Saturday, 12 January 2013

Australian Open Draw Analysis - ATP

The new season has begun and the first major starts in a day. The draw has been made and all the eyes had been on where was Andy Murray going to fall in the draw, the Scot being the 3rd seed, just like in women’s draw all the eyes were on Serena Williams. The Scot ended up flying past the top half and into the Swiss Masters half.

Some intriguing matches have been set, although not as intriguing as women’s early matches.
Novak Djokovic returns to defend his title, the only grand slam he has been able to defend before this. He will be going for 3 peat, and will be aiming to become the first man to win 3 consecutive Australian Open titles, and joining Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, as the 3rd man in the open era to win 4 Australian Open titles.

Roger Federer, the 2nd seed will be aiming to win his 5th Australian Open title to become the lone holder of the most Australian Open titles. Federer enters the Australian Open for the first time in his career without playing any warm-up event.

Andy Murray will be aiming to become the first man ever to win back to back grand slams, after winning his first grand slam. No man has man ever won a straight second grand slam after his maiden grand slam title.

Let us move onto the draw and see what the draw holds for us.


Heads of the quarter
Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych

Also here
- Roberto Bautista Agut, who upset Tomas Berdych in Chennai, and lost a 3 set final to Tipsarevic
- Fernando Verdasco, the Hpman cup winner
- Sydney runner-up Kevin Anderson
- American comeback kid, Brian Baker

Country most represented in the quarter
Spain, with 6 players

Novak Djokovic opens against French Paul-Henri Mathieu and can play Ryan Harrison in the second round. Djokovic is seeded to play Radek Stepanek in the 3rd round. Djokovic is combined 13-2 against Mathieu, Harrison and Stepanek, with the 2 loses coming to Mathieu and Stepnaek, both in 2006.
Meeting Djokovic in the 4th round for a place in the quarter-finals will be either Sam Querrey or Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

Querrey opens against Spanis player Munoz De-La Nava, while Wawrinka opens against German Marcel Stebe. Wawrinka and Querrey are seeded to meet in the 3rd round. The head to head favours Wawrinka, but their both prior meetings have gone the distance most notable one in the 4th round of U.S Open, won by Wawrinka in tight 5 sets. However, I guess, Querrey will step up and book a meeting with Djokovic in the 4th round.

Djokovic leads Querrey 4-1 in head to head, however, Querrey’s only win came in the pair’s last meeting in 2012 in the second round of Paris, where Querrey rallied after getting bagled in the first set, to win the match in 3 sets.

Sitting at the bottom of the quarter is Tomas Berdych, who has made it to the quarter-finals of Australian Open, the last two years, losing to Novak Djokovic in 2011 and Rafael Nadal in 2012. Berdych opens against Michael Russel and is seeded to meet Jurgen Melzer in the 3rd round. Berych and Melzer are tied in their head to head at 2-all, however they have not played since Beijing 2011, a match won by Berdych.

Berych is seeded to play the winner of Juan Monaco and Fernando Verdasco in the 4th round.
Verdasco opens against David Goffin, while Monaco opens against Kuznetsov. Monaco can play Sydney runner-up Anderson in the second round. Monaco has won the only meeting with Anderson in the quarter-finals of Houston. Goffin and Anderson may spoil the possible meeting of the seeded players in the 3rd round. Berdych is 6-0 against Monaco and 10-4 against Verdasco.

It seems like the heads of the draw will not have much trouble and will march on for the much anticipated quarter-final.

First Round Matches to Watch
Xavier Malise vs Pablo Andujar; Fernando Verdasco vs David Goffin; Fabio Fognini vs Roberto Bautista Agut; Viktor Trociki vs Radek Stepanek

Black Horses
Sam Querrey, Kevin Anderson

Players to keep an eye on
David Goffin, Roberto Baustista Agut

Likely early upsets
Fernando Verdasco, Juan Monaco

Novak Djokovic d. Tomas Berdych (Although I have picked Berdych to make it to the quarter-final, but I have a feeling that he will fall early)


Heads of the quarter
David Ferrer, Janko Tipsarevic

Also here
- The ace doctor, Ivo Karlovic
- Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, loved a lot by the Aussie fans
- Brisbane runner-up, Grigor Dimitrov
- Last year’s Paris Bercy runner-up Jerzy Janowicz, and
- The Aussie veteran Lleyton Hewitt, playing his 17th straight Australian Open

Players with former glory at the Australian Open
Marcos Baghdatis and Lleyton Hewitt

The withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, lifted David Ferrer to the 4th seed. David Ferrer opens against Oliver Rochus, in a quarter that is the most open of all the quarters. Ferrer is coming off a 3 peat at Auckland and is seeded to meet Baghdatis in the 3rd round.  Ferrer is 6-2 life-time against Rochus, and could play Karolvic in the 2nd round. Ferrer is 2-1 against Karlovic, but they have not played since Indian Wells 2011, where Karlovic beat Ferrer. Ferrer leads Baghdatis 3-1 in their head to head but the pair has not played since Madrid Spain in 2010. Ferrer should make the 4th round without much trouble.

Ferrer is seeded to play the winner of Nishikori and Youzhny in the 4th round. Nishikori played some impressive tennis in Brisbane International before retiring against Murray with a knee injury. Nishikori claims that the he is now fine and ready for the Australian Open. If he finds that form, he will definitely make it to the 4th round taking out possible 3rd round seed Mikhail Youzhny
If Nishikori is well and finds his game, he will definitely give Ferrer a head ache. Nishikori leads Ferrer 2-1 in their head to head. Nishikori bagled Ferrer in their last meeting at Olympics, although Nishikori won in 3.

Janko Tipsarevic is coming off a title run in Chennai and faces a tough opener in 2005 Australian Open runner-up Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt had some impressive wins in AMI Kyong Classic over Raonic, Berdych and Del Potro and will be high on confidence. Hewitt leads Tipsarevic 3-1 in the pair’s head to head, however they have not played since Sydney 2009.

Grigor Dimitrov faces Benneteau in his opener and should be able to navigate his way past him. I am not yet fully convinced on Dimitrov making a run in the grand slam, but I will give the kid a chance and pick him to go on to the 3rd round at least, where his possible opponent will probably be the winner of Hewitt Tipsarevic match.

Jerzy Janowicz has the chance to prove that his Paris Bercy run was no fluke. He is seeded to meet Nicolas Almagro in the 3rd round where his real test will come. The winner will move to the 4th round with a chance to make it to the quarter-finals.

First Round Matches to Watch
Xavier Malise vs Pablo Andujar; Fernando Verdasco vs David Goffin; Fabio Fognini vs Roberto Bautista Agut; Viktor Trociki vs Radek Stepanek

Black Horses
Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori and Jerzy Janowicz

Players to keep an eye on
Lleyton Hewitt, John Millman, Nicolas Almagro

Likely early upsets
Julien Benneteau, Mikhail Youzhny and Janko Tipsarevic

David Ferrer (Although I would love to pick Nishikori) d. Grigor Dimitrov (I know Dimitrov has never been out of the 2nd round of a Grand Slam yet, but there always is a first time)


Heads of the quarter
Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro

Also here
- Aljaz Bedene, who made the semi-finals of Chennai taking out Wawrinka and took Tipsarevic to three sets;
- Marin Cilic, the 2010 Australian Open semi-finalist;
- Alexander Dologopolov, the 2011 Australian Open quarter-finalist

Player returning from injury lay off
Gael Monfils

Name Game
Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo


Juan Martin Delpotro, sitting at the top of the quarter, opens against Adrian Mannarino and is seeded to meet Marcel Granollers in the 3rd round. Granollers has however, never been out of the 2nd round in Australian Open. Possible 4th round opponent of Del Potro is Marin Cilic, who opens against Marinko Matosevic. Cilic is seeded to meet Andreas Seppi in the 3rd round. If Cilic and Del Potro meet, it will be a good match up, although Del Potro leads Cilic in the pairs’ encounters 7-2. 4 of those 7 victories came last year, where Cilic failed to win a set. However, the two have once met before in the 4th round of Australian Open and it Cilic who walked away with victory, but since then it has been all Del Potro.

Andy Murray starts his 2013 Australian Open campaign against Robin Hasse and is seeded to meet Florian Mayer in the 3rd round. Possible 4th round opponents for Murray are Giles Simon/Alexandr Dolgopolov/Gael Monfils. Murray is 4-0 against Dolgopolov, 9-1 against Simon and 3-2 against Monfils.

First Round Matches to Watch
Gael Monfils vs Alexndr Dolgopolov, Tommy Robredo vs Jessie Levine

Black Horses
Marin Cilic, Alexndr Dolgopolov

Players to keep an eye on
Aljaz Bedene, Gael Monfils,

Likely early upsets
Julien Benneteau, Mikhail Youzhny and Janko Tipsarevic

Murray leads the head to head 5-1, however, surprisingly the two have not played since 2009. Their last two encounters went to 3 sets. The two are grand slam champions, it should be a great match-up and will be a test for Delpotro, however, Murray will be more fired up and will move on.
Andy Murray d. Juan Martin Delpotro


Heads of the quarter
Roger Federer, Jo Wilfried Tsonga

Also here
- Tommy Haas, the 34 year old Veteran and seeded 19th.
- Milos Raonic, the young gun from Canada
- Lukas Rosol, the Nadal conqueror at Wimbledon
- Sydney winner, Bernard Tomic
- Qatar Exxon runner-up, Nikolay Davydenko

Players making debut at Australian Open
Guido Pell, Josselin Ouanna and Di Wu


Jo Wilfried Tsonga occupies the top spot of the quarter and opens against country-man Micheal Llodra. Tsonga is seeded to play Bellucci in the 3rd round. Tsonga has done well on the Melbourne courts and should be fired up to do well again. Injury forced Tsonga to withdraw from Hopman cup and Sydney, and we have yet to see where the French man stands. Veteran Tommy Haas opens against Fin Jarkko Niemien and is seeded to meet Richard Gasquet in the 3rd round. Haas has been a semi-finalist here 3 times and knows what it takes to go that deep in the draw, Gasquet on the other hand has never been out of the 4th round of the Australian Open. Haas and Gasquet are levelled at 2-all in their head to head, with Gasquet winning their encounter in last year’s French Open. The winner will be likely taking on Tsonga in the 4th round for a quarter-final spot. I would love Haas going deep, but given his age and the hot weather of Australia coupled with the fact that this is best of 5, diminishes his chances greatly.

Roger Federer occupies the bottom of the quarter, and opens against Benoit Paire, and could play Davydenko in the 2nd round in what could be a very tricky 2nd round match. However, Federer is 17-2 against Davydenko in their meetings. However, the last one at Rotterdam in the semi-finals, went to 3 sets. Davydenko showed great form in Qatar Exxon monile and with that form he will definitely give fits to everyone. Federer’s possible 3rd round opponent could be the Sydney winner Bernard Tomic. Tomic played Federer in the 4th round last year, but lost in straight sets. The winner could face Milos Ranonic or Philip Kohlschreiber,  in the 4th round, however Raonic has not had a good start to the year. Raonic opens against Jan Hajek, and could player Rosol in the 2nd round.

Roger Federer has entered Australian Open without any warm-up events, and says that he is eager and fit to return to the courts.

First Round Matches to Watch
Go Soeda vs Luke Seville; Lukas Rosol Jamie Baker;

Black Horses
Bernard Tomic, Milos Raonic,

Players to keep an eye on
Go Soeda, Philip Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas

Likely early upsets
Martin Klizan, Thomaz Bellucci

Roger Federer d. Tsonga

Novak Djokovic leads David Ferrer 9-5 in the head to head record. Djokovic has defeated Ferrer twice in the quarter-finals before here (2008 and 2012), Ferrer may give Djokovic a head ache but in the end it will Djokovic who will prevail against Ferrer.
Djokovic d. Ferrer

Andy Murray leads Federer 10-9 in the pair’s head to head record, however, the Scot has yet to beat 17 time major champion in a grand slam. However, I would go with Andy Murray. (Although, I hate myself for going with Andy Murray, and I would love to see Federer proving me wrong, but that is what my mind says)
Murray d. Federer

Djokovic leads the head to head 10-7, and Djokovic has won the last 2 meetings, however, it was Murray who defeated Djokovic in the finals of U.S Open to claim his maiden slam, so he should be brimming with confidence should the two meet, but in the end it will be Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic d. Andy Murray

What do you think? Who do you see causing upset, or making a deep run?

Enjoy the Australian Open tennis. Appologies in advance for any typos.


  1. There will be some surprises but definitely I see Novak and Andy in finals. Novak is my preferable choice.

  2. I concur, Novak will beat Andy in finals.

  3. I see Novak and Federer in finals, Novak is the winner!

  4. I would love to see Federer have a shot at the trophy and if he does get to the final, I think he will take it. Keeping fingers crossed for him :)

  5. Yes, that is what seems at the moment, although I would love Fedex to prove us wrong ;)

  6. Yes, especially the 2nd quarter seems widely open, plus the bottom of the 1st quarter. Berdych is slumping at the moment, though I wnat him to right his ships in time for Aus Open.