Australian Open Preview: Nadal Gets Tomic In Loaded Top Half With Federer
by Sean Randall | January 9th, 2014
  • 230 Comments

The season’s first Grand Slam is upon us and the just-announced draw is a good one, if not unbelievably top heavy.

On the first page are no less than Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, JW Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro. Add in Australian heroes Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic plus rising stars Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov and you have quite a powder keg — did I mention Tomic plays Nadal?

On the bottom half, Novak Djokovic’s bid for a fourth straight title is looking good — very good — with just Stan Wawrinka and either Tomas Berdych or David Ferrer in the way of another final. And that’s about it unless you factor in the forecasted heatwave.

So here are my quarter-by-quarter breakdowns:

While top seeded Nadal is in a brutal half, his quadrant isn’t all that bad. He’ll open with a tough test against talented youngster Tomic, then potentially another one in Thanasi Kokkinakis followed by either Gael Monfils or Jack Sock in the third. In the fourth round it’s maybe Lleyton Hewitt or Kei Nishikori, two similar-type opponents. The quarters are where things could get interesting for the Spaniard. With Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov or Juan Martin Del Potro all angling for that last eight berth, it will be a heck of a shootout in that section. And with the heat — none of those three are great in the hot weather — I still like Del Potro to come through, but what shape will he be in against Nadal.

My guess is not good enough.

In the second quarter is where we find four-time champion Roger Federer. The Swiss has a nice opener against Aussie James Duckworth but then a dangerous date with Radek Stepnak followed with a possible collision against Fernando Verdasco in the third. In the fourth, among Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Marin Cilic, I still like Tsonga. He’s a former finalist and if the courts are playing fast that’s to his advantage.

In the quarterfinals with a bunch of qualifiers in his section, Murray has to be pleased. So I like the Scot to come out to face Isner or perhaps Phil Kohlschreiber before running into Tsonga or Federer. And right now I think that guy is Tsonga who beats Federer then beats Murray to reach the semifinals.

Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer are the top guys in a extremely wide open third quarter. Tommy Haas, Jerzy Janowicz, Jeremy Chardy, Mikhail Youzhny and Kevin Anderson are in the mix there as well. But if they play well, Ferrer and Berdych should meet in the quarters. Can Tomas take advantage? What about David in the heat — he should thrive. For now I’ll take Tomas.

In the final quarter, with Dimitry Tursunov, Ernests Gulbis, Fabio Fognini, Sam Querrey, I don’t now how Djokovic even loses a set en route to the quarters. The only thing that could get him is the heat, but he’ll likely be indoors in AC for his matches or at night. In the last eight the Serb could have another showdown with Wawrinka or maybe even Richard Gasquet who both have good draws. I like the way the Swiss has been playing and he’s among the fittest guys on tour, so I’ll take Stan to face Djokovic in that quarter. But Novak gets through.

So here are my semis: Nadal v Tsonga; Berdych v Djokovic. And in the final right now I like Djokovic over Nadal.

Overall, the draw looks great for Djokovic, horrible for Federer and so-so for Nadal. However with the heat I think that helps Nadal the most.

And heat, if it really comes, will be a huge factor the first week and the guys who did the most work, trained the hardest are going to win.

Sunday night can’t get here fast enough!


Also Check Out:
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2009 Davis Cup Draw Released; Federer v. U.S., Spain v. Serbia
Benard Tomic On His Father: He’s Still Working With Me, He’s Still My Dad, I Love Him A Lot
Is Bernard Tomic’s Dad Now Head-Butting Practice Partners? It Appears To Be The Case!
Bernard Tomic: Taking A Set From Federer More Exciting Than Taking One From Djokovic [Video]

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230 Comments for Australian Open Preview: Nadal Gets Tomic In Loaded Top Half With Federer

A Tango Lad Says:

On the contrary, I cannot see how Nadal could have a more difficult draw in the early goings with Tomic in the first round and Monfils in the third round. In addition, Del Potro is the toughest out for Nadal in the quarters amidst the 5-8 seeds he could have drawn.

Roger will have no problem getting to the fourth round and should be the favourite if he meets Tsonga at that point. Murray’s unproven form could make for an interesting Melbourne rematch should Roger meet him in the quarterfinal.

Regardless, with a relatively empty half for Djokovic, this tournament really is on his racquet.


Gannu Says:

fck…Feddy bear gets the worst draw these days…and he will lose and say i played well…tsonga was better than me tonite…positive is that new racket is working well, health is holding off, back is fine…needs to have a good hard court season before going into clay, hope to peak by wimbledon…I enjoy the game… blah blah…

Tired now…


dari Says:

Gannu I don’t even recognize you. Enjoy Rog and his game while we can!

It seems like with the top of the draw loaded, we will have exciting OOPs on Roger/Rafa/muzz/delpo, etc etc days and not so much on Nole/ferrer days.

As always, Rog at his best can win the whole thing. Look forward to the smack for the next couple days here, then bring it Sunday night!
Lets go Roger


Gannu Says:

Well dari…i somehow cant accept Feddy bear to be a journey man towards the end of his career and create all kinds of negative records…wats the point? His regale existence is in Q now…No one is going to take off his achievements….nevetheless he needs to stop being in denial…Let him win anything credible and then talk…


Steve 27 Says:

I hate to say this but my money is for Djokovic. He will tie Wilander and McEnroe by the end of January. This is so predictable, he will be the Australian GOAT of the Open Era. Where is jamie by the way?


dari Says:

Hmmm, Gannu,


dari Says:

Whoops sorry didn’t mean to hit send. Surely you’ve read this quote from Roger, Gannu
Sometimes you’re just happy playing. Some people, some media, unfortunately, don’t understand that it’s okay just to play tennis and enjoy it. They always think you have to win everything, it always needs to be a success story, and if it’s not, obviously, what is the point? Maybe you have to go back and think, Why have I started playing tennis? Because I just like it. It’s actually sort of a dream hobby that became somewhat of a job. Some people just don’t get that, ever.


skeezer Says:

Vamos Rafa, Best easiest draw ever! No excuses now…..pahleaaase!


Humble Rafa Says:

I expect the Arrogant One to lose to the Worm, but go home happy after having received some good women “tips” from the incredible Worm.


Kimberly Says:

Djoker has got a good one. Only players with any realistic shot at him are del potro Murray and nadal and they are all far away. Berdych Federer and Wawrinka small outside shot. If stars were aligned maybe. But they would need cosmic help.

Federer could lose to tsonga but could also win and beat Murray if he is not 100 percent yet which most people seem to think he is not. Then with all due respect, he better hope like h-ll del potro shows up and not rafa! Let’s say he beats nadal (I do t think possible) or delpo and meets djokovic, can he win? My thought is no! So if it’s Federer he needs ferrer or berdych to come through! IMO a semi would be a great showing for Roger this tourney .


Steve 27 Says:

Stakhovsky will defeat the Arrogant again


Thangs Says:

Sean must be real happy today..


M Says:

“Djoker has got a good one.”

Too good, if you ask me.

The only serious threats he has are TBerd – and he wouldn’t see him till the semis – Wawa, if he has the strength to repeat lights out from last year, and Ferru, if he has half his head on after his coaching transition.

Meanwhile, Rafa, DelPo, Muzz, Tsonga, *and* Roger are going to be beating up on each other in the top half.

Le sigh.


Humble Rafa Says:

Where is jamie by the way?

His astrologer has gone missing. So has Jamie’s brain.


Steve 27 Says:

In other news, Newcombe wants a fifth slam in China There a billion reasons to do it.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/01/newcombe-wants-fifth-slam-china/50183/#.Us9xJdLuKT4


roy Says:

”Newcombe wants a fifth slam in China ”

sure, since we’re selling off everything to China, why not our traditions…


Okiegal Says:

I wasn’t going to say one thing about Rafa’s draw however it went down……but Sean Randall did……top half loaded…..I will agree.

Bottom half all Sugarpovary……..sweet for Novak!!


skeezer Says:

In other news…
Rafa a shoo in to win AO with a buttered sauce draw. Fed who?
Fans are saying his humbleness will get him through. No excuses..
#vamosheadsunite


kjb Says:

Interesting draw. Looking forward to the possible Djokovic/Wawrinka quarterfinal. Their match hear last year was my favorite match of the year.

Rooting for Fed to make a good run, might open up if Murray is upended early which may happen.

Love the possibility of the Nadal/Delpo QF too. Delpo needs to avoid marathons in the heat in the early rounds to have a chance at all but he has beaten him at a major so heres to hopin.


nits Says:

not a balanced draw
still no complaints
u need to beat the best to be best

vamos rafa !!!!!!!


nits Says:

intresting matches – might happen
federer tsonga
nadal del potro
djokovic wawranika
federer murray


Giles Says:

We’re gonna see, no ?
Vamos Rafa!
Stay Healthy!


Giles Says:

A joker fan tweets:
“It’s a shame that Novak got a good draw in his best slam when he doesn’t need it. Why not in RG or Wimbledon?”
That’s gratitude for you!!


Steve 27 Says:

This is the Boom Boom Effect!


Michael Says:

Novak has an easy path till the semis while it will be a struggle for both Roger and Rafa. Andy too has an easy section and looks comfortable. That being said, I agree that in all probability it should be a Novak Vs Rafa final.


Hippy Chic Says:

I wasnt really bothered about the draw,and i never am TBH,i just wanted Rafa and Andy on opposite sides,and Novak and Andy on the same side,for a chance of them meeting in the final which we have never had,just for a change :((..


Hippy Chic Says:

Meant for chance of Andy and Rafa meeting in the final in my above post.


Hippy Chic Says:

Michael you should be pleased with Novaks draw,and rightly so,Berdych and Ferrer will be lucky to even get a set off him,and Wawarinka can trouble him as he did last year,but somewhat hasnt got it mentally against the worlds best,the other side looks very heavy,so i think Novaks a shoo for the final/title,its just who he will face depends on whos the least knackered.


Margot Says:

@HippyChick
Just seen Andy lose to Hewitt. He’s so rusty I could hear him squeaking from here! His UE count was horrendous so I personally will be very happy to see him in the second week.
On a positive note his serve was awesome so hopefully all his back problems are behind him…Lol possibility for punning is just endless it seems…
@courbon
Hmm, that draw….did u sell your soul to the devil…;)


Hippy Chic Says:

No offence to Novak and fans,but i wont bother watching his early round matches against journey men that are basically target practice for the guy,love love and one no point really IMO,AND YEAH YEAH i know its the same for Rafa on clay before im heckled.


Giles Says:

Joker and Boom Boom must be laughing all the way to the bank!!
Vamos Rafa!


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot i will just be taking it as Rafa would say one match at a time,he is rusty(no pun intended),its still early days and im sure hes still trying to play himself into form.


Giles Says:

How can you say Rafa is rusty? He has just won a tourney hasn’t he? Andy is rusty.


Hippy Chic Says:

It does seem strange this draw?4 of the worlds best tennis players and GS champions Rafa,Roger,Andy,Delpo in one half of the draw,IMO the best half of the draw,and where the best matches will be,and Novak on the other side hmm bizarre.


Brando Says:

They should cancel the event and just announce Novak as the winner. Now. That draw has him winning for sure. Just look at it: Pre final who genuinely can threaten him? Scratch that- who can he face that has Beaten him in the last 3 odd years? NO ONE. He’ll get to the final easily. And he’ll have 2 days rest for it. This is the biggest jackpot draw I have ever seen, and we know why his fans are silent right now: they are too busy laughing their butts off at this good bit of fortune. I don’t blame them. And who can he face in the final? Fed? Will he really beat Tsonga, Murray, Nadal and then Novak? Of course not. Muzza? He’s so rusty that you cannot see him beating Isner, Fed, Rafa and then Novak. Too much, too soon. He’s out. Delpo? LOL- in that heatwave and then Raonic, Rafa, Muzza prior to Novak. Erm: Nope. Rafa is the only realistic challenger and as many commentators have said: he’s got the draw of death. Tomic first up, Monfils in rd3, Hewitt I. Rd4, then Delpo and Muzza Pre final. That’s as tough a draw you could. Talented, GS QF home player first up, rejuvanated Doha RU in rd 3, Brisbane winner and home fighter in R4 and then Delpo, Muzza or Fed. They need no introduction. Nightmare draw. Whoever faces Novak in the final will be battered, bruised by facing such a draw in this heat. Like Neil Harman said @ the time: the Djoker must be smiling wide with this draw. And why wouldn’t he: it’s just handed him his 5th AO title.


Hippy Chic Says:

Giles Andy is the one who is rusty not Rafa,you misunderstood my post,its like Rafa would say,im taking it one match at a time meaning for Andy got it?


Brando Says:

PS: I won’t be dropping in for a while now, so ill get the necessary out of the way: congrats to Novak and his fans on the AO win. It was some tough winning but didn’t the mighty conquer all or what? Enjoy!


Giles Says:

alison. Ok. Misunderstanding all round. :)


Giles Says:

Has this draw been rigged?
#JustAsking
#AnyoneElseThinkTheSame


Giles Says:

Tweet from Andy Murray:
Just seen provisional aus open schedule ….day 2 …. Nadal vs tomic 1st on court 13?? What are the organisers thinking!


Hippy Chic Says:

It does seem strange Rafa the world number 1 ,and Tomic an Austalian court 13.


Daniel Says:

Brando,

I agree on paper. But the last time we had similar draw (Wimbledon 2013), Djoko didn’t won and Murray got his path clear with Fed and Nadal out (both who had being his nemesis in SW19).

I still think this heat and time of day of the matches will play a factor.

Some of them may not be fit enough from the get go.
One think is almost certain. Djoko will be in the final (but still anything can happen), he doesn’t like heat that much and most of his battles in AO happened in cooler (for Aussie standards) temperatures.
If we look at this player the ones who don’t get bothered with heat are Fed and Nadal, but Fed is old and with this draw only if 2 of the 5 potential players he have to face (Tsonga, Nadal/ DelPo/Murray, Djokovic) has to fall, specially, Nadal and Djoko for him to have a chance.
Imagine this, DelPo bets Nadal in a long match and somebody beats Djoko, suddenly the tourney looks good for Fed.
I don’t think Murray will be a factor still, hope to be wrong as he likes this AO courts, plays well here, 3 finals in last 4 years.
Who ever saves energy the best for finals matches will have an advantage as well. Is not just that top guys have to go through death draw, they have to do it fast. And I see all those potential matches going the distance.

Will see, hope we don’t get a bunch of upsets and this draw live up to its hype


Daniel Says:

That must be a mistake (ref court 13), impossible! That will be prime match of the day any Slam for a first round.


Izzy Says:

Well guys the heat will definitely come.
These are the daily temperatures in Melbourne during the first week.

Monday 34 degrees Celsius
Tuesday 41
Wednesday 39
Thursday 38


madmax Says:

such a doomy and gloomy lot, you guys! Think of it this way, you know if someone has too much of an easy draw, it can go against them? Not enough on Court time, we know what that has done in the past. Rafa’s draw? Hmmm everyone out there! He is the World number 1! For a reason! Because he is the best and he beats the best, remember?

Whilst Novak, “should” win, on paper, I am not so sure an easy draw is the way in to the final.

His opponents will be “battle tested”.

Nadal will win against all his opponents, he is used to the heat, (Spain, everyone, Spain!). He loves the sun, will request matches during the day, has openly said, the more sun, the better for his game. Go rafa!

Roger will do his best and I Think gets to fourth round. If he makes it further, I will be surprised but I am happy to Watch him battle it out, just hope he does it in Three sets and NOT five. Too difficult for the nerves.

Andy will play himself into form. He will have no expectations in winning and that is good for him.

Playing against Leighton? Leighton will be busted by the time he reaches AO. He will be done in. Won’t go passed third round. Exhaustion will attack him by then.

Tomic has not got a chance against Rafa because he is all talk in the media. No sweat!

Now Tsonga. That is a different story. If Roger’s nerves can hold, then he will win. He played Tsonga in the SF, AO 3 years ago, was it? Most over rated match of the tournament.

A good draw for all the guys, except Novak, I Think. I would be worried if I was Novak. Too easy doesn’t mean the best way into the final.


Giles Says:

Andy Murray was joking, his usual sense of humour. I guess he was trying to make a dig at Rafa’s tough draw. Chillax! Lol


Hippy Chic Says:

Anything can happen,when Rafa won the title in 2009,he had a tough 5 setter against Verdasco who IMO even as a Rafa fan i would say was the better player,i was actually preparing myself for the RU trophy against Roger who was much the fresher and the more rested of the two players,so i dont buy that a more fresher player with an easier root is necassarily the player who will win the title,on paper sure but the reality can sometimes .be somewhat different,Rafa had a much easier root than Novak at the USO in 2011,and yet Novak still won the title


Giles Says:

madmax. I like your summary. :)


madmax Says:

This IS NOT allowed alison and giles – rafa and federer fans having their “fluffy” moments!

The way I see it, is one perspective. I agree if you are too over tired, then it goes against you. But seriously, Rafa is the fittest guy on tour. He could play tennis in the snow, with skies on! Just because he has spent many more hours on the court, does not mean that he will falter. If anything, it makes him stronger. Alison, you mention about the verdasco match. 5 setter. Yes, I remember it well, and he went on to beat Roger. So , you see, he was battle tested and the more you throw at him, the better.

Roger, on the other hand will do well to make it to the fourth round. The reason I say that is that it will bring back nightmares for him at the USO, when he played Robredo. That is why I say, he needs a sports psychologist now, more than ever. I believe his game is still there. Like I said, it is all in the head. That is where it is at.

With Edberg on board, I hope he teaches him that long rallies now are going to wear him out (not the mid day sun, as Roger too, is used to playing in the heat, with his training camp in Dubai). Edberg should tell him to shorten the points as this is what he is famous for, volley more, shorten the points and don’t get into the long rallies Roger, as Rafa and Novak will exterminate your breath otherwise!

Seriously, Roger is enjoying himself, but will enjoy himself more if he wins. However, this is it for me. Roger has to heed expert advice, and to be fair to him, he has. Racquet, check. Playing more lefties in training, check. Now just do it Roger!

Get to the fourth round! (at least!).


Hippy Chic Says:

Madmax thanks and great post too,you have really put things into perspective,im looking forward to it,cannot wait.


Hippy Chic Says:

Giles is it true Rafa is on day two though? i really hope so as i can watch the match,as i dont have to get up for work the next day,yipee hope so.


Giles Says:

Alison. Don’t know for sure yet when he is on. Rumours that he will play on Tuesday.


James Says:

Brutal draw for the fisherman. Tomic in Rd1, Monfils Rd3, Hewitt/Nishikori in Rd4, Delpo in the quarter finals, Fed/Murray in the semis…
But if he’s playing well, the draw doesn’t matter much. I didn’t watch his Doha matches, so I don’t know how good his current form is. If he’s looking sharp, I think he can win the whole thing.


Giles Says:

James. Yes, and cake walk draw for the EGG lover. As if he needs it!


the DA Says:

The ones who will be affected most by this top heavy draw are the organisers. Poor them. Most of the stars, upcoming youngsters and the 2 main home players are on one side. It will be a scheduling nightmare. The ones who will benefit most are the public who have tickets to all three main stadiums on days where the top of the draw plays. So many potential blockbusters.


Brando Says:

@Daniel and Madmax:

I appreciate the positivity and thank you for it. I’m not one for pessimism and I cannot stand it either.

But my remarks are based on the realisation of REALITY infront of us. To put simply:

Novak has been given the most cakewalk draw I have yet to see.

Sure: players have lucked out in the past with how their draw unfolds, but prior to a single ball even being hit this seems like a done deal to me.

Consider this:

- NOVAK DJOKOVIC:

A record 4 times AO winner, won the last 3 in a row. Based on that a favorite for this title, deservedly. Add in the fact that he’s riding 22 match unbeaten streak then: make that a hot favorite.

With this draw now: done deal. Just look at it:

- He has a combined career record of 51-10 v the top 10 players in has half
- He has NEVER EVER lost to Ferrer, Berdych, Wawrinka, Gasgquet on a outdoor Hard Court match. They are ALL the top 10 players he could face.
- Outside the top 10: Barring Sam Querrey (LMFAO) he has NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER who has defeated him since WTF in 2010. NOT ONE.

Add to that the fact that:

1. ALL his main rivals are in the other half fighting it out in a top player heavy side. Fact.
2. He’ll have 2 WHOLE DAYS rest prior to the final.

He’s got it made.

He’s essentially got a glorified practise session booked with a very likely tired opponent to prepare for in the final.

Put simply:

It’s his to lose.

I don’t blame him a second for this, but it’s quit obvious he could not have had it any easier. Not even in his most wildest dream would he have had it so well made for himself.

He’s got one hand on that trophy already. And he knows it after this draw.


Humble Rafa Says:

Fed/Murray in the semis…

Murray in semis. Reality check.


hawkeye Says:

Brando, Rafa’s 2013 USO draw was as cupcake as Nole’s draw at AO IMO. Maybe even more so.


courbon Says:

@ margot: Nah, not the devil just voodoo darling…
@ Brando: Great and funny analysis.Well, you are right and I had a big smile going to work this morning.But, I have to agree also with madmax and Michael’s take…The point is-draws almost never realise as we think ( Wimbledon 2013 AND OTHERS..)so who knows.But, definetelly tough draw for Nadal and easy for Novak-that is the fact.


hawkeye Says:

Nadal was 35-2 vs the players he beat in his half and 55-14 against the top 10 seeds in his half (including 21-10 vs Fed at the time).


Brando Says:

@Hawkeye:

Of course a Novak fanboy would claim as such.

Let’s look at the facts: I said prior to a ball being hit NOT how it pans out or unfolds.

In comparison:

SF: Both had Ferrer scheduled.

Now Ferrer has beaten Rafa at the USO but tell me how many times has he beat Novak on a outdoor HC?

I’ll save you the long research trip: NONE.

- QF: Rafa was seed to meet 5 time USO winner, GOAT and a player who pushed him extremely close in the last event he played- Cincinatti- ROGER FEDERER.

Who does the Djoker have? A player who has not defeated him since 2006!

- 4th:

Rafa was seeded to meet JOHN ISNER- aka the Cincinnatti RU. Aka the guy who just beat Novak Djokovic there. Aka the most feared possible draw outside the top 8.

Who does the Djoker have in comparison?

Why it’s seed no. 15, gold old FABIO FOGNINI.

LMFAO!

Sorry mate, you could it down however you want but the cookie crumbles the same way:

Novak has got a cakewalk draw here.

And it’s obvious this is the most ridiculous one in recent memory.

As I said earlier: It’s NOT his fault or doing, so fanboys should not throw toys out of the pram about it.

Enjoy it rather!


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon are you doing the bracket challenge?you won the USO one remember?


hawkeye Says:

Brando, see my currently moderated post above (eventually maybe?).

Wow, first Okiegal calls me a Fed fan and now Brando calls me a Nole fan. Fanboy even.

I thought everyone knew I was a vamos head.

I guess when you’re as objective as Sean and I, it’s difficult to tell sometimes.


Brando Says:

@Courbon:

One word: respect.

I respect the fact that you are saying it like it is: if this was Rafa’s draw- believe me- i’d say it loud and clear:

My man’s got it made and if he doesn’t win then i’ll be peeved considering such good luck with the draw.

Like I said:

Novak is NOT to blame here. I don’t believe in rigged draws at all. It’s just luck favored Novak this time. That’s fine.

IF I were his fan: i’d be lapping it up and smiling about it. This really is the definition of a jackpot draw.

His ONLY concern is: will he be under cooked in the final by lacking any real sort of a test. Beyond that: he’s in the final as we know it.

My problem or cause for such posts is:

1. Sheer annoyance at the fortune Rafa was handed here. Many press members have called it what it is: the draw of death. So I am ruing such bad luck as you could not have hand picked a tougher draw for my guy.

2. One sided draw: one side you have ease and on the other: hardship.

I think we all agree that: Novak is in the final. And he’ll be fresh as a Daisy for it.

But look at the other side of the coin?

All the rivals are on that side, with tough draws and not one clear guy with a good edge. On top of all that: they all likely will be well shattered by final due to the heat (likely daytime schedules for these guys) and a tough draw.

Hence:

I honestly see NO SCENARIO where someone can realistically challenge Novak here.

He always was the favorite IMO: but due this draw it’s a virtual done deal in my book.


Hippy Chic Says:

As i said earlier i just find it bizarre that 4 of the best 5 active players are all in 1 half of the draw Rafa,Roger,Andy,Delpo,and only 1 in the other half and thats Novak.


Josh Says:

Andy has a pretty rough ride, chaps.


Jack Lewis Says:

@Gannu
“Let him win anything credible and then talk…”

By such standards we should all shut the f up.
Then there’s this foreign and hard to grasp concept of free speech.


Brando Says:

@Josh:

They all do barring Novak. No doubt about it.

Rafa? That’s already well covered.

Andy? Fed, Rafa and then Novak. Good luck with that Muzza after so much time out.

Fed? Muzza, Rafa and Novak. Oh: and also Tsonga in R16 for the 32 year old legend. A real gimme right?

Delpo? Rafa, Muzza and then Novak. In the wonderful heat. I can just about hear Delpo saying Vamos at the thought of it.

Not.

So yeah: if you being honest then it’s quite clear that 4 of the 5 big contenders are completely down over by the draw.

And the one guy who it benefits most is the one player who did not really need any help since he’s so good at the AO:

Nole.


Josh Says:

@Brando
Yep, a draw’s a draw. We’ve seen worse (I’ve had “worse”, relatively speaking ofc).

Happy for Novak – tbh, at the end of the day (assuming everything goes to plan) I’d like to see one of Novak, Rafa, DelPo, Fed or Murray holding the trophy on 26th January – 99.9% chance of that happening, so great! :)

Good tennis is all I hope for


hawkeye Says:

That’s half the problem though Josh.

(Pun intended BTW.)


Daniel Says:

That is the problem of the rankings.
Having Ferrer as #3 is just bizarre. But Also Murray is a question mark and Fed is not the old Fed, so on name, it is loaded.


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh no direspect but i think you will get great tennis in only one half of the draw,the other half will be merely target practice for the defending champion,lots of breadsticks and bagels,still if thats what you want fair enough.


Slice Tennis Says:

I don’t think Rafa’s draw is difficult.
In terms of challenges I would list his opponents as below:
Delpotro
Monfils
Tomic
Hewit
Murray with bad back

He has basically one strong challenge in the form of Delpotro, who most probably will be toast in the sun by the time he reaches the QFs. I cannot see anyone who can trouble Rafa here.
Another great advantage for Rafa is his favourite punching bag is in his half.


Josh Says:

@hawkeye Haha brilliant! – well… we’ll see

@Hippy Chic – don’t mind either way. Sometimes watching a 6-0, 6-0, etc. thrashing can be entertaining. Depends on Winners vs Unforced Errors Stats, point construction, and a number of other factors
My tickets are for later on in the programme anyway, so I’m bound to see good live tennis at least


Slice Tennis Says:

Delpotro may be playing a lot of day matches because of the lopsided (only on paper) draw. He will not have anything left to challenge Rafa.


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh fair enough enjoy yourself:))..


Hippy Chic Says:

Is anybody out there actually doing the bracket challenge?


Josh Says:

How do I sign up for it Hippy Chic?


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh just read your post again to Brando,although i dont think its likely to happen,but just thinking wouldnt it be wonderfull for mens tennis if someone new were to make a breakthrough and win a GS for the 1st time other than the top 5 players,surely you wouldnt still consider it a dissapointment????


Brando Says:

@Hawkeye: You got me. What are you then: a donkey cheese lover or a serial purchaser of Armani underwears? Or worse: you shave with a Gillette blade?………


Josh Says:

Hippy Chic – It would be great I agree. As I said, I’m not too fussed as long as it’s a good tournament worth going for.
I admire all the 5 guys that I’ve listed, however, and would love to see them perform well again (you could call it some weird fascination with tennis domination)


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh Kimberly has a link to the bracket challenge in her post at 11.08am,just log in make up a username,type in your password and all your details,and bingo you should be good to go,its a bit tricky at 1st but if you persevere you will get there eventually,then there a link that says main bracket,my bracket and contestants etc,and a cute picture at the top of Kimberlys little boys.


Josh Says:

Great, thanks


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh personally i love Nishikori,and hes one of the new breed of up and coming players i would love to see winning a GS one day.


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh good luck im there as my real name Alison Hodge.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

As our guy always says, one match at a time. If Rafa happens to get to the final and he is facing Novak we will just hope that he can kick him to the curb, as per USO. He did that in 4 and on least favorite sur-frace. He can do it…..our guy does love the heat……so Rafa, bring on the heat from your racquet PLEASE!!

Vamos Rafa!! Good luck!!


Okiegal Says:

That draw is sucky……and if
anyone thinks different, well they haven’t followed the same tennis circuit I have been following for the last few years……just saying…


hawkeye Says:

Brando, maybe I’m a Monfils fan.

haha


Hippy Chic Says:

Thanks for the info James.


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/ssnxz
Great article on Rafa by John Carlin.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Stop crying, the only real threat for Nadal is Delpo and he is not at his best ATM, by the time Delpo reaches the QF he will be done.


courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic:You are so pushy, aren’t you? I’v done bloody bracket…just joking obviously.
I’m bunny in the bracket pictures.(-;


courbon Says:

@ Brando: Well, two more days of ‘draw’ talk and then we can finally start watching some serious tennis.I’m looking forward following matches ( if draw happens as Is suppose to):
Nadal-Tomic
Nadal-Monfils
Dimitrov-Raonic
Murray-Isner
Tsonga-Federer
Novak-wawrinka
Nadal-Delpotro
Regarding the draw I agree with you take but I would like to ad something-
On the route to the final, everybody have to win to go trough-right?In the final, draw can make difference if lets say, Nadal and Novak play each other and they are both in good form.Long match, 5 sets for example-that’s where long semi-final and one day less of rest will play the role and influence the outcome.If one of the players is ‘IN THE ZONE’ and the other so-so, then even draw advantage will not influence outcome. ( Novak in 2011 at AO-tough semi,one day rest but still won, or Rafa at RG-every year-so good, that draw does not influence outcome ).
I hope you enjoy tennis next 2 weeks ( you certainly can’t enjoy football-MU is just dreadfull-Moyes…I knew he was a wrong choice.You can not replace Lion with squirell…just wrong) and speak to you in a day or two.


Patson Says:

Yo why are you guys jumping the gun ? Nole had a relatively easy draw in Wimbledon but he didn’t win it, Andy did. Let’s not jump the gun. Afterall, wierder things have happened.


courbon Says:

@ Patson: Wise words my friend.


Kimberly Says:

picked my draw, I picked nole over rafa but thinking of revising it more out of hope than expectation to rafa over nole. I agree Rafa has a tough draw but often they don’t materialize. After all, do recall he was supposed to play Federer in the USO QF but ended up with Robredo. So we will see who has a tough draw as the matches pan out. To me, John Isner right now has the worst draw-would have to beat Murray Federer/Tsonga Nadaal/Del Potro and Djokovic/Berdych. His vegas odds on the outrights have to be horrendous!


courbon Says:

Kimberly, if Isner beats Murray, Federer, Nadal and then Djokovic in best of 3, then we should call him a Greatest of all times!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic’s draw isn’t that easy at all. Wawrinka is probably one of the 5 toughest players out there for Novak nowadays. Nadal getting Del Potro in his quarter doesn’t mean squat since Del Potro has under performed at the hard court slams BIG time in recent years. And there’s a heat wave coming? C’mon!

I also think Murray is far from ready to compete at the highest level. It’s not just the lack of match play, but the fact that he’s coming off of back surgery. How long his recovery will take remains to be seen.

Ferrer is more or less garbage, so Berdych could very well make the semis. And as much as I hate to admit it, Berdych is a slightly bigger threat to Djokovic than Federer, who has a real opportunity here, is to Nadal. Maybe Tsonga gets hot, but I doubt it. And we might even see a surprise semifinalist in the bottom half. So Djokovic could be playing a hot player that has nothing to lose.

Yes, Djokovic lucked out for a change. And I’m quite pleased. But as everyone knows, the paper draw means nothing at the end of the tournament. How many people pegged Wawrinka to take Djokovic to 12-10 in the fifth last year? You never know what’ll happen.


van orten Says:

rafa would have the ultimate draw if he had tsonga in 4 th round too. a true blockbuster show from there on :

tsonga delpo fed possibly djoker
now he will get
hewitt delpo fed still possibly djoker
pretty tough in my opinion when u count monfils in.

one of the toughest draw el matador has ever had that is for sure.
I fancy the maestros chance to go deep. just a feeling .he desperatly wants to meet his now master, ueber-nemesis and ex apprentice rafa in semis…

I believe in goats.


skeezer Says:

“…but due this draw it’s a virtual done deal in my book.”

Awwww….schucks. Then just tell Rafa and Fed to stay home. Why play? It’s a done deal.


Brando Says:

@Courbon:

My man hits the nail on it’s head! Some thoughts:

Re Djokovic and the draw:

You are right. It is what it is. It’s a lottery and this time Novak has won it. Fair enough. I certainly do not blame him and should he win nor will I look down on his win or anything like that since ultimately:

Cakewalk draw or a monster draw, they don’t hand out Slams as freebie’s. And the record books don’t care for draws either.

That said, I think you have a point: A easy draw could potentially lead to a player not being battle hardened enough or ready for them to match a player who is a level or 2 better than what they have been used to so far. They could get caught cold by not being as sharp, as tested as they need to be as the other guy is. We need to remember: this is Novak’s first event of the year. Facing a Nadal, Murray, Federer or even a Del Potro in a Slam final is a huge step up in comparison to what lies prior to it.

Infact: when I think of Rafa’s non- RG successes I tend to think that he was best after a tough, hard fought match. For example last year:

- Indian Wells: Would Rafa have been able to tough it out with Delpo had he not been pushed by Gulbis? I doubt it.

- USO: Would he have won had he not gone through a real fright v Djokovic at Montreal, Federer at Cincinatti? Again I doubt it. (I know it’s different tournies, but the build up was all leading up to the USO final).

- Rafa at AO 09′ and Novak at AO 12′: Both went through hell in the SF. Then went through some more in the final and still won.

So all in all: being battle hardened probably is the best thing. BUT: you don’t want to be running on empty in a Slam final. Time will tell.

Re Draw for all:

I think the real problem with draws is: the ranking. Their is an OBVIOUS IMBALANCE at the top right now. Draws come out rather one sided because the rankings do not quite reflect the REAL THREAT of players in a true sense at the highest level.

This will upset a few people and may sound mean even but consider my ranking:

1 or 2: Rafa or Novak: It does not matter how, what is clear is that in the last 2,3 years these 2 are the top 2 performers. That is a fair call I think.

Them being 1 and 2 (whoever it is depends on form) is CORRECT RANKING.

3- ANDY MURRAY > DAVID FERRER: Ferrer is NOT a number 3. Muzza should be here. He- at his best- is an equal of Rafole and more importantly: is a genuine, real threat. Muzza can beat those guys at a Slam final. NO OTHER player- right now- can say that out loud and believably. Fact.

4. DEL POTRO > MURRAY: Muzza is there for an obvious reason- injury time out. But hopefully Delpo get’s there soon since- in all honesty- he is the ONLY player outside the top 3 (Rafa, Nole, Muzza) who can beat them, and quite potentially win a GS slam. His potential and most importantly: fight, relish for the big occasion is immense. He needs to be top 4 ASAP. Until then: one players gets a rough draw, the other one an free ride in the SF’s.

The rest: They might- on a great day for them and a bad one for the top 4 I chose- beat 1 of them in a slam but realistically not 2 and certainly not 3.

* ROGER FEDERER: IF Fed was 26 or 27 like the above mentioned then cutting through the mustard: he’ll be no.1. We all know that Fed belongs in that pack, I respect him as the GOAT, but father time waits for no man: in life or in Tennis. Fed @32 is not on a level playing field when he plays those guys due to his age. It’s a shame really since he’s such a class player and it’s so much fun seeing him at the business end of events since he’s a real threat, a Champion and that add’s spice to the contest. But I cannot honestly say I see him beating those guys based on recent form of Fed until proven otherwise by him.

Beyond these guys: the rest are just FILLERS. Let’s be honest: I love those guys but FERRER, BERDYCH, WAWRINKA, TSONGA etc etc have been around for years and yet they have NEVER really beaten those guys in a GS SF or Final. Sure, ONCE in their career they may have done so but 1/30,40 GS events played is nowhere near good enough to label these guys as a real threat to them.

I know I sound harsh, arrogant even: but the rotten truth of the matter is: the top 3 I mentioned are just better than them and IF they are to beat them (which really is rare) then they need those guys to be operating at less than 80%.

Re Manchester United:

:-( Very depressive even thinking about them: from Champion to abject pauper. I agree with you 100% re DAVID MOYES:

From day 1 I thought he was the wrong choice. Name me 1 manager in the history of football who was a great manager and yet by age 50 had won: ZERO career trophies?

NONE. You are right: hiring him is like asking a mouse to follow a lion. It just does not work like that.

I think SAF hired him since Moyes is Scottish and he thought he’s like him. But he ain’t. SAF was a winner when he came to Man United and Moyes is not. He’s clueless, plays in a very, very negative style, doesn’t know what to do with the team selection, clueless in transfers etc etc. I can say more but it would get foul and this is a Tennis forum so it would get inappropriate. All i’ll end on is:

Moyes is awful!


Brando Says:

Apologies to all for the Dave length post. A necessary evil considering what I wanted to say. I’ll try to be brief here forth.


sheila Says:

nadal has nothing to worry about. tomic is no threat, neither are any of the other players in his draw. doesn’t he have a winning record against all of them. nadal will win this tournament. unfortunately for me, i’m a federer fan and knowing he probably can lose to any of these players, which hes done of late, it will be hard to watch nadal picking up another slam trophy. i dont see anyone beating nadal, not even djokovic. as a federer fan, i honestly have to say if goat label is being placed on any one player, nadal is the guy. i base this on, if my life depended on any one tennis player, who would i pick to play for my life: nadal.


ananthd Says:

While Novak’s draw looks laughable for R1-R3,
In R4 he may face Gulbis, R5 Wawrinka, R6 Berdych/Janowicz R7 Nadal

Not exactly a walk in the park…


Brando Says:

^ That’s one park that Rafa would love to take a walk to if given the chance!

A laughable 1-3 and then Gulbis, Wawrinka and Birdman at the business end: he’d love such a walk!

In fact: Even Muzza, Fed and Delpo would love a walk in that park.

But i’m sure Novak’s happy with it and he’ll more than settle for it and not trade it with those guys.

Let’s not try raising mountains out of complete molehills: it just does not work!

That’s a gimme draw. End of story.


skeezer Says:

^yep, just like the walk he took in the 2010 USO.


Michael Says:

Alison @ 4.53 am,

I cannot think beyond a Rafa Vs Novak final. Although I should give room for upsets, yet the incredible consistency these two have shown over the years have almost led me to believe that the inevitable should repeat yet again. True, Novak’s draw is looking a bit like cake walk. But still he has Wawarinka against whom he always struggled in the past. As regards Berdych or Ferrer, I do not think Novak would be so much bothered. So, if he gets through Wawarinka, he should be in the finals. As regards Rafa, although his section looks over loaded with big players, yet he should make it. He will have problem only if he has to face Del Potro in the last eight. Yet his experience must see him through. So, we should look forward to another tantalizing Rafa vs Novak final. I am sure fans would like the 2012 marathon finals to repeat itself and give a real Tennis treat. May the best man win then. Howvever if you ask me now as to who has the edge, I would say Novak.


Michael Says:

Brando @ 8.05,

Well put out. True cakewalk draws may cut both ways as you said. Novak should ensure that complacency doesn’t let him down. Also, this is first tournament for the year and so there are some imponderables. It is also true that other than the top three, there is nobody who is likely to win the Crown except may be Del Potro who has the wherewithal to win but the question is whether he can combat the heat ? I am not placing any bet on Roger with the way he is playing at the moment. He should feel very lucky to reach the semis in my opinion.


Jaq Shivam Says:

here draw announce into AO Open 2014.
It will be more shame for Novak Dokovic if he can’s won AO Open 2014.

I say Best of Luck Novak Dokovic for AO Open 2014.


courbon Says:

@ Brando:
DRAW: That’s it.You sum it up perfectly, nothing to ad.
MU: I touch the nerve, did I? Well, I’m not classic MU fan ( never big football fan, but follow a bit and watch big matches ) and I’m pissed off also..
DAVE: You are the Dave of VAMOS WORLD! But that’s fine, nothing wrong with long post if they are good to read. Yours one’s are.
..LAST THING: Let the battle beginning and the best man win.


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon yeah sorry just noticed your name on the bracket challenge,who have you gone for,or is that a silly question?ive gone for Rafa of course,more out of hope rather than expectation,i miss Harry,Wogboy,Mat4,Jane,Duro,Bada Bing and the rest of the pound for pounders(sigh):((,off to work now chat later :))..


Giles Says:

@sheila. Nice post. Just shows there are after all some amiable fed fans around. :)


Purcell Says:

Hi Sheila: it’s nice to know that you’ve got the seal of approval from Giles for being an amiable Fed fan. It’s rather a cheeky comment considering that Giles along with mates Slice, Hawkeye, Holdserve, Roy……need I go on?……make regular and unpleasant criticism of Fed and his fans. In my experience of reading and sometimes contributing to a number of sites and attending many matches over a long period, I haven’t come across any Fed fans who were anything other than amiable, remembering of course that there are trolls who let down any player, although Fed groupies who hog the railings in order to get his autograph for what must be the hundred and fiftieth time, thereby unwittingly blocking the way for others are irritating but amiable once you point it out to them.
However, of late I have noticed a slight softening of the Nadal fan comments and Holdserve is conspicuous by his absence. Why is this I wonder?
PS: I’m interested in the ‘fight for life’ idea. I think it was first put forward by Steve Tignor but I’m not certain. However I haven’t got the time to go into it at the mo. Perhaps some other time.


Purcell Says:

Just a quickie….Skeezer, that’s a very realistic, balanced article from Rusedski. I’ve never had much faith in his commentating but it just goes to show that we armchair critics who are so hasty in presenting our opinions and advice are no match for those who have actually been involved in the sport. (JMac excepted ha ha!) That doesn’t mean we should stop doing it however. Also I like the Cameron Mee response which I’ve seen somewhere before.


Giles Says:

Purcell says ” I havnt come across any fed fans who were anything other than amiable”. Are you for real??? If you believe the words in quotes then you and your mate skeezer must be the only exceptions. And just for the record my comment was far from cheeky. It was the true, no? Don’t like it you know what you can do. Goodbye!!
Vamos Rafa!


Slice Tennis Says:

sheila Says:
“i honestly have to say if goat label is being placed on any one player, nadal is the guy. i base this on, if my life depended on any one tennis player, who would i pick to play for my life: nadal.”

Great post Sheila.
Hope all those insane fed fanatics realize their folly and get enlightened like you.


skeezer Says:

Where giles is, Slice Tennis isn’t far behind.


Slice Tennis Says:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/australianopen/10563855/Australian-Open-2014-Stefan-Edberg-can-have-a-great-effect-on-Roger-Federers-game.html

Absolutely great article. We need more such positive articles to keep the fed fanatics happy, hopeful and stable.

“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.” ~Marian Zimmer Bradley


skeezer Says:

@shiela
there is another poster who types just like you that goes by another moniker. she loves nadal too just like you.
it’s too bad tennis doesn’t qualify one match on your life to determine there status with greats, no? i mean for you.


skeezer Says:

ST,
It’s obvious you didn’t read the article by your post. The writer is not very positive on Fed winning any Slams this year. His last best hope (with Edbergs help) is Wimby. I think all of Fed’s fellow travelers know his best days are behind him, so you googled qoute is folly.


Giles Says:

January 11th 9.35 am. Hahahaha. A fed fan taking a pot shot at one of his own. Couldn’t stomach the compliment paid to the Great Rafael Nadal!
#VeryAnnoyed


James Says:

Great post @Purcell, at 7:28 am
RuanFederer blog is a great example of how amiable Fed fans are.

And here’s journalist Matt Cronin on (some) Fed fans:

https://mobile.twitter.com/TennisReporters/status/380037049870327808?p=v


Giles Says:

@James. Nice one!! Lol


Giles Says:

Isn’t Purcell the name of a detergent?


madmax Says:

Brando,

Your posts are superb. Don’t apologise for the length, though appreciate the hard work and effort you put into them, as did Dave and Michael.

Skeezer, read it! And really, yes, we know that fed’s best days are behind him BUT I am marvelling at the damn consistency of the man, which you alluded to in your link.

“Federer won the Australian Open in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, and has not failed to reach the semifinals since 2003″. That, or This, my friend, is astonishing. That’s 13 years of CONSISTENCY. Can’t be beaten. No way.

“He will be competing in a record 57th consecutive Grand Slam tournament, beating the mark of 56 set by South Africa’s Wayne Ferreira”.

Once again. Can’t be beaten. No way.

Gannu, read your previous posts which I don’t like. The last thing you need to be doing is watching the AO, unless you can view Federer with a different pair of eyes.

He could get to the fourth round.

“he had little time for analysing the draw and whom he may or may not have to face”.

“A draw is a draw. You guys debate it, I play in it. That’s basically it,” he told reporters”.


Hippy Chic Says:

Madmax will you be doing Kimberlys bracket challenge?


madmax Says:

11 years, not 13 years!


madmax Says:

Hippy C. Yes, I hope to do it tomorrow.


Hippy Chic Says:

Madmax be carefull you dont leave it too long though,dont miss the dealine.


ID Fan Says:

I think there are bad apples everywhere.

I remember how Rafa and his fans turned cold towards Nole and his fans in 2012. Let see what happens if Nole beats Rafa again! :)

Sheila:

If you picked Rafa to play, quite a few times he might not even turn up to play. I think better to pick Novak to play for life. Atleast he doesn’t withdraw from tournaments.
vesey as is!


Hippy Chic Says:

I think we are all suffering tennis withdrawal symptoms,we need this GS to start ASAP,too much bickering lately really.


Hippy Chic Says:

ID Fan IMO the relationship between Murray and Djokovic has cooled a bit lately too,according to Novaks dad anyway,whos your favorite BTW just wondering?


skeezer Says:

^lol
__
Re: Matt Cronin. And look at some of the responses, lol. One mans comment doesn’t make it so. The pure Fed fan knows there is no reason to bad mouth Rafa to make Fed look good. He is sitting on top of History
Frankly, its always been the other way around!


skeezer Says:

^was in response to ID Fan, alison you post to quickly! ;)


skeezer Says:

alison,
you know with a GS coming up, the trash talking will ramp up. That is a prediction you can count on, lol. Happens every time.


Hippy Chic Says:

Sorry Skeezer ;))..


Hippy Chic Says:

Skeezer true,in all likelihood should Rafa win the AO(KNOCK,KNOCK)lol,i will probably do as i have done sometimes in the past,actually go the opposite way,and blog less,and let the euphoria die down,like i did when he won the USO,and when Murray won Wimbledon,i still posted but they were sporadic,nothing against anyone else but thats just the way i do things,strange as it may seem.


ID Fan Says:

Hippy Chic:

I am a Djokovic fan, Delpotro and Murray too.

You are correct, about Nole and Andy. All in all they are all classy. The fans – most are good except a few on all sides!

Bring on AO :)


Purcell Says:

So Giles….trying to bully me off the site. Par for the course with you lot. Oh and I used ‘cheeky’ as a humorous riposte when I could have used much more unpleasant language a la yourself and your cronies. Oh, and some kindly advice. Making a crack about user names is the fallback of the desperate. Please don’t.


Giles Says:

ID Fan. “At least he doesn’t withdraw from tournaments”. Lol
Maybe you have forgotten Joker’s history of retiring from matches. The biggest joke was his retirement playing against Andy in Cincy I believe, a couple of years ago. Andy was winning, 2 more games for Andy to claim the title, and what does joker do? He retired of course. So enough with the insinuations about Rafa withdrawing from tourneys. If he withdraws, it is due to health reasons.


A Tango Lad Says:

Ah yes Sheila, as a big admirer of Roger’s game, I’m afraid as time goes on, I am reluctantly compelled to agree with you regarding Nadal.

He is slowly winning me over which is not an easy thing to admit.

Not sure he is quite there yet but it won’t be long regardless.

He is such a fine champion and deserves all that he gets.


ID Fan Says:

Sean,

I don’t remember where you posted about getting predictions right, but since Wimbledon ATP has been extremely predictable.

I think most tennis writers got predictions right during this period!

Check our guy, who pretty much got everything right in the post USO tournaments:

http://sportzcosmos.com/category/tennis-galaxy/


James Says:

ID Fan, I remember well how several Nadal fans and Federer fans (yes Fedfans too) didn’t like the way Djokovic came and dominated the tour in 2011. The ATP Facebook page was full of negative comments for Novak from both Nadal and Federer fanatics.

skeezer, most tennis fans I meet in real life don’t say anything negative about Nadal or Federer. Some surprisingly had this to say about Novak that he’s arrogant. Those who say this are usually Federer or Nadal fans. So I never take it too seriously and defend Novak because I’m not sure I see arrogance in him. I saw nothing wrong with his AO ’12 victory celebration either.

But then there are some fans who spend most of their time watching and discussing tennis like it’s the most important thing in the world. These type of fans IMO are usually the ones obsessed with their tennis idols and the records of their idols. You go to a ruanfed blog and you see these type of fans. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a Nadal biased blog too.


James Says:

The Down Under Open is Novak’s to lose. Only Berdych or Wawrinka can take a set or two off him from the bottom half of the draw.

Nadal was my pre-draw pick. After the tough draw he’s got, I’m not 100% sure he can reach the final. If he’s playing really well and reaches the final, I think he wins. The career double slam is a big thing in tennis. If he’s in the final, he’d be highly motivated and Djokovic would be the one under pressure as the 3 time defending champ.

If Nadal is eliminated before the final, congratulations Djokovic and fans. He’s totally wining it.


Giles Says:

There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip!


madmax Says:

Purcell Says:
So Giles….trying to bully me off the site. Par for the course with you lot. Oh and I used ‘cheeky’ as a humorous riposte when I could have used much more unpleasant language a la yourself and your cronies. Oh, and some kindly advice. Making a crack about user names is the fallback of the desperate. Please don’t.

January 11th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Purcell, you have ALWAYS been a classy poster and I remember you from a couple of years ago. Problem is you don’t post often enough. Hopefully that will change when the AO begins.


Giles Says:

“I could have used much more unpleasant language”. Hmmm
madmax. You think those are the words of a classy poster?
Oh yes I forgot, he’s one of yours!!


Okiegal Says:

Hey, Rafa fans…..He kicked Novak at the USO, should they face each at AO finals, I think he can do it again. Lots of heat in Australia……which Rafa loves…..5 setters……Rafa loves! If Rafa can bring his own kind of heat, he can win it. Will it be easy?? NO…..but he did it in New York and I think he is perfectly capable of doing it in Melbourne!!

VAMOS RAFA!


Giles Says:

Okiegal. Agree. :))


Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal right on sister,think positive,i will be sleeping with an amythist crystal under my pillow,that give off positive healing energy,i wish i could give one to Rafa,so he could carry it round in his pocket too,nothing worth while ever did come easy,as the saying goes.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Monfils moved out of Nadal’s section because Simon withdrew.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Don’t want any shaky starts from our guy……like he can do sometimes. He does admit to getting nervous from time to time……but he has 5 sets to get it back together. As he always says…..one match at a time. He is not thinking about the final at this point……but is thinking about how to beat Bernie!!

VAMOS RAFA!!


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

He has a tough row to hoe in this slam, for sure, but as you said, nothing worth while ever comes easy. Don’t want to sound too sour grapey……but that draw was lopsided…..for once I have to agree with Mr. Randall. He hit the nail on the head with his byline for this article. I will hush now.

VAMOS RAFA!!


Purcell Says:

Thanks Madmax and congratulations to you and Skeezer for withstanding the onslaught. I admire your patience and determination to stand the test of time as I only post when my irritation builds to a level whereby I just have to write, or rather, add a note of conflict! Hopefully there will be lots of interesting and constructive postings once the AO starts. I don’t really get the point of predictions but personally, I don’t see Fed getting very far in his present state. Tomic posing a threat to Nadal is amusing judging by what I’ve seen of his efforts over a large period of time and Murray simply isn’t sufficiently recovered to be effective. May be proved wrong on one or all but who cares. I’m happy to have very late nights and early mornings as long as there’s some intelligent tennis with shot variety, well-developed skillset and less reliance on trying to emulate Usain Bolt.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Tomic the Tank Engine has done it again. Delpo trashed him in Sydney (6:3, 6:1).


kjb Says:

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/roger-federer-calm-while-rafael-nadal-gets-in-a-spin-over-courts-before-australian-open-20140111-30nnk.html

Rafa McWhiner Nadal………boohoo…courts are to fast. All GrandSlams should be on clay. I respect Nadals talent and all but his belly aching about everything gets old. Did he forget he just won the US open a few months ago? Murray and Federer have said that the courts are the same as last year.


Humble Rafa Says:

Murray and Federer have said that the courts are the same as last year.

But I was recuperating last year. So, I don’t know.
All tournaments should be played on clay or in a Miami type of hard court. This is BS.


James Says:

Kjb, if you’re done trash talking Nadal, Roger said the courts were quicker last year. Nadal, unlike Murray and Federer, wasn’t there to compete last year.

http://www.perfect-tennis.co.uk/federer-courts-quicker-australian-open-2013/


Anna Says:

kjb – obviously you don’t respect Nadal or your language would be quite different. Since Nadal didn’t play last year, he must be comparing this year’s surface to the surface two years ago. If Murray and Federer are chatting about the surface then I see no reason why Rafa should be excluded. I’m sure there are plenty of other digs for you to unearth. Funny you should complain though being a “whiner” yourself.


skeezer Says:

Read the article, and the quotes, its a whine. No ine else is “complaining”.
You types always defending Rafa like he always has an excuse for an excuse. Sorry, no one does. Thats being perfect.
Then Rafa, like have always said, makes his ownnews by his own mouth or actions. Not posters or writers.


kjb Says:

It doesn’t matter what Fed or Murray are saying. I was referencing the fact the Nadal does nothing but complain. He has his whole career. If its not his knees its court speed. If its not blue clay its time between points. He such a baby, just play tennis! You’re an alltime great you don’t need to bitch and moan if things arn’t how he thinks they should be. You never hear this crap from anyone else but him.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

@skeezer@7:57pm

Nicely said but to no avail.


kjb Says:

@ Anna

I respect Rafa as a tennis player not so much as how he comes across as a person. Every tournament he has a problem about something. Its like he needs an exit plan. If he loses early then it must have been the court speed. If he wins the tournament then he amazingly overcame all odds and somehow adapted to the injustices of a quicker court(what all other 128 players have to do to, no?)


the DA Says:

@ Bad Knee Rules Says – “Monfils moved out of Nadal’s section because Simon withdrew”

The guy who put out that information has since been corrected. Monfils stays, a lucky loser fills Simon’s spot:

https://twitter.com/SharkoTennis/status/422095927587782656


Okiegal Says:

We types just like our guy……so what’s the big deal??

Sean Randall, who Fed fans thinks is a great writer, said that the draw was lopsided. For once, I will have to agree with him! Great byline, Sean. You can get it right once in awhile.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

@the DA@8:44pm

Thanks


skeezer Says:

Expected. Google other players to defend the documented historical graph of pre empted Rafa excuses.
I don’t see a issue if the players collectively say the courts are faster than before. But to whine about it for your personal benefit is another story. Everyone knows a slower court helps Rafa. Its not everyone elses fault if he can’t play that great on them overall.


James Says:

Nadal’s the Cincinnati, Montreal, US Open champion. He knows how to win on fast courts.


James Says:

And here’s Federer saying he can knock off Nadal and Djokovic in Melbourne:

http://m.gulfnews.com/sport/football/i-can-knock-off-rafael-nadal-novak-djokovic-federer-warns-1.1276479


skeezer Says:

Your point?


James Says:

he’s getting old.


Slice Tennis Says:

^^ and his mouth is getting bigger LOL


Skeezer Says:

Such a deflective childish response. In fact, its not a response to the Rafa whine link, its an imaginary hopeful distraction that has nothing to do with anything. True vamoshead material.


James Says:

No one’s stopping you from trash talking Nadal. Go on.


skeezer Says:

“A draw is a draw. You guys debate it, I play in it. That’s basically it,” he told reporters.

What Rafa say? Whiner.


skeezer Says:

@james
That was more directed at u know who, name not worth mentioning.


Slice Tennis Says:

Contradicting and self serving….LOL…

“Obviously the margins are smaller on a quicker court,” Federer said on Friday. “Because let’s say the first game I do get broken because he hits a few good shots and maybe I serve one, maybe two maximum serves not perfect, you’re right away in trouble, which on a slower court is not going to happen that quickly. So I feel probably a bit more confident on a slower court against a normal player. Against top guys, they can also play very well on the faster courts as well.”


skeezer Says:

“Contradicting and self serving….LOL…”

ROFL! Can it get any more silly? Nothing wrong with that statement. The problem is, you don’t understand it, and the game, the palyer or the surface. Watching tennis on TV and asking Mr. google doesn’t qualify an understanding of it all.
As usual, there is no rebuttal answer to your Fav’s excuse mongering. Why? Maybe if it walks like a Duck, quacks like a Duck, its a Duck.


Slice Tennis Says:

“I am not sure, for the show, it is the best thing. But they decide and I’m just a player … I am practising every day as much as I can and with the right intensity, the right attitude.”

“I arrived one week before. I think that I am practising better a little bit every day. I hope to adjust my game to these conditions.”

= A true champion who won on all kinds surfaces against the best on that surface.


Slice Tennis Says:

Ok let me post some stats which will irritate the fed fanatics even more:

22-10 against the weak era bully
22-7 against Murray, Nole and Federer in slams


Skeezer Says:

^now your desperate, and deflecting the original latest Rafa whining to somehow connect to its Feds fault. Such a major pathetic fail. Not worth discussing, learn to play tennis and quit approving everything Rafa says or does as the Holy Grail of Temnis. Out.


skeezer Says:

kjb Says:
http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/roger-federer-calm-while-rafael-nadal-gets-in-a-spin-over-courts-before-australian-open-20140111-30nnk.html

Rafa McWhiner Nadal………boohoo…courts are to fast. All GrandSlams should be on clay. I respect Nadals talent and all but his belly aching about everything gets old. Did he forget he just won the US open a few months ago? Murray and Federer have said that the courts are the same as last year.

January 11th, 2014 at 7:06 pm


Slice Tennis Says:

^^ From your link:
”I am not sure, for the show, it is the best thing. But they decide and I’m just a player … I am practising every day as much as I can and with the right intensity, the right attitude.

”I arrived one week before. I think that I am practising better a little bit every day. I hope to adjust my game to these conditions.”

Champions attitude.

22-10
2-0 in hard court slams against the weak era bully
2-1 against the king of hardcourts in the fastest hardcourt slam.


Michael Says:

Sometimes it puzzles me as to why Rafa feels so much worried about Courts playing fast ? He is an all court player who has the wherewithal and capability to play on any surface. May be relatively Clay may be his forte but by no means he is a dud on other Courts. His records prove that conclusively. But still he is airing his opinion and it has to be taken in the right spirit for he has this weakness of not being able to communicate well his feelings due to the language barrier.


Slice Tennis Says:

Great post Michael.
Preach it.


skeezer Says:

“Sometimes it puzzles me as to why Rafa feels so much worried about Courts playing fast ? ”
True and the greatest champions will win consistently on most every surface they can then and accumulate the greatest of all Slam counts, no excuses.
Others, apparently, need excuses why they don’t have a multitude of Slam counts other than there favorite surface. As an example, all if the sudden, AO is fast. Oh my, lets complain, just in case I lose. If I win, I sound so much better, and all my vamosheads will buy in. After all, they think I am perfect with no faults. This is the true no?


Slice Tennis Says:

“He is an all court player who has the wherewithal and capability to play on any surface. ”

Very true. Unlike the weak era goat he can beat anyone anytime on any surface.


Maestro Fed Says:

I don’t know what people gain by downgrading Roger with the weak era argument


skeezer Says:

Omg, now deflecting to the weak era argument, which has been slammed factually and relentlessly till infinity. Keep deflecting Rafa’s whining here at 2014 AO, its just making your vamosheads look weak and weaker, lol.


Maestro Fed Says:

Skeezer
Stop it. You are the worst hypocrite of all here. You invite all such nonsense with your constant bull crap out of frustration.


skeezer Says:

@Maestro Fed,
“I don’t know what people gain by downgrading Roger with the weak era argument”

Really? And how is that differ to your remarks than mine oh holy one?


Okiegal Says:

Rafa just answers the questions asked of him at the pressers as he sees it. There again he didn’t bring up the faster court issue…….Question: “How are you finding the speed of the courts so far? There was a lot of talk they might be faster than in years past.” Of course everyone knows his answer and he gets lambasted for it. This guy cant win. Hey, Federer said the same thing lets crawl all over him for being honest too. If Rafa is a whiner then so is Roger. Novak and Rafa hate blue, Roger loves blue……..and the beat goes on!!!!

VAMOS RAFA!!


skeezer Says:

Oh boy,
The usual sockpuppet is in play here who uses multiple monikers to confuse the posters? Yep.
Funny how “kjb” post has been diverted, twisted, deflected and the conversation tried to turn into anythng other than that. Oh yeah, lets blame Fed! Jealous lol.
Its what it originally was, direct statements from Rafa about the AO 2014, prior to play.
And why no answer from vamosheads.
There was no answer. It is what it is. Nice try vamosheads. Keep posting under multiple sockpuppets, the readers are aware, they aren’t uneducated.


Okiegal Says:

Rogers comment about the faster courts of the AO was in 2013, which Rafa didn’t play……so Rafa’s court comparison would be from 2012 to 2014. Wanted to clear that little tidbit of info up. By no means do I think Roger was whining he just made a statement.


James Says:

And, in other news Japan’s Kei Nishikori beat Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5 to win Kooyong title.

Congrats Kei! Hope you have an amazing tournament.

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-sport/japans-kei-nishikori-wins-aami-title-20140111-30nio.html


Slice Tennis Says:

LMAO
Good to see some positive change here. As I mentioned only a very few miscreants are left. Get well soon.
LOL


Maestro Fed Says:

Skeezer
Yeah right. There is only one pperson who disagrees with you. Continue to live in the deluded world.


James Says:

^ Good luck for AO.


skeezer Says:

@James
Wow. Very cool. Chang / Kei team must be rockin so far. Great win!


skeezer Says:

@Maestro Fed
Lol right. Meanwhile, change your moniker to Vamos Rafa, its the true no? Every Fed fan knows….cannot hide dude.


Slice Tennis Says:

James,
Great news. All those who won titles and made finals in the last weeks are in Rafa’s path. Bring it on I say.
Rafa is in the form of his life, nothing will stop him from completing the double career slam.


skeezer Says:

^ then why is he whining? ROTFL!


Maestro Fed Says:

Skeezer
This is the problem when you invest your life on someone else’s greatness.
Roger was great in his heyday and still the greatest of all. But it doesn’t mean others should not win and get credited for what they are. Instead of preaching others to play the game as if you are the only one who knows everything, try to balance your life and enjoy the greatness on display in this great era of tennis.


Slice Tennis Says:

LOL.
Poor skeezer…leave him alone.
We need such frustrated souls here to keep this blog interesting. No real harm. If skeezer starts appreciating tennis fairly it would become too boring.

Skeezer,
Please continue, you are a great poster.
ROTFL


skeezer Says:

^uh?
Try to post your qualifications of advise before u issue them out dudette.
“Roger was great in his heyday and still the greatest of all.”
This is all I have ever tried to say, and his true fans.

Apparently you don’t visit often, as vamosheads routinely defile, question, put down, minimize, ridicule, and overall don’t believe your quote. Or maybe you’re just a vamoshead in disguise, which is another of there proven desperate jealous attempt to degrade Feds all time record setting unmatched greatness

So really, do you have a comment about Rafa’s complant about AO’s fast surface for his pleasure or do you continue to join the deflection to Mr Federer?

@ST
Keep posting as just one poster, otherwise you’re showing your weakness by posting otherwise, you cannot compete.


skeezer Says:

Uh was towards MF…latter towards the same ST


Maestro Fed Says:

Skeezer
the trouble makers are invited and encouraged by your constant rage of hatred against Nadale and his wins. I don’t think you are fair towards other posters. Nadal is an al time great in his own right and almost an equal to Roger. There is no need to downgrade one to hype the other one like you and the others haters on both sides are doing as a fulltime job. They both have their unique records to speak for themselves. There is no need to go on a tirade against the opponent camp to prove one is better than the other. Just sit back and enjoy their greatness.


kjb Says:

So…….in other news. Hewitt and Rafter teaming up for doubles! That could be good times. Rafter vs. Agassi at Wimby 2001 is one of my all time fave matches.


skeezer Says:

There is no hatred, and your bias comes through. How about look in the mirror oh saint one? As stated, Rafa creates his own “news” through his statements and actions. Furthermore, you continue to attack me, and not respond to Rafa’s own words, why is that? What is your problem?
I have never stated the I hate Nadal, a false accusation by you. In fact, on occasion I have posted about his greatness. You are ill informed, either ignorant and don’t read, or are a most probably a sockpuppet. Now the vamosheads, which there are a few most known, have so much jealousy of his all time greatness that the continual unreasonableness of false attacks warrant posters to respond. If you want to delute the propoganda, your talking to the wrong group. Respond and talk to the vamosheads. Not me.


Hippy Chic Says:

Michael@11.08pm January 11th nice post,Rafas completed the career GS,and you dont win 13 GS if your not an all time great,and all surface player,so its not as if hes not capable of winning on all surfaces,hes actually won multiple GS now on all surfaces,and been in all 4 GS finals multiple times,so im not exactly sure why he needs to complain,i agree about the language barrier im not saying he always gets things right(far from it)but maybe sometimes statements might get lost in translation?


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Again, he was asked a question about the courts in his pre tourney presser and he answered it…..He certainly didn’t bring the issue up first….but he gets in trouble no matter what he says. He’s an all court player, but prefers slower courts…..that’s all.


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/benrothenberg/status/422186663427579904
And here is joker handing out chocolates to the Press. What a Schmoozer!! He obviously feels he needs to!!


Ranjit Says:

Hi all,

My AO preview albeit a funny one with Hollywood-esque flavor: http://sportzcosmos.com/2014/01/12/australian-open-2014-preview-and-predictions/

Ranjit


Slice Tennis Says:

“Keep posting as just one poster, otherwise you’re showing your weakness by posting otherwise, you cannot compete.”

Yes I am very scared about you and cannot compete with your madness. That’s why I have to use different monikers like slice tennis, maestro fed, giles, steve, hawkeye, hippy chic, okie gal, queen, shiela, Michael and some more.
LMAO.


A Tango Lad Says:

Well of course Nadal and Roger as the best players are incredible on all surfaces Michael however we must consider them in terms of their effect on probability of winning titles. It is not enough for these greats to simply perform well. They want the big prize.

One needs to look no further than how well Djokovic does at the World Tour Finals (as Roger did before) or how Nadal does at Roland Garros or a medium fast hard court like the US Open.

Nadal is not the same player on a fast indoor court just like Roger is not the same player on clay or a slower hard court.

Why I can remember even the ever diplomatic Swiss great opining in the past that the game was too slow but I would not be so narrow as to say that he was whining or complaining.

We all need to appreciate all the greats for the entertainment that they provide us. We are lucky to witness such competition and skills.

I just watched an interview with Andre Agassi who is down under this week who echoed this sentiment and said we are truly in a golden era so let’s all enjoy it while we can and stop whining about other players.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone here but it really is disheartening to read such dislike for such talented players.


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal true he cannot win sometimes no matter what he says or does(sigh)..


Djokerfan Says:

@Ranjit, that is a hilarious preview. Ha ha ha. Great idea to connect movies and tennis. :)


Michael Says:

Slice tennis,

“Very true. Unlike the weak era goat he can beat anyone anytime on any surface”

Why should one degrade Roger to boost Rafa ? I think as true Tennis fans, we should respect the achievements of both these Champions, the likes of which may not be seen for may be another two centuries. Once they call it quits, I think they will dazzle even more and a big void would be created in the Tennis World. I dread the prospect of imagining Tennis without Roger and Rafa. But time doesn’t wait for anybody. It moves on and the biggest blessing of Nature that has been bestowed on us is memory loss which makes it easy to live and move on.


Michael Says:

Alison,

I agree !!


Michael Says:

Tango Lad,

Nothing more to add. Well said !!


Margot Says:

@slicetennis
Hey u left me out!
hashtag:Disappointed
@hippychick
Yes shame about Laura and heather. Looks as if Heather went down with a fight though.

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