Australian Open 2012 Draw

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/ms/index.html

[1]Djokovic v Lorenzi
Giraldo v Qualifier
Ito v Starace
[29]Stepanek v Mahut
[23]Raonic v Volandri
Rosol v Petzschner
Stebe v Hewitt
[15]Roddick v Haase

[9]Tipsarevic v Tursunov
Qualifier v Duckworth
Youzhny v Qualifier
[17]Gasquet v Seppi
[27]Chela v Russell
Kunitsyn v Andujar
Bachinger v Sweeting
[5]Ferrer v Machado

——————-

[4]Murray v Harrison
Malisse v Roger-Vasselin
Llodra v Gulbis
[32]Bogomolov Jr. v Gimeno-Traver
[19]Troicki v Ferrero
Garcia-Lopez v Kukushkin
Bellucci v Sela
[14]Monfils v Matosevic

[12]Simon v Qualifier
Benneteau v K.Beck
Souza v Ebden
[24]Nishikori v Robert
[26]Granollers v Levine
Gil v Dodig
Qualifier v Mello
[6]Tsonga v Istomin

——————-

[8]Fish v Muller
Falla v Fognini
Montanes v Riba
[25]Monaco v Kohlschreiber
[20]F.Mayer v Lu
Qualifier v Darcis
Qualifier v Kavcic
[11]Del Potro v Mannarino

[13]Dolgopolov v Jones
Kamke v Hanescu
De Schepper v Querrey
[22]Verdasco v Tomic
[31]Melzer v Karlovic
Berlocq v Qualifier
Prodon v A.Beck
[3]Federer v Qualifier

——————-

[7]Berdych v Ramos
Rochus v Qualifier
Stakhovsky v Qualifier
[30]Anderson v Qualifier
[21]Wawrinka v Paire
Baghdatis v Becker
Chardy v Dimitrov
[10]Almagro v Kubot

[16]Isner v Mitchell
Nieminen v Nalbandian
Cipolla v Davydenko
[18]F.Lopez v L.Mayer
[28]Ljubicic v Qualifier
Qualifier v Young
Haas v Qualifier
[2]Nadal v Qualifier

Finally the all important draw is out and would you believe it, Roger is not in Djokovic’s half of the draw! It is the first time that has happened since the 2008 French Open. And for the first  time since the 2005 French Open Roger is in Nadal’s half of the draw. This was the first thing I was concerned with in the draw. If Roger ended up in Djokovic’s half again it would have been a disappointment. Now Roger does not have to worry about facing the favorite until the final, and if he does we could have a blockbuster final. Of the top four Nadal has the easiest draw as usual with Djokovic coming a close second. Then comes Roger and then Murray who has a tough draw. Roger plays a qualifier in the first round, after which he plays the winner of Prodon and Beck who I don’t know much about. Then it looks like Melzer or Karlovic.

Neither of them has really shined of late. In the fourth round Roger will face Tomic, Dolgopolov, or Verdasco. The Tomic/Verdasco match is the most expected match of the first round. I think Tomic will win there. A Dolgopolov/Tomic third round would be interesting. Both of them would be tricky opponents for Roger but whether they could upset Roger is another story. Then it looks like Roger could face either Del Potro or Fish in the quarters. Fish has not really impressed of late. I think Del Potro has a decent chance of making quarters. If he goes on a good run he could be a tough opponent for Roger. He has struggled to get back to top form after his long injury lay off in 2010 though. I think Roger’s draw look pretty decent until the semis. I would like to see him make at least semis after his end to last year and all the hype for this year.

In the semis Roger will probably face Nadal or Berdych. Nadal’s draw is easy and he should make semis. Both Nalbandian and Davydenko could have beaten him if they were still in their primes, but that’s not the case anymore. Maybe Isner can cause and upset since he took Nadal to five sets on clay. Berdych isn’t usually mentally strong enough to beat Nadal. Nadal is the favorite to make the semis, but an upset is not out of the question given his recent form. If he does make semis it could be a good chance for Roger to get a win over him in a slam. The slowish hard courts does however favor Nadal. If Nadal does make the final then at least he probably still has to face his nemesis Djokovic. In the top half Murray has both the recent Doha finalists Monfils and Tsonga in his draw. Tsonga will be especially tough.

It it is a tough start for the Murray/Lendl partnership at slam level. Djokovic has Roddick and Raonic in his draw. I think Raonic would beat Roddick, and a Djokovic/Raonic fourth round would be fun. After that Djokovic has Tipsarevic or Ferrer. Those are both tough players but you would think Djokovic will be too good. So in the top half semis we are probably looking a Djokovic vs Murray or Tsonga. Whatever happens there are some good possible match ups in the top half. But the fact that we have Fedal and Djokoray in the same half is really a fresh change and makes this slam unique. We don’t have to see a Djokoray final again as it was a big disappointment last year. We can also now see a possible Fedal semi which is always exciting, and a Djokerer final would be a blockbuster as I said. Playing Nadal in the semis would be the perfect preparation for the final for Roger.

The fact that Roger destroyed Nadal in their last meeting may give him a nice mental boost going into a Fedal semi too. But both of them still has to make semis which is less certain these days. So in the end the top four is the favorites to make the semis again, with Murray probably with the greatest chance of being upset. I only say that because he has Tsonga in his draw, while Monfils is also dangerous. On the other hand Lendl may just give Murray a much needed confidence boost. I think in the end Roger’s draw looks pretty good. He didn’t get Tsonga in his quarter or Djokovic in his semi. So really we could not have hoped for much better. I would like to see Roger make at least semis, but after all the hype a final is more in line with what you would expect. Having said that, he has the problem back so things are a bit uncertain.

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17 Comments

  1. Aha! Nice and fresh indeed!
    Roger’s chances to make it to the semifinal seem good and certain.Rafa,as you said ruan,got the easiest of the draws.But we will see how a fedal semi goes should they meet there.Murray can choke quite early this time and will be ousted before semis(my gut feeling).Let see how everything pans out!Interesting 2 weeks ahead.

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  2. The draw looks okay. Any player can be dangerous on any given day, but if Roger is at his best he can beat anyone.The only big name there is DP. and he might not even make it far enough given his Sydney
    form.Nice to see Novak and Tsonga not in Fed´s half for a change.I hope Roger´s back behaves and the worst workout it gets is lifting the trophy!GO ROGER!

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  3. I think it’s unfortunate Federer got Del Potro in his quarter, which is the most dangerous player after Tsonga. Del Potro will not have too much trouble getting to the QF (I believe he didn’t care too much about losing early in Sydney, it allowed him to rest before the AO). He’s in good form and he gave Nadal a battle in the DC. Federer should also make it to the QF but even if he passes Del Potro it might be a tough fight and he might be tired in the semis.

    As for the rest of the four:
    Djokovic will get easily to the semis. No explanations needed.
    Murray won’t defend his points this year (Tosnga+Djokovic).
    Nadal might sweat against Isner and Berdych but he’ll be in the semis.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m not so sure about Del Potro TD. Even if he makes quarters i don’t see him bothering Roger much. It seems he takes a long time to find his form after long breaks. Losing in Sydney in straights is not a good sign for him.

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    booya719 Reply:

    Until I see del Potro out of the draw I think it would be a fatal mistake to underestimate him. If he makes that QF with Roger he will go all out to win. Roger could beat del Potro by all means, but the physicality of the match and what it will take out of Roger will be a stiff price to pay for the next round.

    Del Potro’s effort in the Davis Cup was epic against Nadal and was a very grueling baseline grindfest. Del Potro proved he can grind on a tennis court for over 4 hours, which was often his weakness in the past when he used to run out of gas completely after 2-3 hours.

    At any rate, I feel it would be wise to expect him to be Roger’s QF opponent, and if he happens to go out early, that’s great for all of us. Del Potro is a sleeping giant and can awaken at any moment. Last year he was close against Nadal at Wimbledon and gave a good effort against Djokovic at the French Open. He’s due for a breakthrough and I just hope it’s not against Roger here. Hopefully he still needs more time.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Fair enough. He can be dangerous no doubt. He did get tired against Nadal though and his fitness is still questionable.

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  4. It’s pretty shocking that Federer and Djokovic have only played each other in one major final, USO ’07. This tournament provides a chance to remedy that.

    Their matches at RG and USO were worthy of a final, it’s about time they actually played one. It would be a fantastic battle: the most successful AO champion in the Open Era (along with Agassi) vs. the two-time and defending champion, playing for the title. But it’s a long way till we get there.

    Murray is 5-1 against Tsonga and given his recent form, I’d back the Scot if they meet. I think he will make the semis to face Djokovic.

    It’s hard to see Djokovic losing before the final.

    Super Nadal hasn’t shown up in Melbourne for the last three years, he’s lost in the quarters in ’10 and ’11. But he might find the form he was in in ’09, which would spell trouble.

    Some people have suggested a Federer/Nadal semi would be easier for Federer because it won’t have the pressure of a final. I don’t think so. It will be just as tough for Federer, and he will have to summon up his best, most confident tennis to do it.

    I think the AO surface is not as suited for Del Potro’s game as a faster hard court. It’s harder for him to hit through the slow court, but he can’t slide like on clay, to compensate for his relatively weaker defense.

    Watching him lose to Baghdatis, I thought he was playing very well; just that Baghdatis was playing very aggressive, first-strike tennis and not giving Del Potro any chance to wind up and blast his groundstrokes. If Federer plays well, he should be able to beat Del Potro if they meet, but it could be close.

    Hoping Federer’s back has healed and that he can devote his full strength to the task at hand: claiming Grand Slam #17!

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    TD Reply:

    Steve,
    Of course meeting Nadal in the semi will be a very tough match for Federer. But, Nadal has always been Federer’s problem whereas Djokovic has always been a solvable one. Imagine Federer beating Nadal in the semis, what a boost of confidence it’ll give him for the final (it will also mean that he’s playing very well). This scenario is much better for Federer than beating Djokovic in the semis and then meeting Nadal in the final with all the memories of previous finals. Nadal will always be the toughest match for Federer, especially because of the mental burden (and the heavy topspin).

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly.

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

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

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

    Winner: Djokovic

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    booya719 Reply:

    The only advantage Isner has over Nadal is that his height allows him to not be bothered as much by Nadal’s insane topspin. But…Isner has to actually do something with his shots. If Isner had a ground game anywhere near as good as Del Potro he’d be capable of beating Nadal, but I just don’t see him being able to compete against Nadal’s ground game.

    That’s not to say that Isner’s ground game is as bad as Karolvic’s. Isner is a decent shot maker but still not enough to compete with the top guys. Isner’s inconsistent ground game is what has kept him from being a top 10 guy. Isner has had about 4, 5 years on the tour and has really not evolved his game at all during the time. For this reason I always consider Isner a fortunate draw for any of the top 4 guys because they all know how to beat him, the points are short in matches against him, and they don’t have to expend as much energy against him. Sets might go 7-6 sometimes but they are not grueling sets and the outcome is rarely in doubt.

    Without question Nadal will reach the semis with the draw he has. He’s got the easiest draw of the top 4 as usual.

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  6. i think this is a really though draw for fed. in order to win he will most probably have to beat delpo, nadal, djoko, one after the other. for fed at the age of 30 it sounds almost impossible mission. i think fed will have to be 100% phsycally and mentally to get the trophy. also a little bit of luck wont hurt, maybe delpo or nadal will make some early exits. preferably nadal.
    about the others:
    djoko – no one will be able to touch him untill semis, really his draw almost ridiculous.
    nadal – also easy draw, maybe isner can bother him a bit if he is really in shape.
    murray – killer draw. but he is playing well and i think will make it to the semis.
    i believe djoko will win but i prey for super fed to show up. either way I CANT WAIT !!

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  7. This is a VERY good draw for Federer. I can’t see him being tested until the 4th round and then his most dangerous QF opponent would be Delpo. But I’m not sure Delpo makes it there because he is still not at his best. A Roger/Rafa semi would be tough as always but it is more winnable for RF right now than any other meeting with Rafa struggling recently. As for Nadal, he should make the semis, but I would not be surprised to see him go out against Berdych (yes, Berdych). If Raonic meets Djokovic in the 4th round, then Nole better watch out. Raonic is the best server on tour right now and Nole will have to be at his peak. A tough match there could weaken him against Ferrer, and we know what a tired Djokovic did against Ferrer at the WTF. There’s a chance that could replicate if Djoko has a tough 4th round match (or even 3rd as well). I don’t take any stock in the Abu Dhabi final. I actually think Murray has a good chance to beat Djokovic if they meet in the semis. I think Tsonga does as well (he already did in ’10). I think Murray really will have a newfound sense of belief with Lendl and that will help him.
    I would love to see another Federer/Murray final.

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    booya719 Reply:

    Murray was given a draw from hell. If he makes it to his SF, it would mean he’s definitely been doing something right to get there and would have a great chance vs Djokovic. His draw reminds me of all of Federer’s US Open draws for the past 5 years. Murray’s draw here is just brutal. I don’t think you can draw it up any harder if you wanted to on purpose.

    But sure, Federer vs Murray or even Federer vs anyone would be great at this point. As much as I hate to say it, seeing Federer in grand slam finals is going to be a rare treat as we approach the end of his career. I personally would prefer Federer vs Djokovic in the final because we haven’t seen them meet in a GS final since 2007 and it would be good for the rivalry.

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  8. Does anyone have news about Fed’s back problem? We should be happy with the draw, imagine Fed and Murray switch their quarters. Murray has a very difficult draw. Nadal’s quarter looks fixed again. Aside from Isner’s serve and Berdych’s groundstrokes most of the other players do not possess a weapon to threaten Nadal’s game.Isner’s form is questionable and Berdych has the game but not the guts to upset Nadal. Nadal usually finds his form during a tournament, especially if he has weak opponents at the beginning. I expect him to make the semis.

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    Azy Reply:

    Murray draw not that bad, look at Tsonga he has had decent results in ozzie open. But his fitness over 5 sets is still an issue and he only reached Semi in one GS last year which was Wimbledon, a fast surface. He’s a good 2/3 sets player, Master 1000s, like Murray you can say but difference is that Murray has the fitness that’s why I don’t see Murray losing to Tsonga, you can see their head to heads aswell. Or Queens Final last year, Tsonga played set and a half, lights out tennis got tired and Murray ended up winning and that was 3 sets match lol

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  9. how exactly is RAfa’s draw easier than RF and Noles? Isnt Berdych much tougher to play against than Delpo? Just so u know, im rooting for Murray. hope he wins.

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