority” but part of his dedication to keep playing is to give them the chance to watch him. They’re going to be pleasantly surprised, eh? Daddy hits them all right.
”I am really motivated. I realised this during my time off,” Federer says.

”I could have thought that it was nice not to have to do anything. But I was glad when I could practise, when I could get back to the tournaments and feel the buzz. As long as it stays like this, I will keep on playing for a very long time. Mirka is my wife and the mother of my kids. She’s usually the one who gets up at night when the girls are crying. I have a job where I need my sleep, and Mirka is very fast on her feet.”

He said this with a smile before adding: ”But I also try to feed and change diapers. That’s important to me, and I am happy that I can be part of this fascinating time. So much is happening but I haven’t missed one day of their lives so far.”

link to the top five, by Tracey Austin:

theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/tight-at-the-top-for-mens-australian-open-contenders/story-e6frg7mf-1225820166050


Ben Pronin Says:

What picture of Venus?

Kimmi, I’m not trying to jinx anyone. I went through each player in the draw as best as I could while I was writing this. I simply tried to be more objective this time around instead of picking who I want to win.


madmax Says:

Dont believe in jinx’s Ben. It’s a really simple strategy actually – whoever is the MOST hungry AND whoever plays the BEST tennis – will win. ‘MOST’ and ‘BEST’ every time!

Ben, I hope you are well and enjoying your new role – it’s gonna be a stressful but enjoyable and exciting next 2 weeks – I cannot believe, 12 months on, we are here again!


BumblebeeTennisNYC Says:

It’s good to see new faces in the finals. If Murray can play more aggressive, there shouldn’t be any worries in the finals.

http://www.bumblebeetennis.com


margot Says:

jane: posted to you in wrong place! Djko’s draw looking good methinks.
so glad u r not trying to jinx Andy, Ben! Wish I had your confidence but Andy just showed, in Hopman Cup, how it is still so easy for him to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Fed’s draw looks good too. Anybody REALLY think Simon can challenge him? It’ll be v. interesting to see how Davydenko fares.
“Little Laura” out of main draw, that’s a shame but she has many years ahead.


Mary Says:

MM:”whoever is the MOST hungry AND whoever plays the BEST tennis”

If only the first part was true, Nalbandian would win every tournament and slam he entered.


sar Says:

Wertheim picks Djokovic

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201…menseedreport/


madmax Says:

Mary,

never fear. Nalby will be back. Apparently when you have a major hip operation, it is common to get a tear in the abdomen (read that somewhere).

Put it this way, if Lleyton Hewitt can have the same operation, take 6 months off tour then come back and still win tournaments (I think he has won 2 minor ones since his return?), then so can nalby. Just a matter of time.

(I wonder what his physique is like now? He mentioned that he was out of shape and drank too much beer?


Kimmi Says:

Sorry guys about CAPS letters @ 8 am. I pressed caps by mistake and did not see it till I come back home, did not mean anything. Anyways, just thought I should say that now.


Kimmi Says:

Ben, there was a picture of venus in this thread this morning when the thread was on main page.


Kimmi Says:

@ rafa: My 6-1,6-2 reference was of course an exaggeration, but my point was Murray used to lose to both Rafa and Djokovic easily. He never beat both until 2008 when he made his break thru. Montreal 2008 was one of their best match and Murray was slowly starting to believe he can beat these players.

“Nadal needs to be a lot below par and Murray close to his best.”

Here I don’t agree. Although we all know how determined nadal can be, Murray wins are not all because of Nadal poor form (OK only 2 wins)., but the exho in abu dhabi 2008, also shows he could hang on with Nadal..they played a great match.

I agree with you though about Rotterdam (knee injury) but in the US Open 2008 Nadal was playing well..coming in from the best season of his career.

Anyways, players cannot always bring their best game, a lot of factors can cause this..we could argue that Nadal wins to Murray earlier was due to Murray’s poor form too..but I don’t want to go there because that is all another discussion. A win is a win regardless of how the opponent plays.

I think if Murray plays aggressive, his game matches well with Nadals. Looking forward, hope their match materializes.


Kimmi Says:

madmax: I saw the article about the Luczak guy. You can tell he does not believe he can win Rafa..poor guy, going with that kind of attitude he will ofcourse lose.

Thanks for federer quotes…I think he has a pretty tough draw, especially coming in with davydenko loss and very close match with verdasco at WTF..won’t be easy.

For those guys saying Davydenko does not have a chance with federer on best of 5 matches, there is always a first time. He won his first match after 12 loses, I am one of the people who did not believe he could win that match. He won another in Doha.

Do you guys know that davydenko does not need to play 5 sets..he could win in three. I am worried if this match happens, federer looked vulnerable with BH errors and davydenko mental strength is sky rocketed. To save 2 match points against Rafa and go on to beat him, says a lot.

I like davydenko..and if my faves loses, I will support this guy. if he can go and win this AO, it will be the sweetest thing to happen in men’s tennis.


Daniel Says:

One bad thing going for Nadal: He has never defended a title outside of clay!

One good thing for Fed: from the last 4 Slams, only AO was won by the N. 1 Player in the world.


Daniel Says:

Mary,

Priceless joke!!LOL


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimmi, I’m not the one who puts up the pictures so I can’t explain why Venus was up there.


Kimmi Says:

Ben, I guess whoever put the picture made mistake. It was funny because when I first saw the thread I thought it was about WTA…anyways, its all good.


Gordo Says:

Time for some numbers and how they will affect the rankings and Fed’s quest to catch the Sampras record -

Here are the top 10 guys, followed by their current points, then subtracting the points that will fall off from last year’s AO and the resulting total.

Top 10
1 Federer |10,550 – 1,200 = 9,350
2 Nadal | 9,310 – 2,000 = 7,310
3 Djokovic | 8,310 – 720 = 7,590
4 Del Potro | 6,785 – 360 = 6,425
5 Murray | 6,780 – 180 = 6,600
6 Davydenko | 4,930 – 0 = 4,930
7 Roddick | 4,510 – 720 = 3,790
8 Soderling | 3,410 – 45 = 3,365
9 Verdasco | 3,300 – 720 = 2,580
10 Tsonga | 2,875 – 360 = 2,515

Now here are the points that will be added on, depending on how far each guy goes -

W – 2,000
RU – 1,200
S – 720
QF – 360
4th Round – 180
3rd Round – 90
2nd Round – 45
1st Round – do we really care?

So, should Federer win he would have 11,350 points and the nearest anyone could be to him would be if he defeats Nadal in the final and Djokovic in the semis then Nadal will have 8,510 and the Djoker would have 8310. The nearly three thousand point lead should be enough to see Fed remain #1 through every tournament up to the French Open, which would go a long way to him surpassing the Sampras current Total Weeks at #1 record, which is – as of this week – Fed needing to stay on top 21 more weeks.

Should be enough motivation for Fed, not that he needs it.


Kimmi Says:

Gordo, just a little correction. Djokovic reached qtr final last year..so I believe you should subtract 360 ?


sar Says:

Good catch Kimmi.

Yes and I agree, if my fave loses I will want Denko to win too.


sar Says:

Watching Nole and Tomich at Kooyong
http://www.fromsport.com/video-151323.html


Gordo Says:

Thanks for the correction, Kimmi – I mistakenly put the Djoker’s US Open result up. So that’s right everyone, subtract 360 off the Serb from my post above!


Kimmi Says:

Gordo, from your list above its looking good for Djoko chance to break thru to number two ranking.


Ezorra Says:

Djoko just lost the 1st set to Bernard in 30 minutes.


Kimmi Says:

Djoko is not feeling it…hopes he recover. What ranking is tomic…let me check, he is ranked 291


Skorocel Says:

Kimmi said about Luczak: “You can tell he does not believe he can win Rafa..poor guy, going with that kind of attitude he will ofcourse lose.”

Whether he believes or not doesn’t mattter… Not that it would bring any different result anyway ;-)


Gordo Says:

Wait, folks – I went the wrong way. What I meant was – ADD 360 to the Djoker. So after he has his quarter final points subtracted he will have 7,950 points before adding on what he does in the next 2 weeks.

So if he reaches the semi-final he will have 8,670 points, meaning that he would replace Nadal at #2, unless Nadal wins the title again. Reaching the final and losing to Federer would give Nadal 8,510.

Of course, if Nadal wins a semi against Federer and beats Nadal in the final the top three would look like this -

Federer – 10,550
Djokovic – 9.950
Nadal – 8,510

Now that would make a race of it, n’est-ce pas?


Kimmi Says:

Djoko breaks so that’s good.


sar Says:

Somebody woke up.


Kimmi Says:

Skorocel: I don’t say Rafa will lose…it is a very tall order but you make him unbeatable in early rounds. Have you seen upsets where top players lose 1st or second round? They do, it happened. And attituted like “I am going to win this match” always helps.

I am sure andreev is coming thinking he can beat federer…he better be.


sar Says:

Djoko has a crap serve today.


jane Says:

I don’t know how seriously to take this match between Djok/Tomc. I mean it doesn’t look like Djok’s putting in much effort imo. I like the colors of Djoko’s clothes, but I prefer him in a T rather than a polo shirt. Anyhow, I am not too concerned about the results here. Maybe I should be but I am not. Looks to me like Djoko’s pretty casual about it all. But yeah, sar, not too many of his first serves are going in. Nice to see him trying out some volleys and whatnot though.


Skorocel Says:

Kimmo:

Andreev: 3 titles, highest career ranking: 18, career win/loss record: 191-166

Luczak: 0 titles, highest career ranking: 64, career win/loss record: 29-61

See the difference?


Skorocel Says:

Kimmi: Sorry about misspelling your name!


Kimmi Says:

jane: Djokovic tanking/not concentrating/not taking serious…it doesnt exactly send out a positive message about his form and motivation ahead of AO. I get what you are saying but I personally think he is serious about these matches..he better be because it will only do his confidence the world of good.


jane Says:

Kimmi, not sure, could be a confidence boost, but I also think he’s working on approach shots, etc. I am not worried about it. If he plays like this when it matters, then yeah, he’s got some serious issues. But if he loses this match, I am not too concerned. I don’t think he wants to expend very much energy judging by his efforts. Take it how you wish, but that is how I see it. I’ll wait for the AO to be concerned.


jane Says:

p.s. I didn’t say he’s tanking, but he’s experimenting and that’s different than not trying. He’s trying but he’s playing around and seeing how he can do at net etc. There’s a big difference.


Kimmi Says:

skorocel, I know what you are saying..the guy has negative win loss record but hey a little believe is the best medicine.


jane Says:

Amazing that Clement is hanging in there with Isner. Clement’s getting up there at 32. It’s also surprising that Gasquet and Baggy, who’ll meet in the Sydney final, have never before played!


sar Says:

Jane, I got the feeling that he was trying out shots and not wanting to run down everything. He had a crapy serve for sure. If he plays like this in the first round he’s in for a big surprise. I like T shirts on him better too. Jury’s still out on Tacchini.


jane Says:

sar, I agree. I felt like he was (a) experimenting and (b) conserving energy. However, had his serve been firing, he might’ve still won it. And had he chased more down and stuck with the baseline, he’d've likely won too. But he was interested in trying things as far as I could tell. Anyhow I agree that he can’t play like that at the AO. But he knows that I am sure! Also agree on the clothes – jury’s still out. : )


Kimmi Says:

I was surprised about Clement too, when I saw he reached the final. Good tourney for him. Good effort. Good run for isner too.

I think gasquet is starting to feel his game..Great news..love to watch him. baggy too, maybe we will see both improving ranking this year.


jane Says:

Yes Kimmi; I think Gasquet is in Djoko’s quarter at the AO, too, so Novak will have to be very very careful if the two of them shall meet. If Gasquet is the surprise / break through player at the AO this year though, so be it. Have always loved to watch him play when he’s firing. He’s so naturally talented. His best chance to win a slam has always seemed to me to be Wimbledon though.


Kimmi Says:

jane,I feel davydenko will be surprise player (we are guessing)..but anyways AO can bring some big surprises because of the timing..players coming from hollidays etc Lets sit back, pull hair, in your case clean house and enjoy the next two weeks.

Isner/clement to the third set tie breaker..ooops Isner edges thru.


sar Says:

Gilles Simon has been forced to withdraw from Australian Open 2010 with a right knee injury.


Kimmi Says:

Thanks sar: i was wondering where he was, he has not played any of the warming up tourneys or exho

Federer loses one nemesis.


jane Says:

Oh too bad about Simon sar; he’s a feisty and fun player to watch. Yes Kimmi, Davy could very easily be the one to break through. Do you know when Gasquet vs. Baggy is? Also, who’s in the Kooyong final? Is that next? I am so clued out. lol. All I know is the AO begins Monday!


Kimmi Says:

Gasquet vs Davy will be 7pm local time (i think 3am ET).

Koyoong final I think its Verdasco vs Tsonga

Someone correct me if I am wrong.


Kimmi Says:

Gasquet vs Davy…Davy, why do i say Davy..I must be thinking about him. LOL

Its Gasquet vs Baggy


andrew miller Says:

RODDICK is playing well. i dont think he will fall to an isner anytime soon, and he may be in better shape than del potro and more relaxed because of home life. i would take roddick in that one.

as for BLAKE, he actually MUST win any match with del potro. He doesnt have many more chances and desperately needs the W.

I cant see MURRAY doing much in Australia to be honest…all of the big guys do everything he does yet better.

NADAL actually comes in looking super strong. sure he lost in a final but he looks at that as proof that his hard court playing is back. plus he is strong as an OX and ready to defend a title.

And I think DAVYDENKO can go any distance.

So I think that it will be DAVYDENKO. Unbelievable, but he’s kind of like Agassi on hard courts – getting deadlier as he gets older.


Kimmi Says:

Verdasco vs Tsonga

Verdasco took first set 7-5. very solid games from verdy…good job.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Could it also be that Bernard was experimenting a few of his own? :) The 17-year is AO-USO Boys’ winner and is widely expected to be a future star, along side Andrey Kuznetsov, Daniel Berta, and Grigor Dimitrov. He may not be as good as Nole but he can be, in a couple of years.


rafa Says:

[quote]Daniel Says:

One bad thing going for Nadal: He has never defended a title outside of clay! [/quote]

Good thing is that he has remained undefeated after winning a grandslam for atleast 3 more years. So he should be able to defend AO for 3 more years. He skipped wimbledon so he is still undefeated there too after winning it. LOL


rafa Says:

As I said yesterday.. here are my final picks-

1st semi Nadal beats Gonzalez in straight sets
2nd semi Verdasco beats Tsonga in 4 sets

Final- Nadal beats Verdasco in 4 sets.


rafa Says:

Draw Change Alert:-

Simon has withdrawn. That means Isner is moved from his position to Murray’s quarter. Isner V Monfils 3rd round and winner to play Murray in 4th round. I like Isner’s chances here.

Also that means Ferrer is moved to Federer’s Quarter. Now there will be mouth watering match between Ferrer and Baghdatis in 2nd round and Winner to play Hewitt in 3rd round. I like Ferrer’s chances here so Ferrer Vs Federer 4th round.

Finally that means Nadal’s path is even more easier now and he avoids Isner in third round. He will probably face kohlschreiber in third round before meeting karlovic/stepanek in 4th round.


Kimmi Says:

@ rafa: ah..you are right. Its good for Rafa and not so good for Monfils and maybe Murray. We will see what happens. I am hoping for rafa/Murray qtr final to happen.


margot Says:

jane, kimmi, huh, and any other fans: v. nice article about Andy at guardianonline.
huh: have been hearing Chinese authorities are clamping down on internet access so hope all is well with you.


Kimmi Says:

Just to add. Re: Ferrer/Bagdatis, you like Ferrer? Bagdatis just won sydney. Ferrer lost the only match he played in Auckand to clement in second round after he had a bye in 1st round. well, i like Bagdatis who also beat hewitt in sydney. but Hewitt could come thru too because there match in sydney was close.


Kimmi Says:

can you link the article margot?


tennisfan#1 Says:

sf1 federer def tsonga
sf2 murray def delpotro

f federer def murray


Tennis online Says:

Davydenko wanted as a Grand Slam winner.


jane Says:

Well I was kind of hoping Gasquet would win, but kudos to Baggy! Maybe he’ll really come back this year – no doubt he is also very talented. And also, congrats to Isner for his first ATP title.


jane Says:

BB – True, Bernard does have a lot of potential. You make a valid point. Did you watch the match?


jane Says:

I see Verdasco continued to play well throughout Kooyong and has won the title there over Tsonga; if I am not mistaken, I think a number of players who’ve won Kooyong have also won the AO, so watch for Verdasco to make a splash.


Kimmi Says:

I agree about verdasco, he is playing very well, consistent and has a lot of confidence. It will be a good match if he plays davydenko in rd 16..I think davydenko might be a little fast for him but you never know.


contador Says:

http://www.gototennisblog.com/2010/01/15/roger-federer-on-unpleasant-questions-bullsht-and-tiger-woods

madmax, kimmi, interested tennis fans:

just read this candid , impromtu interview ( intelligent questions) given to a french reporter recently in doha. federer talks about rafa, the competition, how he likes to get 12 hours sleep and other unrehearsed comments we don’t often get in english. sounds like he honestly believes in andy murray. feddy really wants to beat sampras record at #1. sounds like that is his ‘fire’ this year.

hope you enjoy and are all well; looking forward to tomorrow’s AO action!


Ben Pronin Says:

That was a really interesting interview with Federer. It’s nice to see him back up Woods that way, clearly Roger’s a good guy all around.


Kimmi Says:

I agree Ben. Thanks contador. Very nice read.

Funny what he said about davydenko…He will watch him like a hawk. LOL


margot Says:

kimmi: just google guardianonline and go to sport/tennis and there you’ll see interview.


jane Says:

I don’t know if this is the article you meant margot, but it does sound like what I suspected about his choice to play Hopman Cup (instead of points events) is in line with Andy’s thinking. He has re-prioritized his focus onto the bigger events – makes sense to me. Here’s the link:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/jan/16/andy-murray-australian-open


margot Says:

jane: that’s the one! Thankyou. It’s a gr8 article and I hope kimmi found it. Yes, Andy is definately prioritising, which given his susceptibility to injury is good news. Still like Djko’s chances btw.


madmax Says:

Contador/zoey! So glad you are back! where have you been? thank you for the link – here is one that I posted on another thread – it’s fabulous and shows the players hitting in the hitforhaiti exho –

http://www/australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/hitforhaiti.html

I think it was Kimmi above discussing Igor Andreev? I dont think roger federer is going to underestimate ANYONE – first rounds to me are always the dangerous ones – but he knows this, so a bit of credit needs to be given.


Kimmi Says:

margot, I saw the article. thanks jane. i hope Murray at least reach the qtrs, he is the faverite to win all his matches up to R16. If he can set himself up to play Rafa, that is when the real challenge start and we will see if he is up to it..i think he does.


Kimmi Says:

madmax: I did not say federer will underestimate anyone, I think he is not..he better be. I was talking about lower ranked players should have the belief they can win when they play top player because that is the only way the can have a chance. example is Luczak guy..from what I read, he seem not believing he can beat rafa.


jane Says:

margot, in the scheme of things, I suppose Djoko has a good shot, but he is an unpredictable player so I have no idea what to expect. I read this SkySports article, and I thought the quotes show a fair balance between honoring the dominance Fed & Nadal have achieved in slams over the last few years, but also noting the possibility that others are itching to break through, and maybe are ready too. Djok cites Murray, Delpo, Roddick and Davy as being particularly ready to challenge. We’ll soon find out.

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12110_5866823,00.html


margot Says:

jane: that was interesting. Djko seems to have taken the same approach to this Grand Slam as Andy. Certainly last year Andy played too much tennis b4hand. Of course there’s a fine line between too much and too little….
Anyway, here we go on the latest roller-coaster. Hang on tight!


madmax Says:

Kimmi, trust me, i do understand how you feel. But I will not go there. I read contador’s article and since then have been reading a few more this afternoon – Federer is raring to go, one article said he was ‘flying around the court yesterday’ – WITHOUT HIS RACQUET – he was “on fire”.

I believe Federer will be fine, remember he is world number 1, kimmi for a reason – He has played Andreev twice. Yes, of course anything could happen to any player at any time – but a bit more faith in the fed, Kimmi is needed my friend.

And Federer will be sniffing the final from the first round – BUT he will only be concentrating on the First Round –

He’s always said that early rounds are dangerous and he knows that – he has got to make sure that he is on his best behaviour!

Got to make sure that he is fully focused and not too much messing around – c’moon Kimmi! Fed will be brave! He HAS to be!!!!!!

Sorry not to have replied earlier Kimmi – been a busy day today.


Thirachai Says:

KORNAEK, co-author of the book Know Your Future, Thai astrology, predicts Serena Willliam and Andy Murrey to win Australian Open. Prediction posted on Twitter 28 Jan. He also predicted Tiger Woods will return to competition between 17 Feb – 7 March 2010 without a win [http://twitter.com/KYFthewebsite]. Read 52 page preview on http://www.scribd.com.


Adam Setia Says:

haha you are all wrong. federer wins again. so much discussions and predictions all for nothing

Top story: Federer, Nadal Breeze In Basel; Murray, Ferrer Advance In Valencia
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