Australian Open 2016 Draw – Nadal Falls in Wawrinka’s Quarter

[1]DJOKOVIC, Novak SRB
CHUNG, Hyeon KOR
HALYS, Quentin FRA
DODIG, Ivan CRO
KRAJINOVIC, Filip SRB
KUDLA, Denis USA
GABASHVILI, Teymuraz RUS
[28]SEPPI, Andreas ITA

[22]KARLOVIC, Ivo CRO
DELBONIS, Federico ARG
VESELY, Jiri CZE
(Q)QUALIFIER
DONSKOY, Evgeny RUS
CERVANTES, Inigo ESP
POSPISIL, Vasek CAN
[14]SIMON, Gilles FRA

[9]TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried FRA
BAGHDATIS, Marcos CYP
(W)JASIKA, Omar AUS
MARCHENKO, Illya UKR
ANDUJAR, Pablo ESP
(Q)QUALIFIER
(W)RUBIN, Noah USA
[17]PAIRE, Benoit FRA

[26]GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo ESP
MATHIEU, Paul-Henri FRA
ESTRELLA BURGOS, Victor DOM
(Q)QUALIFIER
KRAJICEK, Austin USA
(Q)QUALIFIER
KOHLSCHREIBER, Philipp GER
[7]NISHIKORI, Kei JPN

[3]FEDERER, Roger SUI
BASILASHVILI, Nikoloz GEO
BERANKIS, Ricardas LTU
DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr UKR
(Q)QUALIFIER
(Q)QUALIFIER
LORENZI, Paolo ITA
[27]DIMITROV, Grigor BUL

[19]THIEM, Dominic AUT
MAYER, Leonardo ARG
BENNETEAU, Julien FRA
ALMAGRO, Nicolas ESP
EDMUND, Kyle GBR
DZUMHUR, Damir BIH
STAKHOVSKY, Sergiy UKR
[15]GOFFIN, David BEL

[12]CILIC, Marin CRO
DE BAKKER, Thiemo NED
RAMOS-VINOLAS, Albert ESP
CORIC, Borna CRO
LAJOVIC, Dusan SRB
QUERREY, Sam USA
KLIZAN, Martin SVK
[24]BAUTISTA AGUT, Roberto ESP

[29]KYRGIOS, Nick AUS
CARRENO BUSTA, Pablo ESP
(W)NISHIOKA, Yoshihito JPN
CUEVAS, Pablo URU
HAASE, Robin NED
(Q)QUALIFIER
BHAMBRI, Yuki IND
[6]BERDYCH, Thomas


[5]NADAL, Rafael ESP
VERDASCO, Fernando ESP
BECKER, Benjamin GER
SELA, Dudi ISR
(Q)QUALIFIER
KUZNETSOV, Andrey RUS
GULBIS, Ernests LAT
[30]CHARDY, Jeremy FRA

[23]MONFILS, Gael FRA
(Q)QUALIFIER
CECCHINATO, Marco ITA
MAHUT, Nicolas FRA
(Q)QUALIFIER
(Q)QUALIFIER
RAM, Rajeev USA
[11]ANDERSON, Kevin RSA

[13]RAONIC, Milos CAN
POUILLE, Lucas FRA
JAZIRI, Malek TUN
ROBREDO, Tommy ESP
GIMENO-TRAVER, Daniel ESP
(Q)QUALIFIER
MUˆ–OZ DE LA NAVA, Daniel ESP
[21]TROICKI, Viktor SRB

[25]SOCK, Jack USA
(Q)QUALIFIER
DANIEL, Taro JPN
ROSOL, Lukas CZE
(Q)QUALIFIER
(Q)QUALIFIER
TURSUNOV, Dmitry RUS
[4]WAWRINKA, Stan SUI

[8]FERRER, David ESP
(Q)QUALIFIER
(W)DUCKWORTH, James AUS
(W)HEWITT, Lleyton AUS
BELLUCCI, Thomaz BRA
(W)THOMPSON, Jordan AUS
BEDENE, Aljaz GBR
[31]JOHNSON, Steve USA

[18]LOPEZ, Feliciano ESP
(Q)QUALIFIER
DARCIS, Steve BEL
PELLA, Guido ARG
(W)EBDEN, Matthew AUS
GRANOLLERS, Marcel ESP
JANOWICZ, Jerzy POL
[10]ISNER, John USA

[16]TOMIC, Bernard AUS
ISTOMIN, Denis UZB
BOLELLI, Simone ITA
BAKER, Brian USA
MILLMAN, John AUS
SCHWARTZMAN, Diego ARG
MULLER, Gilles LUX
[20]FOGNINI, Fabio ITA

[32]SOUSA, Joao POR
KUKUSHKIN, Mikhail KAZ
GIRALDO, Santiago COL
YOUNG, Donald USA
MANNARINO, Adrian FRA
GROTH, Sam AUS
ZVEREV, Alexander GER
[2]MURRAY, Andy GBR

 

I am back with my Australian Open draw analysis as promised. I hope you are all excited and looking forward to the first slam of the year which I think of as the friendly slam.

Not just in terms of the atmosphere but also in terms of the weather and scheduling. Although I must say in terms of the time zone it is not so friendly to me but I am willing to endure a few early mornings to watch some great tennis.

The first thing I was looking for in the draw was where Nadal would land since he is the 5th seed and would, therefore, play against one of the top four seeds in the quarterfinals. As fate would have it he fell in Stan’s quarter.

The other thing to look for was in who of the top two seed’s half of the draw Federer and Stan fell, and Federer fell in Djokovic’s half while Stan fell in Murray’s half.

  • Djokovic Got a Favorable Draw
  • R1: Chung
  • R2: Dodig
  • R3: Seppi
  • R4: Karlovic/Simon
  • QF: Nishikori/Tsonga
  • SF: Federer/Berdych/Kyrgios
  • F: Murray/Wawrinka/Nadal

Not that he needed it, but Djokovic got almost the ideal draw. Why? He got Federer in his half who he leads 6-0 in sets on Plexicusion, having won the 2008 and 2011 meetings in straight sets.

On top of that his biggest threat, Stan, has a very tough draw. It’s just about the opposite of what happened at the French Open last year. There Djokovic had to play Nadal in the quarters, Murray in the semis, and Stan in the final.

It was a brutal draw and I guess you could call this karma. If Stan is to win the title it is likely he will have to go through Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic. Almost impossible. But not only that, he gets Sock(who is in the Auckland final) in the third round and Raonic(who won Brisbane) in the last 16.

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Absolutely brutal. If there was one guy who could possibly trouble Djokovic in Melbourne it was Stan. They have met three times in Melbourne.

All three matches went to five sets with Djokovic leading 2-1 but one of them he won 12-10 in the fifth set. So it’s been extremely close and Stan was the one guy who had a chance of upsetting Djokovic.

But with his draw, it seems very unlikely. It would take a special effort just to make the final. Stan is not the grinder type and he will get tired from long matches. So if he does somehow make the final he will probably be tired.

As for the lead up to the semis, you’d expect Djokovic to come through without too much trouble. Nishikori has beaten Djokovic at the US Open but it’s hard to see him pull it off here.

  • Federer Gets Potentially Tricky Draw
  • R1: Basilashvili
  • R2: Dolgopolov
  • R3: Dimitrov
  • R4: Goffin/Thiem
  • QF: Berdych/Kyrgios/Bautista Agut/Cilic
  • SF: Djokovic
  • F: Murray/Wawrinka/Nadal

I say potentially tricky because while at first I thought Dimitrov is basically a walkover in the third round I see he has all of a sudden made the final in Sydney and has won three matches in a row for the first time since Madrid last year.

So unfortunately for Federer, he may actually have a tough third round here. We know about Dolgopolov’s talents too and although he tends to be inconsistent on a good day he can do damage.

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If Federer makes the fourth round he shouldn’t have much trouble in disposing of Goffin or Thiem. Thiem would do well just to survive his first round against Mayer, but if he does make the fourth round I hope he can, at least, make it more competitive than in Brisbane.

It’s a bit tough to call Federer’s potential quarterfinal opponent. Berdych is the favorite but it can easily be Kyrgios. Bautista Agut is also in the final of Auckland while Cilic’s capabilities are also well known.

I hope Federer plays well anyway and makes the semis. But I have a lot of doubts around him. We will see how the first three rounds go after which I will be in a better position to assess his form.

  • Wawrinka’s Brutal Draw
  • R1: Tursunov
  • R2: Qualifier
  • R3: Sock
  • R4: Raonic
  • QF: Nadal
  • SF: Murray
  • F: Djokovic

It doesn’t get much tougher than that. Sock is currently in the final of Auckland after defeating Ferrer while Raonic just straight-setted Federer in the Brisbane final and then he gets a big four member in his quarter.

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Just ridiculous. I’d love to see Stan make at least the quarterfinals for a repeat of the 2014 final against Nadal but I can already see him having very tough matches against Sock and Raonic. I mean Raonic looks primed to do serious damage especially.

Whatever the case may be, this is a fascinating part of the draw.

  • Murray Handed a Decent Draw For Once
  • R1: Zverev
  • R2: Mannarino/Groth
  • R3: Sousa/Young
  • R4: Tomic/Fognini
  • QF: Ferrer/Isner
  • SF: Wawrinka/Nadal
  • F: Djokovic

I think Murray tends to get tough draws in slams. But aside from getting rising star Zverev in the first round, Murray should not really be troubled until the semis. Not that I think Zverev can beat him.

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Tomic is potentially a difficult fourth round but he just withdrew in Sydney so who knows about his health. Murray’s chances of making another Australian Open final looks pretty good but I’d rather see Stan or Nadal in the final.

I thought last year’s final was pretty good but I’m not really interested in seeing a repeat. I expect Djokovic to make the final and I’d rather see him playing Stan or Nadal than Murray again.

  • First Round Matches of Interest
  • Djokovic vs Chung
  • Thiem vs Mayer
  • Nadal vs Verdasco
  • Muller vs Fognini
  • Murray vs Zverev

The above matches are what I think will make for good viewing in the first round. Honorable mention to Nishikori vs Kohlschreiber. Chung is a rising young star from Korea who got an unfortunate draw but it will nonetheless be interesting to see how many games he can win off Djokovic.

Thiem has a tough draw as well with Mayer in the first round. He would do well just to pass the first round, but if he does I hope he can make it count and, at least, make the fourth round. He was playing quite well in Brisbane.

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Verdasco is insane and although I don’t think he can beat Nadal if he has a good day he can make it a competitive match. Nadal struggled at times in Doha as well and I’m interested to see what his form is like early on.

Muller vs Fognini is interesting simply because of the contrasting styles and Fognini’s craziness. Fognini will probably win but the match could provide some interesting tennis.

Finally, like I said I expect Murray to win and probably easily, but like Chung against Djokovic it will be interesting to see how many games Zverev can win.

  • In Conclusion

After going over the draw in detail, I find it quite interesting. It’s quite well-balanced because Nadal is in the opposite half of Djokovic. Given that Djokovic is the favorite, Nadal had to be in the opposite half to balance the draw.

Stan’s quarter is going to be particularly interesting. I will be keeping a close eye on both Federer and Nadal’s form. Nadal has been consistent since the fall season last year while Federer has been the opposite as is usually the case.

Will that continue? Will Federer lose early and Nadal will go from strength to strength? Or will Federer put Brisbane behind him and get back in the Australian Open semis? I hope so because I want to see a Djokerer semi but I am not counting on it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Kyrgios makes a move but you can’t count Berdych out either.

In the bottom half, I’m hoping for a Nadal vs Stan quarterfinal and looking at Nadal’s draw it’s not that hard to make quarters. Nadal has Anderson but Anderson has been injured of late and lost in the quarters of Auckland.

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I don’t care who wins between Stan and Nadal but like I said I’d prefer a different final than last year so I hope the winner defeats Murray.

In the end, any knowledgeable tennis fan who does not have Djokovic as the favorite needs to have their head examined but, of course, that does not mean he will win a 6th Australian Open.

I just think with the draw he is even a bigger favorite. And as a fan, I don’t think that is jinxing. I’m just telling the truth. Djokovic also won Doha so if we are being honest then he is the overwhelming favorite to win the title.

Again, that doesn’t guarantee anything. It just means taking everything into account he is the most likely to win the tournament. Just that.

Now let the games begin.

The is in your court.

Posted in Australian Open, Grand Slams.

2 Comments

  1. I agree the draw is balanced; maybe a little bit top heavy but just a little bit, not by much.

    I like it that Novak and Roger are in the same half; I really would like to see them meet in the semis

    I also would like to see a Novak-Stan or Novak-Rafa final.

    I hope we don’t get another Novak-Andy final. It just isn’t a competitive match-up. Andy is too mentally weak to be in a GS final with any of the Big 3.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi, Jun. Yes, the top and bottom halves are actually very even imo. Someone I didn’t mention in my post is Troicki who just won Sydney. He is in the bottom half also in Stan’s section.

    As for the Novak-Andy matchup, I thought Murray did well last year to win the second set and that it was a decent match. I just want something else this year.

    In the end, no one is very competitive with Novak. Federer has the best h2h with him in their last 10 meetings(4-6) out of the top 5 but on Plexicushion, it is 0-6 in sets. The most competitive with Novak is clearly Stan but the draw doesn’t favour him.

    [Reply]

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