Australian Open Tournament has already been drawn. All players, except those who are still immersed in their struggle to appear in the main draw, they already know the outlook that awaits them next Monday. Let´s see which is the draw of the main favourites.
Novak Djokovic, as number 1 seeded, leads the table. The first two rounds are theoretically very accessible – he debuts with Chung, the promising Korean teenager – to presumably be in R32 with the first seeded player in his way, Andreas Seppi. H2H 11-0 for the Serbian. In R16 he could meet with Karlovic or Simon. He would not be happy playing with the Croatian so soon. Karlovic is the only active player who has a favourable balance against Djokovic having played at least three matches or more (1-2). Apart from this, which could be anecdotal, it is known that no one wants to face the good of Ivo; spend the hours watching parade the aces, without any rhythm, and pending that he flagging sometime or gamble in the tie breaks, it is not a tasteful dish to anybody. It’s not difficult to imagine the Serbian lighting a candle so someone could beat Karlovic in the early rounds.
In Quarters, the most likely rivals would be Tsonga or Nishikori. The first would have as the toughest rival in the early rounds to Benoit Paire, 3-0 to Tsonga in their individual duels. As for the Japanese, he must play in first round with Kohlschreiber, they have never played previously and then probably with García-López (2-0 to Nishikori). If finally they find each other in R16 Tsonga-Nishikori, the things are 4-2 for the Japanese, although the last duel ended with the french victory at Roland Garros last year.
For Djokovic, either would be the first serious challenge, except for the pim-pam-pum that he could have to endure with Karlovic. With Tsonga the H2H is 14-6, with the last victory of the french in Canada 2014. He dominates Nishikori 5-2, but the Japanese already won him in a Grand Slam, in the semifinal of the US Open 2014. The truth is that both have been able to defeat the “djoker” on more than one occasion. It is a draw complicated for Djokovic that, at least he avoids an early showdown with Nadal.
The second quarter of the draw is headed by Roger Federer, so theoretically it would be possible a semi-final with Djokovic. Long before the Swiss should leave by the wayside a few rivals, starting with Basilashvili, his debut match. Then Dolgopolov (2-0) or Berankis to confront theoretically in R32 with Dimitrov, 4-0 in the H2H and a very recent match in Brisbane where the Bulgarian was able to win a set for first time.
In the horizon of the R16 appear Thiem (1-0, a few dates ago in Brisbane) and Goffin (3-0), as well as some possible outsiders like Edmund, Benneteau, or Stakhovsky, an ungrateful memory for the Swiss. In any case, no one represents a real challenge for Federer if he is at his best level.
In quarters, the theoretical opponent would be Berdych, number 6 seeded of the tournament. Sure, the Czeck has to play with one of the jackpot of the draw, nothing less than Kyrgios, the great Australian hope, with whom he would face in the third round. The young “aussie”, undoubtedly one of the great attractions of the tournament, comes from getting four victories in the Hopman Cup, one of them against Murray, showing a very convincing game. The have never faced previously, so there are no references.
On that side of the draw are also Cilic and Coric, they would face each other in the second round, and Bautista-Agut, all of them with legitimate aspirations of reaching the quarter-final dreamed.
Wawrinka, as number 4 seeded, leads this quarter of the draw. Cannot be said that the Swiss has had too much luck in the draw. He makes his debut with Tursunov and in the third round he could play against Sock or Rosol, very uncomfortable opponents. In the R16 appears in his horizon Raonic, recent winner of Federer in Brisbane; certainly “The Man” shows a convincing 4-0 before the Canadian in their duels, but there is no doubt that Milos is probably the hardest opponent that could have dropped him in fourth round.
For the theoretical quarters, the hardest yet: Rafael Nadal at the appliance. The Spanish already knew that it would a top-4 in his horizon of quarters, so presumably Wawrinka has not seemed the worst possibility, even considering the enormous difficulty of the confrontation. The 16-3 between them is misleading, since 2014 the Swiss has a favourable 3-2, starting with the famous final of Australia two years ago, and that meant a turning point in the career of both.
Rafa will have to clear his way before that duel. In principle, his outlook seems quite clear. He makes his debut with Verdasco (14-2) and then presumably Chardy (2-0) and Monfils (11-2) or Anderson (3-0) in the R16. A priori very lucky draw and that could allow him, if he plays at his best level, reach the final rounds with little physical wear.
Andy Murray will begin his journey in the tournament playing with Zverev, the young German prodigy of 18 years. After a seemingly placid scene to meet in the R16 with Fognini or Tomic. The Italian has a good result against him (2-2) although they do not play since Valencia 2014. With the Australian the head to head is 3-0 but we must not forget that Tomic plays at home, he is a local Idol and in one inspired day he can beat anyone.
Ferrer is in the top and he could have the honour of retiring Hewitt as professional tennis player if they meet in the second round. In the R16, he would have a possible match against Isner (6-1 for the one from Javea).
In the quarterfinals, Murray would always be the favourite. With Ferrer he is 18-6, being 4 of 6 victories of the Spanish on clay. In addition, the Scottish has emerged victorious in the last 5 meetings. With Isner the head to head is even more overwhelming, 5-0 to the Scottish.
So far counts, forecasts and logic. Then, as always, the victories will be decided on the court, where all players start zero-zero and there is no other that play more and better. Hopefully, first of all, we have a magnificent Open with great matches. And may the best man win.
Gabriel Garcia / thetennisbase.com