Australian Open Men’s Draw: Djokovic Gets Murray, Federer Falls With Nadal In SFs
by Sean Randall | January 12th, 2012, 7:56 pm
  • 104 Comments

The 2012 Australian Open men’s draw is out, and it’s a good one. To start, top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic will have to deal with Andy Murray this time instead of his usual Grand Slam semifinal foe Roger Federer. That means Federer landed with Rafael Nadal in a sumptuous bottom half semifinal.

From the top, Djokovic appears to have an easy path back to the semifinals. After a couple easy early rounds the Serb could run into the tricky Radek Stepanek. Then face a bigger test in the fourth round against a battle-tested Andy Roddick or Milos Raonic. Roddick has a brutal draw with Robin Haase to start, then possibly Lleyton Hewitt followed by a showdown with the Canadian No. 1. And interestingly Roddick, if he can get that far – a big if – has given Djokovic trouble in the past, especially in the heat in Austalia. But I think Roanic, if it’s not too hot, beats Roddick. In the quarters, I think Djokovic gets Ferrer who emerges from a very weak section that also includes Janko Tipsarevic.

Murray and new coach Ivan Lendl will have their hands full in a French-filled section. Before then, though, he gets rising American Ryan Harrison immediately in the first, then possibly Ernests Gulbis in the third round. In the fourth that’s when things figure to get interesting with Viktor Troicki or Gael Monfils. Monfils should be the man and hopefully push Murray, maybe even stretching the Scot to distance as he did years ago. And that match should set up a the best of the quarterfinal round clashes with JW Tsonga and Murray. Tsonga has a great draw with only Gilles Simon possibly derailing his quarterfinal run. And as of now, even with Lendl’s influence I like Tsonga in the Final Four.

In the bottom half, Federer has to be pleased with his section. The Swiss could get Jurgen Melzer (who plays Ivo Karlovic in the first round) in the third round, then possibly Alexandr Dolgopolov or the winner of the Fernando Verdasco-Bernard Tomic first rounder. I think it’s Dolgopolov who beats Tomic to arrive in that spot. In the quarterfinals, Mardy Fish is the next highest seed but I think Juan Martin Del Potro beats the American and comes through to face Federer. But I don’t think the Argy will have enough in reserves to beat Federer. Not in Australia.

In the final quarter, Nadal looks to be in good shape early on. Ivan Ljubicic can be dangerous in the third round as could John Isner or Feliciano Lopez in the fourth. Tomas Berdych should emerge from a cushy section to get out to that Nadal quarter. And in the end I think despite a shoulder problem I think Nadal reaches the semifinal.

So the semifinal for me then are Djokovic-Tsonga, Federer-Nadal. And the winner is…Djokovic over Federer.

On of the most important things to be mindful of with the Australian Open is the heat. I think the warmer the temperatures to more it favors Federer, Nadal and even Murray. And that could hurt Djokovic and Tsonga. But it’s a fine line with the roof coming into play and the day/night schedules.

Still, Djokovic is the clear favorite and I’d rate Federer right behind based on the draw Followed by Murray and then Tsonga. And I like that everyone is seeded to have a tough quarterfinal, though Djokovic-Ferrer is somewhat suspect.

Overall, though, I like how the draw came out with some new matchups and new blood. It should make for an exciting start of a what could be a very competitive year in men’s tennis.


Also Check Out:
Veterans, Hopefuls Feature in 2009 Australian Open Men’s Qualifying
Wimbledon Men’s Draw Preview: Nadal Falls With Federer, Murray In Quarter Of Death
Miami Men’s Draw: Djokovic, Federer Could Meet In SFs; Nadal Heavily Favored In Top Half
Has Roger Federer Lost A Step? His Trainer Pierre Paganini Is Convinced That “He Has Not”
Roger Federer Says He Hasn’t Heard Of Any Gays Currently In Men’s Tennis

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104 Comments for Australian Open Men’s Draw: Djokovic Gets Murray, Federer Falls With Nadal In SFs

Lou Says:

i think Djokovic if he continues to play like the last year will win this time also. Simple because he has the most balanced game of all. Nadal & Murray’s serve can be a cause of concern for them. if we look at their game stats, we can clearly see Noel is the only one with no weakness in his game: The Big Four (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray) & Del Potro- Statistical Precursor to Australian Open 2012: Part 2 http://bit.ly/ADp4rh


Raging Bull Says:

As a Rafa fan its good to see him on Fed’s half. Apart from an easy SF Rafa will also get a share of all the privileges given by the organizers to Federer (Ex:early start and a days rest).


Wog boy Says:

Friday the 13th

It was Black Friday for some of them, wasn’t it !


Fot Says:

Glad you didn’t pick Federer. Now he has a chance to win! Go Roger! lol!


Federer the Greatest Says:

Nole seems to have got the best draw of them all.


Kimmi Says:

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Roger!


Wog boy Says:

Nole should think about his game and not about draw. If he playes his game near to his best ( doesn’t have to be best) he is going to defend AO. I personally don’t like Tsonga in Noles draw nor Murray. Don’t forget he is going to play him in SF and that is not same as playing Andy in final, you know why. But let see if they are all going to make SF. There is few very capable players who can kick any of big 4+1 out. Delpo has been embarrassed once by Federer at AO can he do it again if they meet? Watching Delpo last night I think Federer can do it again, and Delpo didn’t play bad last night, not at all.
He needs time for his killer FH, if you don’t give him a time he is in all sorts of trouble, and there is no plan B ;(


Kimberly Says:

The submission window is open. Let the party get started. Australian Open “happy” slam draw challenge.

You should get in this contest. Submit your picks here: http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketAussieOpenATP/kimberli254/default.aspx.

The deadline to enter is 1/15/2012 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.


El Flaco Says:

I’m not so sure this is an easy draw for Djokovic. It has the potential to be very physically draining. Ferrer is playing well and could battle Djokovic in a long grind fest. Murray could do the same if he gets to the semis. Think Rome, but best of 5 sets instead of 3. With the heat Djokovic could be worn out by the time he gets to the final. This would be a bad draw for Nadal if he had to face Ferrer in the quarters and Murray in the semis. Both players have proven they can beat Nadal in a hard court slam and he would probably be on the court for 8 hours combined in those 2 matches if he were to win.

If Nadal ends up playing Berdych then Federer it won’t be as physically demanding as having to beat Ferrer and Murray. Berdych and Federer will end points quicker. Berdych hasn’t beaten Nadal in 5 or 6 years and never in a slam. Federer has only beaten Nadal in a slam on grass although they never played at the US Open and only once at the AO. We’ll have to see how Federer’s back holds up. That is a much more serious problem than your run of the mill muscle strain.


Wog boy Says:

@El Faco:

I think you are right , back problem is bigger problem then federer wants us to know. You bet.


Wog boy Says:

I just cheked weather forecast until 22nd and is going to be cold, and I mean cold , around 20 C , 22nd it will go up to 26 in the evening. QF starts from 23rd


Wog boy Says:

Qf starts from 24th, sorry.


Humble Rafa Says:

Apart from an easy SF Rafa will also get a share of all the privileges given by the organizers to Federer (Ex:early start and a days rest).

Raging..Thanks for the love.


Kimmi Says:

thanks Kimberly. I will fill the bracket tomorrow.


jane Says:

I think it seems like a pretty balanced draw – of the big four, is maybe Rafa’s the easiest? I don’t know, as I haven’t looked at the draw, only going by Sean’s article.

Wog boy, good to hear the heat won’t be overwhelming.

Sean, it would be kind of cool to see a Fed/Nole grand slam final. We’ve seen them in lots of semis, but no finals except for USO 2007 when Nole choked like he’d swallowed his shoe. ;)

But who knows? It could be Muzza versus Rafa, or Delpo, or Raonic! Or Tsonga versus Delpo.

Kimberly, should I or shouldn’t I? Slams are the hardest, especially this one, because it’s tough to know what anyone’s form is truly like right now.


skeezerweezer Says:

So happy to finally have Fedal early on instead of a final in a GS. Usually Fed plays Novak, then Rafa has who? In a semi? He(Nole ole ole)is #1 and its nice to see the tourney organizers respect that by the draw.

Go Fed, bring that WTF attitude with ya!


mat4 Says:

Just to quote myself from another thread:

“Roger and Rafa will land in the same half; JWT will land in Murray’s quarter, and Berdych in Djoko’s. Ferrer will be in Roger’s, Fish in Rafa’s.”

My last three picks were bad, but I got two. And I got the semi right, just like I always did in the last three years.

BTW, last year Sod was the fourth seed, and he got Murray, the most dangerous player he could in the quarters. This year, Murray got Tsonga. They are not naive down under.


mat4 Says:

And… please don’t tell me it’s not fixed for the semi. I’ll scream.


mat4 Says:

It is kind of interesting draw.

We had a DelPo-Novak at the FO, then a DelPo-Rafa in SW19, and since then, we are waiting for a DelPo-Fed.

Raonic against Djoko, DelPo against Fed, Tsonga against Murray, Berdych against Rafa… Everyone of the top four seeds got one hot player in his draw (though here it could be random).

Djoko will have problems with big servers, Roddick or Raonic, especially during the day, when the ball is faster.

There is not the shadow of a chance Tsonga beats Murray (though Murray could lose earlier), but Berdych could be dangerous against Rafa, and even Roger.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Mat4, I feel quite differently. Tsonga can beat Murray, but Berdych won’t take Rafa.
You’re right that it was Roger’s turn to get DelPo. Can’t wait for that match. I’m a fan of both, so its unfortunate they can’t meet in the finals, but on the optimistic side, whoever gets through there will be in form- and these are two players who need their best form to have a shot over Rafa.
Rafa seems to have the easiest route in general, and given his record, isn’t Fed a better opponent for him in the semis?
Djokovic has a tough haul, I think. Raonic round of 16, Ferrer quarters, then Tsonga or Murray. That’s a LONG second week. Hope he can cruise this week and conserve energy.

Didn’t see a lot of great early round match-ups, anyone have any picks for the first few rounds?


steve-o Says:

Come. On. Roger!!!


mat4 Says:

TV:

It will be a difficult road for Novak. Right now, I feel that AM is his most dangerous match up, then the big servers… Djokovic always had problems against them. Just see his h2h against Roddick, Tsonga. He even lost against Karlovic.

But Tsonga against Murray… I am a JWT fan, but he can win that one, not even in dreams. He has absolutely no weapon against Muzza except… Muzza himself.

The second week will be a long one, with lots of good matches, at least I hope.


mat4 Says:

… I am a JWT fan, but he CAN’T win that one


jane Says:

hi mat4, based on the draw and current form, who do you see as the most likely winner? I realize all sorts of other issues come into play: i.e., upsets, weather, etc. But just for fun.


blah Says:

why not? when tsonga’s on the only way to take a set from him is through tie breakers. murray has tendencies to fall into a passive game, which is not a good thing against one of the better volleyers in the game.


gordon Says:

Rafa has the easiest draw. Surrounded by qualifiers and low ranked players he has easy to the QF. But in overal draw is quite balanced.


mat4 Says:

Hello, dear.

Novak looked great in Abu Dhabi. Frankly, I thought he improved from last year. He served well, for one. Then, if you want to gauge his current form, just look at his forehand and at how often he plays his backhand down the line. His forehand was ‘ominous’ (to quote Tignor), and he changed direction at will with his backhand. He also played flat and fast.

Though you can never count out Roger and Rafa, for me, the winner of Novak-Muzza will win the AO. Winning against Novak will give Muzza the confidence he lacks for the final. On the other side, if Nole can make it to the final, no one will stop him.

But it is to soon to think about the final yet. We have to see:

1. the state of Roger’s back,
2. was Rafa faking a shoulder injury,
3. Nole’s current form,
4. what Lendl has brought in the Lendl-Murray cooperation.


Thangs Says:

I guess its gonna be Murray/Nadal final..but couldn’t decide who would bite the trophy.


mat4 Says:

blah:

No one beats Murray with volleys, going to the net.

I watched JWT a lot. The plexicushion is not grass, you can’t serve your match out against Murray, and I honestly don’t believe that AM would underperform against Jo. Murray should return well and play his backhand crosscourt to death. He can do that.

I would love to, though, and you quite never know with Andy. He lost in Melbourne in 2008 against JWT, in the first round. But not this time.

Deep inside, I feel this year will be the year of a generation shift. Expect Djokovic and Murray as 1 and 2 at the end of the season. Or 2 and 1.


Wog boy Says:

Nobody is going to bite, nole doesn’t bite them he hugs them:)


mat4 Says:

New tennis words:
fedal, djokorer (syn.: fedole), djokoray, rafole…

This time, it’s only grammar.


jane Says:

mat4, thanks – always pleasant to read your thoughts. I hope you’re right re: “the djokoray seismic shift” :)

I am curious too about this; if big servers trouble Nole (which is somehow odd, given his returning abilities, and yet at the same time, paradoxically true), what kind of player troubles Murray? Is there a type? On one hand, I am inclined to think that it’s a grinding style – not junk ball, but classic grinding out of long points from the back (e.g. Rafa, Wawa, Hotsauce). On the other hand, Murray has been overpowered by very aggressive players – Fed AO 2010, Nole last year was very aggressive, or Tsonga, the year he took out Murray early at the AO.

What say you? In poetical or grammatical form – or both – whatever you prefer.

You know the poete maudit? Do you have anymore to share?


Ajet Says:

I’m somehow feeling optimstic abot fed beating rafa this time. Hopefully I’m correct. There are one of only two things that’d give me utmost pleasure, such as 1.fed winning AO by no matter beating whom, that’s obviusly the first preference. If that’s not gonna happen, then 2. fed beaing rafa at least in semi(this would als give an indescribably unique joy, been waiting since long to see fedfinally beating rafa in a slam).


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Yes, there is a type of play that Andy doesn’t like: power and patience. Just look the way Rafa or Novak win against him (I didn’t watch his match against Berdych), or the way claycourt specialists give him problems. Roger beat him too when he took less risks and waited a bit. I believe that Andy’s slice is a bit overrated, and he relies very much on it.

Then, Andy has an obvious weakness: his forehand from the middle of the court. He usually does nothing with it, and although he can hit exceptionally well crosscourt when he is on the run, if you deny him angles and pace on the forehand, he plays quite neutral.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

There was a compilation “Les nouveaux poètes maudits” recently. But they were far for the old ones. Mostly grammar.


Ajet Says:

Berdych would not beat rafa, you heard it here first! he’s no danger to nadal at all.

but tsonga has more than 50% chance of beating murray, esecially if muzza plays defensive(in which case it’s 80% a sure tsonga win).


jane Says:

mat4, yes, that makes perfect sense – power & patience, and perchance one more than the other sometimes. I suppose Lendl will spot the forehand issue that you mention and try to do something about it, it’s just a matter of when/how.

As you note, that relationship is one of the four interesting things to keep our eyes on re: the top four at the AO (from the list in your 11:59 post).

I will look for that compilation, merci beaucoup and bonne nuit.


Brando Says:

WOW! Absolutely excellent draw for rafa. Very manageable to say the least. Same goes for federer too. A nadal v federer SF should happen, and if it does, I fancy rafa in that one. Nole has a good draw until r4. Roddick/ raonic will be tough, then ferrer can take alot of energy out of him and then Murray potentially, his worst matchup ATM, I feel can take him out. Murray, hands down, has the worst draw. Rght now I favour either a nadal- djokovic final or a nadal- Murray.


Michael Says:

From the look of it, it appears that Murray has the toughest draw followed by Roger, Novak and lastly Nadal. It is good that Federer will not be meeting Novak in the semis for a change and instead will combat with his bitter foe. I am not sure but I want a Djokovic – Murray and Federer-Nadal clash at the semis. That will be quite interesting. But if Djokovic reaches the final he most likely will land with the coveted trophy even if it is against Roger.


margot Says:

mat4: loved your comments on Andy, very interesting, very fair! I think it’s far too soon for ITT to have made any differences to Andy’s game. However, his mind? Well, who knows? Hope Andy takes enough advice to come through the first week swiftly, with no unnecessary expenditure of angst and energy!


steve-o Says:

I pick Murray to make the semis and meet Djokovic, Tsonga or no Tsonga.

Nadal’s quarter is ridiculously easy. Davydenko and Nalbandian are shadows of the players they once were. I doubt Isner will be able to repeat his RG heroics; lightning doesn’t strike twice.

Berdych is a bit of a bully–he pounces and goes all-out when victory looks easy, but he wilts if the going gets tough. One fistpump from Nadal and he will cower. No way he will even take a set from Nadal.

Federer has two potential obstacles in his quarter: Tomic and Del Potro. Tomic is troublesome, Del Potro is even more dangerous. But I think he should be able to manage the semis. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.


Brando Says:

@steve-o: I agree with your take on things. Whilst Murray has the most trickiest draw, he has just won in Brisbane, won 3 in a row at the end of 2011, has a new coach, and other than nadal, has the best game to beat tsonga. He should, and I certainly hope so, reach the SF. An I think he shall take out djokovic. His game isthe most troublesome for nole. If you take out the fact that nole beat andy the 1st 4 times they meet then andy leads the h2h. He Lost in Rome when he should have won, on his weakest surface: clay, and yes he lost to nole here last year: BUT it was a GS final. Going forward, andy is more of a threat for nole than federer will be, and at the least his game can exhaust djokovic prior to a potential nadal final.


malher Says:

@mat4 – semis fixed for sure!!


Aravind Says:

Looking at the draw, here are some predictions
1. Djokovic will reach the SFs. As dangerous as he is early in a tournament, Raonic will find the step up to a returner of Djokovic’s class unsurmountable. Djokovic is not going to lose to Ferrer!
2. Nadal has at first glance exactly the kind of players who trouble him. Ljubicic in third will be tricky. Isner can really trouble Nadal, but he has to get there first. Berdych has not troubled Nadal in a long time, so I don’t expect this to change. Nadal however, needs to play somewhere close to his best to reach SFs. He can get into long matches with big servers, that won’t help him in the second weekend.
3. Federer has an easy ride to the semis. Tomic was routinely handled a 6-3, 6-2 loss by Murray earlier and Federer can hit a much higher peak, especially if he handles Melzer in third round with ease. Federer will mostly face the X-factor in form of Del Potro. This is a difficult one to predict, since we don’t know which Delpo is going to turn up. Delpo’s service has really declined after his wrist injury, especially his second serve to the extent that it is almost comical to see the 6’6″ giant toss up dollies as second offerings. Added to it, he has not shown impressive form in losing to Baghdatis at Sydney. BUT, Delpo raises his game against the elite. None of his matches against the top players were straightforward losses. So he is a threat IF he gets there.
4. Andy.. Poor Andy.. what a brutal draw! All fist three rounds could be tough, but he should get through. I think Monfils will not be able to trouble Andy, but Tsonga is in amazing form so is a big threat to Andy. I think the draw will take too much out of him by the time he reaches the SFs. However, he is in good form with a win in Brisbane and should scrape through. Tsonga and Murray IMO are a 50-50 toss up looking at the draw.

SF – Roger Vs Rafa
The last time Federer beat Rafa in a slam was in 2007 and it was in 5 tough sets on his favorite surface. Rafa starts off the favorite against Federer, BUT his end of year form was not impressive as was his start in Doha. Federer has to play his best against Rafa, and Rafa has to be slightly off. I think if both reach the semis it is 55-45 Rafa…

Djokovic Vs Murray/Tsonga
I think Djokovic gets through either of them and reaches the AO final.

Winner: Djokovic


margot Says:

Unfortunately Aravind, I think you’re probably right :(
jane, only cos it wont be Andy :(


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

There are still some formidable qualifiers waiting to be placed so we’ll see. People tend to predict their wishes rather than be objective. I think the draw is fairly evenly balanced.

Can’t wait.


bstevens Says:

Refreshing draw because finally Djokovic and Federer are separated from each other. The Australia Open always seems to bring a new player into the spotlight (2011-Dolgopolov, 2010-Cilic, 2009-Verdasco, 2008-Tsonga, etc.) and I hope that this year is no different. I would like to see Grigor Dimitrov perhaps make his move this year.


Wog boy Says:

@Margot & Aravind

If you prove to be right, and I hope you will, I will send you some souvenir from AO, just give me P.O. BOX .
Offer closed.

BTW I like Kvitova but Azarenka is coming. She just beat Li Na.


margot Says:

Wog boy: if Aravind is proved right, I will need a huge box of hankies…:’(


Wog boy Says:

Margot, I can send you some with AO 2012 logo, if that is going to ease your pain :)


grendel Says:

Responding to the noisy support Baghdatis received, del Potro said:”I don’t know where Cyprus is, if it’s close to Australia or not.”


grendel Says:

bstevens says:”I would like to see Grigor Dimitrov perhaps make his move this year.”

If he can get past Chardy, he may have Almagro. Get past him, Wawa/Baggy. Win that – no need to go any further, he will have arrived big time. Even so, would you bet on it?

Pick of the first rounds? I like Tomic/Verdasco. Also, Murray/Harrison could be fun. Haase/Roddick has the capacity to spring a surprise.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Grender
Here’s some match-picks for week one:

Round One is a bit week, but here are the intriguing match-ups. I agree that the Murray and Verdasco matches look like the best:

1st round:
Roddick/Haase
Andy Murray/Ryan Harrison
Michael Llodra/Ernest Gulbis
Bernard Tomic/Fernando Verdasco

Second round things get much more interesting. Here are some neat ones:

2nd ROund
Tommy Haas/Rafa
Nalbandian/Isner
Almagro/Dmitrov
Baghdatis/Wawrinka (MATCH OF THE ROUND!)
Monfils/Bellucci
Gasquet/Youzhny
Roddick/Hewitt

3rd ROund
Milos/RAndy
Tipsy/Gasquet-Youzhny
MAndy/Gulbis
Simon/Nishikori
Dolgopolov/Tomic-Verdasco
Federer/Melzer
Young/Rafa


jane Says:

Tsonga lost both matches, I believe, at Kooyong. So is he in great form or not? Nishikori beat both Tsonga and Roddick, and Tomic beat Monfils and was it Tsonga or Berdych? Anyhow, he’s in the finals versus Fish.


Ajet Says:

I am keeping an eye on tomic, something tells me he’s going to create problems for oppnents! The way he played at wimbledon last year was enough eye-opener for me.


Ajet Says:

However, I’m not feeling great about delpo. Don’t think this is his tournament even though I’d love to see him do well here.


the_mind_reels Says:

I’m not convinced with others’ assessment that Murray is the biggest threat to Djokovic in this tournament. Other than conjecture about how playing styles match up, what are people going off of to base that? Djokovic mopped the floor with Murray in last year’s AO final.

Brando’s quote: ” If you take out the fact that nole beat andy the 1st 4 times they meet then andy leads the h2h. He Lost in Rome when he should have won, on his weakest surface: clay, and yes he lost to nole here last year: BUT it was a GS final.”

We can’t just remove their first four meetings to tip the scales in Murray’s favor. He lost those matches, three of four on hard courts, and he lost them badly (sets with scores of 6-0, 6-1, 6-2…). Yes, they were a few years ago now, but given how mentally fragile Murray can be, particularly on the big stage, I don’t see why he now all of a sudden has an edge. Djokovic’s confidence, on the other hand, should be high, and I think the pressure is still very much on Murray’s shoulders: no GS title, new coach, a new year to try to prove again to the world that he’s a contender for major titles.

I agree that Murray *should* get through his quarter, but who knows, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing if he crashed out. It’s happened before. Unless Murray serves about 65-70%, I don’t give him much of a chance against Djokovic. I’d like to see a Murray-Djokovic semi, but I feel like a player like Tsonga would probably actually give Djokovic a harder time. We’ll see.


Forehand_lob Says:

The draws are up, so enter our contest on the inner board!

http://www.tennisxforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3873


racquet Says:

Margot, don’t fret just yet. How many times have we thought Murray’s draw looked soft only to have early upsets like Wawa and Cilic? Then he unexpectedly handles the tough ones with aplomb. I was fearful that he’d be gone by the AO QTFs in 2010 & 2011 and lose to Tsonga (on his best surface IMHO) at Wimby in 2010 – but I fretted needlessly.

This speculation game can make one bonkers. There are so many variables. Best to take it one match at a time.


andrea Says:

i’m not yet ready to bet on murray at GS – even after hiring lendl. rafa has a pack of qualifiers early on which should bode well, plus the mental break of not seeing novak until the final…possibly… fed is always my sentimental pick, but his back will be a question mark when he lost to nadal in that epic 5 setter AO final, his back/serve let him down in the last set and now he’s older.

novak is defending his first grand slam title of the year…he looks on fire.

is this the GS where a new face wins on the men’s side?

the bad news is that i’m out of canada for the next few months so i hope the coverage down here in the US is as good as TSN’s.


Kimberly Says:

ok for the very few of you who want to do the WTA bracket here it is.

Submit your bracket here:
http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketAussieOpenWTA/kimberli255/default.aspx.


pro rafa Says:

interesting yet brutal….. two words that easily describe this draw… as usual, nadal and federer land up with what one can call an easier draw with nadal seemingly having the easier draw among the two…. and alas…. murray…. how can god be so cruel to one human being over and over…. i seriously thought muzza would win his first slam on 29th jan but it so dosent seem so.
Nole is going to look ominous but he could also get exhausted pretty quick especially in the first week with that awful heat
the biggest treat however…. rafa vs roger
this should have happened last year and the story would’ve been different…. but it all comes down to federer’s back….. especially with his apparent and alarming dip in stamina last year against tsonga and djoker mainly…. the more rafa streches roger, the bigger roger chokes…. same story everywhere… 6-3 6-0 in indoor against rafa will count for nothing in this even playing field
wishing the top 4 a fantastic season ahead and all the luck in the world :) :)


margot Says:

racquet @12.17. Very good advice, but I’m not “fretting” over the draw, certainly not the earlier rounds. No, it’s Tsonga and Nole I’m “fretting” about! And if Andy should get past those two, and for me that’s a pretty impossible if, and, if Rafa goes out too early, why waiting for Andy will be a daisy fresh Fed, and we all know what that means :(


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

margot, you have already written off from getting to the SF, have you?


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Sorry, I’ll say that again:

margot, you have already written Rafa off from getting to the SF, have you?


margot Says:

E I E T M O: not at all. Think he’s got a good draw but for me his form is a bit of an unknown, until we see him in action.
Am playing “what if” which is a fool’s game.


Mario Says:

With out a doubt Andy has the toughest match-ups. Against Gulbis, Monfils, Tsonga….he could loose in any one of those.

Raonic and Ferrer are no match for Djoko. So he got straight path to SF.

Not much of a challenge to Roger either.

Rafa should be able to easily get past Berdych.


laslo Says:

Pro rafa
I don’t know if the heat will be a big problem for Novak. Not sure on that. He did alright in Miami and Rafa was the one doubled over.

the mind reels
Murray has never one even ONE set in a GS final. Not saying that it can’t happen though.


Steve 27 Says:

Randall said: So the semifinal for me then are Djokovic-Tsonga, Federer-Nadal. And the winner is…Djokovic over Federer. Federer over Nadal. Let me laugh. Hhahaa. The last victory of the swiss was almost 5 years ago when a peak Federer could easily have lost his match against Nadal in his beloved Wimbledon. And the age of 30s thinks he can play a five set match against the spaniard. i dont think so. I think these years of domination by the Swiss were hurt and tennis enthusiasts believed that Federer was invincible and could win as much as you pass through. Well, those years are over and thank providence Nadal and now Djokovic first ended the hegemony of the Swiss. It would have been not only boring, but sad that a player would have taken more than 20 Grand Slams to his credit. I mean really, without any disrespect for him. The final will or Djokovic / Murray against Nadal. I hope that the Scots can beat the Serbs – I believe ithecan do it-, and can play an unreleased final against the Spaniard. I wish.


racquet Says:

@ margot

Aah, ok. I see you what you’re saying.

As if to reinforce my argument that the speculation game is futile, over at Sports Illustrated some of the so-called “experts” have predicted that neither Nadal nor Federer makes the 2nd week! :-o Oh, and that either Djoko or Tsonga will win it. hah! Djoko to win – what a bold prediction!

The only one that I’m 100% behind is Roddick suffering an early upset.


jane Says:

At Tennis.com I notice Bodo picked Muzza to win it.


trufan Says:

I think this is the most open/uncertain slam in nearly a decade. No really clear favorite.

djoke certainly has the best chance, but has some question marks. Nadal is past his prime (yes, don’t be acting surprised), so a hard court slam seems a stretch. Federer is OLD, and maybe injured. Murray is murray, what can you say (I don’t think even Lendl can fix him now). Delpo still hasn’t hit his old stride. Tsonga could make some noise, but is inconsistent. Raonic? Dolgopolov? Unlikely.

So it could be anyone.

If he is fit, perhaps Djoke will take it again.


racquet Says:

@Jane

I noticed that. I think he’s just being mischievous. I find it hard to believe given the usually derogatory tone of his pieces on Murray. I have little respect for him overall.

The espn expert picks will come out shortly. I respect some of them more (e.g. Cahill, Gilbert) but even they have been woefully wrong on many occasions. Heck, even the retired legends often miss the mark.


jane Says:

racquet, last year I think only P-Mac picked Nole. The majority picked Fed or Rafa. So they are guessing as much as us. :)


grendel Says:

“even the retired legends often miss the mark.” Of course they do. They have no better idea than anyone else who is going to win. We listen to their opinions, or I do anyway, partly because in all of us (yes, alright then – in me anyway)there is a strain of infantile credulity anxious to be reassured by daddy expert. But mainly because everyone (even sophisticated, can’t fool me egalitarians like us)is always interested in what the famous have to say, and also because it is actually interesting to hear what a genuine expert thinks.

That doesn’t alter the fact that the expert is no more likely to get it right than anyone who is reasonably well informed – posters on tennisx, for instance. That’s because there are just so many variables that the experts are quite unable to quantify them in relation to each other.

After it’s all over, of course, the expert comes into his own, and calmly tells us, with enormous authority, exactly why so and so has just won. Even though two weeks earlier, he had predicted somebody else.


grendel Says:

ah, jane – I see you agree with me. Excellent!


racquet Says:

“it is actually interesting to hear what a genuine expert thinks.”

Absolutely. I’m always fascinated to hear legends/experts analyze current players’ games. Especially when they reaffirm my belief in a particular player. It is reassuring.

On another note, there’s a good piece on the new Lendl/Murray partnership (and Lendl’s first official interview as coach) in the D Telegraph today:

http://tinyurl.com/6sh6qju

I’m officially excited now. Roll on 2012.


Steve 27 Says:

past his prime? He thinks Nadal is Courier? Another blind fan of Federer. But never mind. Only one tennis player is superior to Nadal and is only the Joker. I believes sincerely, Murray can do it very well and reach the final and like i said before will be unreleased match.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Djoker is the man to beat, and odds on fav until further notice. If he plays close to the way he played last year, its a no brainer for me.

Hope Fed goes far enough to make all 30 yr old players proud!


Nikola011 Says:

The facts are:

1.Murray will CHOCKE if he reach SF.

2.If RF or RN reach SF that would be very good start of year for them!!!

3.When enybody see Joker in the final, i mean LOL.

So u if u have extra money put a few $ on Djokovic.


Kimberly Says:

Kimmi and Jane, waiting for your brackets. I promise u will do better than colino6 his bracket is going to bomb


Mg Mg Says:

Whoever is in Fed’s half, they all will get better scheduling. They will get 2 days off before the final.


Mg Mg Says:

Fed is always lucky when it comes to scheduling at every tournament but Novak is clearly the favorite by a mile this year. Hope all the big fours make it to the SF. Can’t wait.


Mg Mg Says:

Fed, Novak and Andy always play well at AO. Hopefully Rafa will get his confidence back this year.


Ajet Says:

”The last victory of the swiss was almost 5 years ago when a peak Federer could easily have lost his match against Nadal in his beloved Wimbledon. ”

steve27:

May be you were watching a different wimbledon final than the rest of the world. Nobody gave rafa a chance in that match, fed was the prohibitive favourite! Nadal pushing fed to 5 sets was a breakthrough for him, that’s all, nothing more than that. Unliess one were a crazed nadalite, he/she could obviously see that not for even one moment fed looked like giving his wimbledon title away to nadal. Don’t think of the federer of 2007 as the shaky and out of form fed of 2008 who would allow nadal to walk away with a two set lead! And even by 2007, fed was showing signs of fall by losing more matches than usual! Yet I don’t blame Nadal for not being able to beat the fed of 2007, who, despite falling a bit off from his unstoppable form of 2004-06, still was a beast(unlike fed of 2008 who looked like wimbledo was the last place where he would wanted to face nadal).


sheila Says:

hasnt meltzer beaten federer a cpl of times. nothings 4sure, expecially if feds having a bad day or his back is still bothering him. i simply am hoping he can win another cpl of majors although quite honestly im picking nadal. nadal’s pissed that he lost 6x 2 djokovic so i think this will b a year of revenge 4him. murray????, unless i chim win a major theres nothing 2discuss. delpo lost 2 bagdatis & doubtful he could win nadal or djokovic. tsonga is 2 inconsistent & berdych, pleez he will never get by nadal because he doesnt believe he can win nadal. my prediction: nadal & djokovic all year will be dominating again—boring!!!!!!


Ajet Says:

”Federer over Nadal. Let me laugh. Hhahaa.”

steve27:

Keep some of your laughter as reserve as you’re gonna need it for helping you to deal with the heartbreaks which other guys are going to give you after nadal starts getting beaten by them more and more often(in slams as well as outside). HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Btw, loooking at you wishing for th scot beating the serb also makes me do HAHAHAHAHA! ;)


alison hodge Says:

murray never has won a grand slam,certainly does not mean murray never will win a grand slam,until he retires he has as much chance as anybody,murrays been as high as number 2 in the world rankings,and been in 3 grand slam finals,he lost to the player who had one of the greatest years ever,and the other was to the best player to ever pick up a tennis racket,us brits are very proud of him for that,and im positive he will win a slam sooner or later,hes too good a player not to.


paradox Says:

Ajet, Nadal had 4 breakpoint chances in the early part of 5th set of 2007 Wimbledon final which he could not utilise.Federer was so frustrated by the end of 4th set,that he was getting irrational and arguing with umpire and using profanities,telling the umpire to switch off the hawk eye!.Federer was so lucky to win that final after being in such a negative mental state.


margot Says:

jane, it’s easy. Just go into the link Kimberly has posted and do your picks. Log in and go into our pool and you will your two picks. Bingo!
Just did a second to make sure, wasn’t going to because still see Nole winning. Bit like what Skeeze said!
According to web site you have 15 hours, so hope you pick this up b4 then.


margot Says:

PS Blow it! Gonna change one, gotta have Andy winning, haven’t I…;)


Ajet Says:

paradox

don’t make paradoxical stateents. Nadal couldn’t convert coz that was the fed of 2007 who DID NOT ALLOW HIM TO at that critical moment. It was a federeresque thing you know, those days… I can’t blame nadal for the loss, nobody could have beaten fed that day. And getting frustrated means nothing. Rather it shows that nadal couldn’t captalse even on the momentary frustration of roger to swing the momentum in his favour, coz it was out of the reach of nadal. Nobody can do the impossible, not even nadal! ;)


Ajet Says:

I’d rather say nadal was lucky to push fed even to 5 sets in 2007 wimbledon, hahaha! ;)


Ajet Says:

And only if fed had taken 5-10% of his chances in WIM 08, that was offered to him by rafa and rain, then he’d have won! Too bad, he didn’t! And the fed of 08 was kinda shadow of his former self btw. both fed’s game and his confidence as well as fitness were quite low compared to his peak years. And that was very very obvious too..


Skorocel Says:

“Nadal couldn’t convert coz that was the fed of 2007 who DID NOT ALLOW HIM TO at that critical moment.”

Exactly. One of those very rare moments when Federer got better of Nadal when the match was up for grabs…


JustMe Says:

You’re picking Nole to win AO 12? That’s the kiss of death since you’re notorious for being wrong.


Kimmi Says:

kimberly – did u make women bracket challenge? i dont believe I have not seen the link. if you have please post the link..


Kimmi Says:

thanks margot.


Steve 27 Says:

ajet o whateever you are a blind fan of the swiss. Federer himself said the wimbledon final 2007 Nadal could have won. But nevermind. talk to someone like you is only lost my time. I expect you are minor because an adult male doesnt dotantrums as you do. Only prays to Goat Djokovic for Nadal does not exceed your idol who is downhill. Good bye.


Michael Says:

Paradox,

Nadal had 4 breakpoint chances in the early part of 5th set of 2007 Wimbledon final which he could not utilise.Federer was so frustrated by the end of 4th set,that he was getting irrational and arguing with umpire and using profanities,telling the umpire to switch off the hawk eye!.Federer was so lucky to win that final after being in such a negative mental state.

Nadal had 4 break point chances in 5th set, but do you know Federer had 37 break point chances against Nadal in the Australian Open 2009, but couldn’t convert. Compared to this, don’t you think this is just nothing and only one can conclude that Nadal has moles in the right places to win that 2009 australian open ???

Federer was lucky to win at the end and ie. 2007 final. Is 6-2 final score lucky ?


Michael Says:

Ajet,
I’d rather say nadal was lucky to push fed even to 5 sets in 2007 wimbledon, hahaha! ;)

I would not agree to this. Nadal made good fight of it and the match went to five sets. He began to show to the World that he was not an one court wonder. But in the end, Roger was the better player that day and won.


Michael Says:

Alison,

murray never has won a grand slam,certainly does not mean murray never will win a grand slam

The coach he has hired namely Lendl won his first major at 24 and now Murray is also 24. There will be a coincidence if Murray manages to win his first major this year. Lendl made about 7 finals before winning his first major and Murray has just made 3 finals. It will be great if he manages this feat in the current Australian Open. But he is having a brutal draw in place and things will be difficult right from the first round. He needs some luck and can do it if the top 3 are not available in the final hurdle.

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