Poll: Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The 2014 Australian Open? Djokovic, Nadal Or…
by Sean Randall | January 8th, 2014, 2:36 pm

The Australian Open draw is still about 30 hours away from being released (Thursday night 8pm ET), but it’s never too early to start thinking about who might be left standing on the men’s side in Melbourne at the end of the month.

My pre-draw favorites haven’t changed much after the first week. Here they are:

1. Novak Djokovic: Winner of his last 24 matches and the 3-time defending champion is my pick regardless of draw. Only thing that could stumble a fourth title is a heatwave or a Becker scandal.

2. Rafael Nadal: Positive start to year with Doha title but will need to play better in Melbourne to win a second Australian Open crown.

3. Juan Martin Del Potro: If he gets a good draw and the weather’s comfortable, could be a real factor the last weekend and has the firepower to beat anyone.

4. JW Tsonga: Now healthy and hungry, I expect the former 2008 finalist to have a nice two weeks at his favorite, most successful major, maybe even getting back to the title match.

5. Roger Federer: No longer an automatic for the final weekend, for the lesser guys he’s still a huge scalp and will be tough to beat in the early rounds in a best-of-5.

6. Andy Murray: The back and fitness are still a question mark to me but if he shows he can win a long, tough match early it could go a long way to him going a long way.

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68 Comments for Poll: Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The 2014 Australian Open? Djokovic, Nadal Or…

The Great Davy Says:

Bank account empty…

The Great Davy to make The Great Comeback. Bet-at-Home on it.

Hippy Chic Says:

This is Novaks best GS,so it stands to reason he will be the favorite here,it wouldnt surprise if he were to win the title again,and it wouldnt surprise me if he were to lose this year either,as all runs come to an end eventually no matter how good you are on a particular surface,im just going by the law of averages.

Josh Says:

I’ll go with Novak on this one.

Okiegal Says:

I’m reminded of an old song when we all try to make predictions…….Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que Sera Sera, what will be will be…..but still fun to try to make a guess……but then the dreaded jinx comes into play…..having said that, I’m keeping my big mouth shut! Lol

In the meantime, looking forward to the draws!

VAMOS RAFA…..you can do this…..you played some amazing tennis at USO…..your fans would love for you to win another HC title!!

Okiegal Says:


Law of averages is another variable to add to the equation……agree on that point 100%!!

Patson Says:


SG1 Says:

Given the disappointment of losing the USO and Wimbledon finals last year, I would expect there to be a big push from Nole at this AO. And as TXHC pointed out, this is his best surface. I do believe that Nole will turn the tables on Rafa this year.

Would be interesting if Rafa won the AO and then Nole finally won the FO. This speculation is killing me. Let’s get this party started already!

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Nick Says:

Looks like a severe heatwave in Melbourne for the tennis, Tuesday, possibly Thursday and Friday of the first week look over 40C, then a possible repeat in the second week (though weather models all over the place this far out).

So whoever plays well in the heat, gets night matches, misses the really hot days would be a good tip :)

Steve 27 Says:

Isner is my pick

loulou Says:

mostly everyone believes Nadal can make it on ICU!check this out: http://www.ichallengeyou.net/ICU2098882326
It’s fun because once the event is done, you win or lose points depending on what you said, so it’s a bit more than a poll!

Michael Says:

Is not Novak seeking his fifth Australian Open title ?

Well, considering the past track record, Novak should be the favourite by a mile. His glutton free diet has ensured his physical fitness and now-a-days it is rare to see Novak quitting prematurely on fitness grounds. I think the two players who can pose a stiff challenge to him in this tournament would be Rafa ofcourse and Del Potro and the dark horse would be Tsonga. But the confidence of Novak should see him through especially in this tournament where the surface conditions favour his style of play. So, in all probability you will have Novak kissing the August crown.

Ven Says:


Only thing that could stumble a fourth title is a heatwave or a Becker scandal..

Why these excuses before the draw & play, why can’t he loose due to better play by his opponents

I can see Nole and Rafa are co-fav’s with little margin, who finish depp in AO might be year end No 1

madmax Says:

Has to be Novak. Just has to be.

Has he made the right decision in resting more so than the others? I really Think he has.

Murray, Nadal, Del potro equal chance.

TGIT Says:

Can’t disagree with Sean’s picks. At this moment the analysis is spot on.

hawkeye Says:

1. Novak
2. Rafa
2. Roger

Expect very fast low bounce courts in Melbourne.

Let’s put Ferru in Rafa’s half and Fed in Ferru’s qtr.

Let’s put Delpo, Izzy and Raonic plus one other giant in Rafa’s qtr.

Let’s put Muzza in Nole’s half and Wawa in Nole’s qtr.

We will see no?

jmkennedy Says:

@ Michael: Love the glutton free diet. Should be the top weightwatching recommendation for all, whether athletes or not.

Seth Says:

everybody should check out a new tennis video on youtube called
“Puehse twins tennis Documentary”
its not the normal tennis video you watch!

Brando Says:

Novak- easily. At certain slams you have to respect the main man of it and call him fab regardless of other factors due to their record. Here at AO that man is Novak. I agree generally with the others but Muzza that low is wrong IMHO. I’d go: 1- Novak, a gap, 2- Rafa, 3- Delpo then 4- Muzza. Joint 5th: Fed and Wawrinka.

Giles Says:

It took Delpotro 3 sets to beat Stepanek! Hmmm!

Hippy Chic Says:

^It took him 3 sets to beat Mahut too^.

Patson Says:

I just read Delpo’s got only two rackets to play with since Wilson ran out of the old model. Why couldn’t he get Wilson to make a couple of old ones for him during the off-season ?

hawkeye Says:

Extremely fast courts is why Mahut and Fishlips made it close.

Expect more of the same in Melbourne.

Josh Says:

Yep, we’re definitely in the middle of a real heatwave atm. Already 20 degrees. Thing is though that most of the important matches are played in the evening. It cools down to below 30 by 7/8pm, and that’s what I’d say the perfect playing conditions are (also makes it a touch harder to put the ball away).
Be prepared for some very long rallies

SG1 Says:

ID Fan,

Hope you’re doing well.

Nice article. I didn’t see the Wilander Edberg match (though I wish I had). Edberg, when on, was a sight to see. He mashed Courier in the ’91 USO final. It was a clinic on how to S&V. Edberg has always been one of my favorite players.

I did see Federer absolutely dismantle Roddick. I believe that Andy’s press conference after that match was one for all time. I don’t think I ever saw Federer play better at the AO than he did in this match. Federer did beat Murray in the ’08 USO final which I thought was Fed’s best ever slam final performance.

skeezer Says:


Yah that Fed 08 AO was a masterpiece. The word back then was Feds BH was vulnerable, and Murray pounded it. What resulted was the best single handed BH performance ever by Fed in a Slam. He completely won that match with his BH.

“Expect very fast low bounce courts in Melbourne.”


gonzalowski Says:

I wish Nadal’s win, but my vote is for Nole, with a little margin and good possibilities for Rafa IMHO.
Vamos Rafaaa!

the DA Says:

Only 4 hours to go before tennis-x explodes with posts saying”he has the draw from hell” & “he got a cakewalk draw’. Everybody ready? :)

courbon Says:

@ DA: I’m ready and I’ll tell you in advance I’m not happy with Novaks draw!!

Hippy Chic Says:

The DA LOL so true though.

hawkeye Says:

I’ve already posted the important parts of the draw.

Expect mostly day matches for Rafa and Nole.

Hippy Chic Says:

^I will tell you in advance i am delighted with Rafas draw,and if he wins the title its because he had the cakewalk draw^.

the DA Says:

I’m rarely happy with anyone’s draw! Tennis fan problems.

Hippy Chic Says:

Novak and Roger in the same half of the draw yet again,WTF the draw has been rigged, yet again Rafa avoids having to play Novak and Roger to win the title,the seeding have changed and they still end up in the same half of the draw,how could this happen yada yada.

skeezer Says:

How about for once Novak and Rafa are on the same side? Will never happen, LOL

Hippy Chic Says:

Skeezer unlikely not while they are seeded 1 and 2,they were in the same half at the FO though last year remember?

hawkeye Says:

“How about for once Novak and Rafa are on the same side? Will never happen, LOL”


Slice Tennis Says:

Sun is all set to torch Melbourne during the next 2 weeks.
Draw will play a HUGE role and an interesting one.

If Nole ends up in the same half as Federer and Murray, I can bet that he will not win this AO.
Not because Federer/Murray can beat Nole, most probably they may not get to the QFs to meet Nole.

But the problem is both Murray and Federer are bigger than Nole in terms of saleability and they will get the preference to play night matches. Nole may end up playing under the hot sun more often than not.
When was his last BIG win under the hot sun ??
We need to go back to IW/Miami in 2011.

Even if he escapes a hard match under the sun he will be half dead for the next opponent to feast on (Ex. Wim 2013).

Both Rafa and Federer (good for his back) will enjoy the hot sun.

The draw will play a huge role here. If Nole is the only big popular player in his half then he may get more night matches.

Australian Open Roof Says:

I’d just like to say I’m really disappointed with the organisation of this year’s event. How arrogant of Craig Tiley to schedule it in the middle of a heatwave, without asking my consideration. I have nothing to do now.

Josh Says:


the DA Says:

^ oh boy. The saleability thing isn’t right imho. The Serbian and British expatriate communities are equally large in Australia. Nole has the edge being the 4 times champ. The AO is the place where he gets more widespread support than any of the other slams.

madmax Says:


I am seeing a lot of your posts copied from other tennis sites.

Why can’t you be original, like you used to be? Much more fun and more in character with the real “you”.

Slice Tennis Says:

Mad max,
Are you ok ?
Had a sun stroke already ?

Brando Says:

Draw takes place today?

Don’t they take place on a friday usually?

James Says:

Since it’s on Roger Federer’s racquet, he’s my pick to win the whole thing ;)

Seriously, Novak’s the man to beat Down Under. But I think Rafa might just win it this time.

Brando Says:

LOL: scratch that!

In Aus it is friday.

How can i forget after watching England get thrashed 5-0 by the Aussies throughout the winter. :-(

James Says:

@Brando, it’s already Friday Down Under, mate! Just a few hours to go.

Slice Tennis Says:

“Since it’s on Roger Federer’s racquet, he’s my pick to win the whole thing ;)”

He made that statement before making the racquet switch. LOL

Josh Says:

Watching the Poms get thrashed 5-0 was definitely embarrassing. Quite sure a lot of changes are needed in that England outfit.
Anyway, back to the AO tennis draw preparations.

skeezer Says:

it was just sarcasm ;)

Giles Says:

” It was just sarcasm”. Ignorance more like.

skeezer Says:

^no, this is ignorance;

“Giles Says:
How about this – a whole town will be cheering for Rafa at the AO.
Vamos Champ!”

member that post? Ahhh that BIG town of Kendall, pop 1100. Ignored that little tid bit, no?

Andrew Miller Says:

Djoko sounds right with Nadal also in the game. Del Potro is a little concerned on the surface pace and he has the only a few racquets in the bag problem. Everyone else a little shaky – outside pick to cause r
Trouble Hewitt and Tomic.

Federer and his new racquet dont see it. Murray not playing good ball. Tsonga and durability problem . maybe berdych.

Giles Says:

January 9th 5.07 post. Australian Open site thought the article was newsworthy enough to post and it was. Nobody said it was a BIG town. You types just assumed and Bad Back Rules even went to the bother of googling details. Well they didn’t choose to support fed. Nadal is their man!!!!
Vamos Champ!!

madmax Says:

Slice Tennis Says:
Mad max,
Are you ok ?
Had a sun stroke already ?

January 9th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Thank goodness for that ST! Josh and I were worried that you had been copying too many “original” posts.

Now you are sounding more like the real deal.

Vidzy Says:

Here you go. The court is same as previous years. What a shame.

Anyone expecting lightning-fast Australian Open courts will be disappointed, according to tournament director Craig Tiley, who has denied that a quicker version of Plexicushion has been ordered – or delivered – for next week’s grand slam.
Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Marin Cilic, as well as Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter, are among the players at this week’s Brisbane International to testify that the speed of the Queensland Tennis Centre courts has risen significantly this year. Cilic, indeed, said they were the slickest he had experienced anywhere in more than 12 months.
But, if so, that is Brisbane, said Tiley, who insisted nothing has altered at Melbourne Park. A modified Wilson ball was introduced last year with a tighter weave to improve longevity, but any major change in court speed is, apparently, unlikely.
”We’ve repeated what we did in 2013,” said Tiley, pointing to the heatwave conditions and covered court in Brisbane, as well as the extended time given to the courts to ”plateau” after their annual resurface, as contributing factors there. ”We didn’t get that feedback at Hopman Cup, which is also the exact same surface.”

Defending champion Novak Djokovic on Saturday became the first player to hit this season on Rod Laver Arena.
Tiley said the world No.2 had not commented on the speed of the court, pace has been a recurring discussion point elsewhere in the past week

Steve 27 Says:

wko knows the odds for the Australian Open to bet some money?

the DA Says:

Rafa, Andy & Federer in one half; Nole, Ferrer & Berdych in the other. Projected QFs: Nadal-del Potro, Murray-Federer, Berdych-Ferrer, Wawrinka-Djokovic. Fed is scheduled to meet Stakhovsky in rnd 3!! Tomic opens against Nadal. haha

the DA Says:

It’s so lopsided: Nadal, Murray, Federer, Tsonga, Delpo. Djokovic is definitely having a cackle behind the curtain.

A Tango Lad Says:

Nadal with the toughest draw: Tomic in the 1st round, Monfils in the 3rd, Del Potro quarter final, Murray or Roger in semis

No one to threaten Djokovic in first three rounds with only Gulbis in the fourth. Gets Wawrinka in quarters and Ferrer in semis.

Similarly easy path for Roger first three rounds. Roger gets Tsonga in the fourth round, has a good chance against an out of form Murray in the quarters, and gets the winner of Del Potro vs Nadal in the semis.

If del Potro takes out Nadal in a long match, look for Roger to get to his first major final since 2012!

Not a bad draw at all for TMF.

the DA Says:

Nole’s path:
R1:Lacko, R2:Montanes, R3:Baghdatis, R4: Gulbis/Monaco, QF: Wawrinka/Gasquet, SF: Berdych/ Ferrer, F:Nadal/DelPo/Murray
(again, gotta laugh)

Murray’s path
R1: Soeda, R2: Qualifier, R3: Lopez, R4: Isner, QF: Federer, SF: Nadal/Delpo, F: Djokovic
(not that bad really. Thought it’d be worse)

Not enough time to work out Ferrer’s and Federer’s unfortunately.

That’s it from me. Gotta get some sleep before Andy’s exo with Hewitt in about 5 hours.

Steve 27 Says:

Cake draw for the ITF champion. The Australians loves the serbian so much. Definetely, is Djokovic’s to lose.

ID FAN Says:

My predraw pick was Nadal but after the draw this is nole slam to loose

nits Says:

based on draw
djokovic u r a damm lucky guy

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