- Federer and Nadal’s Draws
The Australian Open 2017 draw was always going to be an interesting one with Federer as the 17th seed and Nadal as the 9th seed. Federer ended up getting a pretty good draw while Nadal got the tough draw with Zverev in the third round.
Federer also got two consecutive qualifiers which seems shady because he also got qualifiers in 66 out of the 68 slams he played so far. Nadal had no such luck but he will probably make the third round where there could be a blockbuster third round awaiting us between him and Zverev.
The two have met once before in Indian Wells last year where Nadal only just prevailed 7-5 in the third. If that match happens Zverev is good enough to win it and he may also be ready to make a big move at a slam.
I could potentially see a quarterfinal between him and Raonic but that is looking very far ahead.
To get back to Federer, he gets Berdych in the third round which will be a fun match to watch. If he wins he will likely play Nishikori who views the Australian Open as his home slam and has made three quarterfinals.
I’m sure he will be looking to go one further this year but that is not an unwinnable match for Federer if he gets there. Whoever goes through to the quarterfinals then meets Sir Andy Murray.
I kind of hope it is Federer but we will see. Federer usually always had the upper hand against Murray in slams but Murray did defeat him at the Australian Open semis in 2013 and he will surely be too good for Federer now.
That is looking way ahead though because Federer has his work cut out to make quarterfinals. That said, he is a dangerous floater in the draw and none of Berdych, Nishikori, or even Murray will be happy to see him in their section of the draw.
- Djokovic Gets Verdasco First Round
The other thing that seems potentially shady about the draw is that Djokovic got Verdasco in the first round who he saved five match points against in Doha. The odds that Djokovic would get him in the first round in Melbourne was 1/96.
And yet Federer got two consecutive qualifiers. Interesting that. Anyway, the way I see it it is a chance for Djokovic to beat Verdasco more convincingly. Djokovic also has Dimitrov in the fourth round who just won Brisbane defeating Thiem, Raonic, and Nishikori along the way.
That’s not the easiest draw for Djokovic but he avoids the likes of Wawrinka, Federer, and Nishikori before the final. Raonic is also the highest seed in his half who he leads 8-0 in the head-to-head.
Last time out…
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 13, 2017
As a fan of Djokovic, I am not worried about Dimitrov, Raonic, or whoever he gets in the semis. I am more worried about Verdasco in the first round who played well in Doha and can cause upsets.
There will be no chance for Djokovic to play himself into the tournament. He will have to be close to his best in his first round, which he should be after winning Doha. If he gets through that his draw is quite good and it is likely that he will win a seventh Australian Open.
- Wawrinka Gets Good Draw
Stan’s quarter looks pretty good aside from the potentially dangerous Kyrgios and Cilic. Stan is always a big threat at the Australian Open and will look to keep improving his consistency in slams after winning the US Open last year.
He is definitely a big danger in the draw so Djokovic would be happy to see him in Murray’s half. Murray has the tougher draw between him and Djokovic with the likes of Pouille, Nishikori, Federer, and Wawrinka in his half.
Djokovic just has the tricky first round after which it could be smooth sailing for him into another Australian Open final.
I think it is a pretty well-balanced draw aside from the anomalies I mentioned. Looking forward to an entertaining fortnight!
Let me know what you think.