Australian Open Draw Out

Federer(1) vs Andreev
Chela vs Hanescu
Robert vs Starace
Hernandez vs Montanes (31)
Hewitt(22) vs qualifier
C.Rochus vs qualifier
Lorenzi vs Baghdatis
Gil vs Simon (15)
Verdasco (9) vs Ball
qualifier vs Sela
Ram vs qualifier
qualifier vs Ferrero (23)
Monaco (30)
vs Gulbis
Vassallo Arguello vs Llodra
Moya vs qualifier
qualifier vs Davydenko (6)

Djokovic (3)
vs Gimeno Traver
Matosevic vs Chiudinelli
Vliegen vs Berrer
Istomin vs Chardy (32)
Youzhny (20)
vs Gasquet
Hajek vs Ginepri
Kubot vs Zverev
Giraldo vs Robredo (16)
Tsonga (10)
vs Stakhovsky
Fognini vs Dent
Harrison vs Tipsarevic
Greul vs Haas (18)
Almagro (26)
vs qualifier
Becker vs qualifier
Falla vs Daniel
Granollers vs Soderling (8)

Roddick (7)
vs de Bakker
Gabashvili vs Bellucci
F.Lopez vs Cuevas
Schuettler vs Querrey (25)
Berdych (21)
vs Haase
Brands vs Korolev
Grosjean vs qualifier
O.Rochus vs F.Gonzalez (11)
Cilic (14)
vs Santoro
qualifier vs Tomic
Kunitsyn vs Acasuso
Garcia Lopez vs Wawrinka (19)
Troicki (29)
vs Lapentti
Petzschner vs F.Mayer
Blake vs Clement
Russell vs Del Potro (4)

Murray (5)
vs qualifier
Gicquel vs Bolelli
Nieminen vs Lindahl
Serra vs Melzer (28)
Ferrer (17)
vs Seppi
qualifier vs Lu
Koellerer vs qualifier
qualifier vs Monfils (12)
Stepanek (13)
vs Karlovic
Benneteau vs qualifier
Fish vs Golubev
Kubler vs Ljubicic (24)
Kohlschreiber (27)
vs Zeballos
Isner vs Odesnik
Lack vs L.Mayer
Luczak vs Nadal (2)

Roger made an appearance at the Lindt chocolate Cafe yesterday in Melbourne, Lindt being one of his sponsors.

You have probably seen the Australian Open draw by now. The first thing I looked for in the draw was where Del Potro was. Luckily for Roger he is in Rafa’s half of the draw. Unless Del Potro is actually injured, he is the biggest threat to Roger and Rafa. Then the other thing that immediately caught my attention was that Davydenko, who has won his last two encounters with Roger, is in Roger’s quarter of the draw. So should Roger lose to Davydenko again, it won’t even matter that Del Potro is not in his half. I think Davydenko will be a very difficult match for Roger, but if he beats Davydenko, he could go on to win the tournament. Davydenko can meet Verdasco before the quarter finals though, and we all know what Verdasco did last year Down Under.

Hopefully for Roger’s sake Verdasco will remove the threat of Davydenko. Roger’s first round opponent, Igor Andreev, took Roger to five sets at the 2008 US Open. I don’t see him as much of a threat now. Roger is a different player than he was in 2008 and so is Andreev. Then next he meets the winner of Chela and Hanescu, who again I can’t see being a problem. The first seed that Roger could meet is Albert Montanes, who is a pretty solid base liner, but again I can’t see how he can hurt Roger. Then in the round of 16 Roger will probably meet either Hewitt or Simon. Both are similar players with solid base line games and good defensive abilities, but again Roger should prevail there. Then comes the quarter final where Roger should meet Davydenko or Verdasco.

I think there is a good chance that he could meet Davydenko, but if Verdasco plays like he did last year at the Oz Open, he could well beat Davydenko. Should Roger meet Davydenko, it could end up being a very tough match. If he should pull through that one, it may well give him the confidence to go all the way. If he loses it, his amazing semi-final run at the grand slams will finally come to an end. The fact that it is a grand slam and the best of five sets puts a different complexion on this match though. It won’t be another Doha semi-final, I can tell you that much. In the semi’s he could face Djokovic or Soderling who won’t be as much of a threat to him, and then in the final he will probably face Rafa or Delpo. I think if he goes all the way to the final he will have a good chance of winning the whole thing.

Beating either Rafa or Del Potro in the final would be great, so I don’t really care. It would be nice if he can beat Rafa in the final to avenge the loss of last year, but it would also be nice if Rafa doesn’t make the final while Roger does. Looking at the different quarters, the third one is probably the toughest, while the second one is the easiest. The second quarter has only really got Djokovic and Soderling, while the third quarter has guys like Delpo, Roddick, Cilic, Berdych and Gonzalez. That could be a tough quarter to predict, but if Delpo is healthy I think he should get through. Then in the bottom quarter you are probably looking at a quarter final between Rafa and Murray. I would like Murray to pull off a win over Rafa, but he hasn’t impressed in the slams and I think he may find it a tough task.

That means we could have a US Open semi-final rematch between Rafa and Delpo in the semis, which is always a very interesting encounter. This means we could have the exact same semi-finals as the US Open on both sides, although I hope that doesn’t happen. Maybe Soderling could be in the semi’s with Roger and and someone like Cilic or Roddick could make the semi’s as well. What about a surprise finalist? It seems like at the Australian Open there is always a surprise package. Last year it was Verdasco, the year before Tsonga, the year before that Baghdatis, the year before that Gonzalez, etc. So it won’t surprising at all if we get another surprise this year. In my next post I will be back with a preview and a look at the favorites for this year’s Oz Open. Laters.

Ps. I overlooked the fact that Baghdatis could also meet Roger in the fourth round. In fact I think he is the favorite to go through at this point. He is currently in the final of the tournament in Sydney with wins over Hewitt and Fish, and he will play Gasquet next. He loves playing in Australia and could give Roger a tough match.

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  1. You know that I´m optimist but I think Roger has a tricky and potentially very dificult draw.
    The quarter is going to be crazy and the 22 semis streak lasting for like 5 years could end here.Hope Roger will do his best.


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