Federer Given Favorable Draw in His Record 57th Consecutive Grand Slam Appearance

Nadal (1) – Tomic
Kokkinakis – Sijsling
Kamke – Sock
Harrison – Monfils (25)

Seppi (24) – Hewitt
Haase – Young
Pouille – Q
Matosevic – Nishikori (16)

Raonic (11) – Gimeno-Traver
Q – Hanescu
Q – Lu
Klahn – Dimitrov (22)

Paire (27) – Q
Kyrgios – Becker
Bautista-Agut – Smyczek
Q – Del Potro (5)

 

Murray (4) – Soeda
Q – Q
Q – Llodra
Devvarman – F. Lopez (26)

Kohlschreiber (21) – Bedene
Przysiezny – Zeballos
Q – Del Bonis
Q – Isner (13)

Tsonga (10) – Volandri
Q – Reister
Cilic – Granollers
Brands – Simon (18)

Verdasco (31) – Q
Gabashvili – Stakhovsky
Stepanek – Kavcic
Duckworth – Federer (6)

 

Berdych (7) – Nedovyesov
Wu – De Schepper
Hajek – Q
Karlovic – Dodig (32)

Anderson (19) – Vesely
Q – Sousa
Berlocq – Roger-Vasselin
Garcia-Lopez – Haas (12)

Youzhny (14) – Struff
F. Mayer – Q
Ramos – Andujar
Thompson – Janowicz (20)

Chardy (29) – Huta Galung
Q – Dolgopolov
Johnson – Mannarino
A. Gonzalez – Ferrer (3)

 

Wawrinka (8) – Golubev
Falla – Kukushkin
Mahut – Ebden
Groth – Pospisil (28)

Robredo (17) – Rosol
Carreno Busta – Benneteau
Davydenko – Kubot
Q – Gasquet (9)

Fognini (15) – Bogomolov
Sela – Nieminen
Giraldo – Querrey
Monaco – Gulbis (23)

Tursunov (30) – Russell
Baghdatis – Istomin
L. Mayer – Montanes
Lacko – Djokovic (2)

http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/ms/r1s1.html

The serve could be key again

Pretty interesting draw, isn’t it? The top half of the draw seems to be the tougher half. Nadal has a pretty tough draw while Djokovic has a relatively easy one. Roger’s draw looks pretty good too because he’s in Murray’s quarter who is struggling for form after his back injury. Can Roger still make an impact at the Australian Open? When I say impact I mean making semis or better. That would at least give him a decent start to the year despite the final loss in Brisbane. I was quite critical on Roger in my last post. I needed to vent but I wasn’t merely venting. The things I said I believed to be true. But I’m always willing to take a more positive outlook again. Persistence is key, and Roger seems to be persisting. If you keep believing and persisting then something good may just happen.

Edberg joins Roger in Melbourne as well for the first time and it may just add a little extra belief and confidence to Roger’s mindset. He should be fully used to the new racquet as well after his first tournament with it. I don’t think anything other than mental weakness cost Roger the title in Brisbane, but like I said as long as he persists and believes you would think at some point it would pay off, because I think there is no problem with his tennis itself. It’s a confidence issue. So at least Roger still looks motivated and optimistic. He faces an Australian named Duckworth in the 1st round. Should be an easy win. Next he faces the winner of Stepanek and Kavcic. Again shouldn’t have any problems there, unless Roger is having bigger confidence problems than even I think.

In the 3rd round it looks like Verdasco or Stakhovsky. Stakhovsky just made semis in Sydney where he lost to Tomic so it’s not impossible we may see a rematch of the 2013 Wimbledon 2nd round, which would give Roger a chance to take revenge. Then in the 4th round it looks like Roger will face the player he played against just recently in the Federer and Friends Exho on Rod Laver Arena. Roger won 7-5 in the 3rd in the best of 3 set match but I hear he dropped serve again when he served for the match in the 3rd set. I just shook my head when I heard this. Anyway I hear they played pretty seriously and at least Roger has a practice win over Tsonga now. Otherwise Roger could face Simon or Cilic. Most likely he will face Tsonga though and that will be a big test already.

Last year Roger already had a very tough match against Tsonga in the quarters. Tsonga was injured at the end of last year though and he didn’t make the Masters Cup. So that is a favorable break for Roger. Another favorable break for Roger is Murray’s injury last year. Assuming Murray even makes quarters he won’t be the player he was last year after coming off winning the US Open. No doubt Roger has a big opening here to make semis at least. Then like I said Nadal has a pretty tough draw. He gets Tomic in the 1st round who is into the Sydney final to play Del Potro. Tomic would be a walkover in the 1st round for Nadal outside of Australia. But playing in Australia brings out the best in Tomic. Despite this fact I think Nadal will probably win in straight sets. That’s what Roger did against Tomic last year anyway.

Nadal’s draw looks pretty tough on paper but this is Nadal we are talking about. I don’t see him having much trouble in making the quarters, where he will face Del Potro. Del Potro could potentially trouble him. Whoever wins the title in Sydney it won’t be a good thing for Nadal. If Tomic wins it he will be on a high and who knows, by some freak occurrence he may even upset Nadal. If Del Potro wins he will be off to the best possible start this year and could upset Nadal in the quarters. And should Roger fulfill his end of the bargain and Nadal is not in the semis, he could even make the final. But this is of course looking awfully far ahead. With Roger’s confidence level there is no telling what could happen. He could lose before the quarter final to Tsonga, which would be another new low.

Why? Because Roger has not lost before the semis in Melbourne since 2003. So hopefully Roger can just forget the Brisbane result and take advantage of yet another favorable draw. I’m not counting on it, but he needs to do so if he wants to renew the hope of fans that 2014 is gonna be a big year, or if he still harbors hopes of achieving his goal of winning 5 titles this season. We gotta try to stay positive!

Posted in Uncategorized.

18 Comments

  1. I dont agree…. i think Rafa’s draw is relatively easy compared to that of Federer, ofcourse not easy as Joker’s but still not as tough as Fed’s

    Tomic – Rafa has beaten him in the AO just 2 years back, so even if Tomic win Sydney i dont think Rafa will lose to him infact Tomic winning Sydney will help Rafa, since there will be expectation on the Aussie and we all know how Rafa thrives when he is under the radar

    Raonic – can threaten on his day but then he hasnt won a set off rafa

    Delpo – again can threaten on his day but then over 5 sets i expect rafa to come out on top delpo is a bad match for Rafa

    Now consider Fed, he has possibly has Staks, tsonga ..stepenak is no mug as well…so apart from an easy 1st round match, Fed can lose to anyone from 2nd onwards..

    So there is no doubt is my mind that Rafa has a faar easier draw than Fed…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That sounds like bias to me Suhas. What would you have said if Fed had Tomic/Monfils/Hewitt or Nishikori/Delpo/Murray/Djokovic?

    [Reply]

    Suhas Reply:

    Surely not bias Raun, if this was Fed of 2007/08 i would have said bring on Rafa/Joker and straightaway start thinking about SF/F, but thats not the case here.
    Rafa being #1 has surely got the draw that can reach him to the finals..
    Yes Tomic/monfils/hewitt would have been tough for Fed as well but surely not threatening for Rafa to lose early..
    The thing about of Rafa is he loses to unknown guys in grand slams, guys who just come and blow him out whom he has hardly seen.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok I see what you are doing. Because in your mind Nadal is the better player his draw is easier. Yet you yourself admits he can lose to anyone? We are talking about on paper here. On paper Nadal has the tougher draw because he gets Tomic and Monfils early on, and then Del Potro as well. Roger could easily have lost to Tomic and Monfils, given the recent form of all three players. Then there is Del Potro who is playing better than Murray and who outside of indoors is a big problem for Roger. And I didn’t even mention Nishikori or Hewitt…
    Also you say Nadal’s draw is far easier than Fed. This is simply not true. The opposite is more true. Fed gets a chance to ease into his draw. His draw gradually gets harder, which is always easier than having to play tough guys early on.

    [Reply]

    Suhas Reply:

    given a draw If X has a chance to lose early compared to Y then how can X’s draw be easier to Y?
    If Fed had a draw like that of USO i would have agreed Fed has a better chance to reach the last 8 and has an easier draw…
    Yes a tomic/monfils/hewitt is known ‘more’ than a stepank/verdasco/stakhs
    but i dont see anyone ‘upsetting’ Rafa early

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Dunno what you’re saying. Sounds like you are just repeating yourself. If Fed had Nadal’s draw Fedfans(including you) would have remarked how difficult it is. But given how Fed’s draw gradually gets more difficult Fedfans should be grateful. Especially since Tsonga and Murray has been out with injury and is still playing themselves back into form. Those are small things that Roger has to take advantage of if he is to even come close to winning another slam.

    [Reply]

  2. How is Tsonga a favorable 4th round opponent, when he could be facing Gasquet, Haas or Raonic instead?
    Murray in the quarters is better than either Nadal/Djoko.
    But Tsonga-Murray-Nadal-Djoko is as tough as it gets.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well he did beat Tsonga in the exho, and that after dropping serve when serving for the match. Gasquet or Raonic would have been just as difficult if not more so. And besides, the draw can still open up. None of Tsonga/Murray/Nadal/Djoko is guaranteed to be there.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Ru-an, I don’t know what will happen, but this is a guarantee (even if it did not start yet), no upsets for Novak. He WILL be in the final.

    And if anyone thinks Rafa will be upset before SF, please don’t even bother that. Did we all not think the same at the USO? What happened? He ended up winning the damn thing !!! So, I know Rafa will make atleast the SF. But… he will not win the title…
    Roger will or Novak. Of course, for Roger I AM taking it one match at the time. But Rafa is not going to win AO 2014. And he will beat Delpo. Delpo normally does not do well at AO right?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice jinx attempt Katyani but it’s not gonna work.

    [Reply]

  3. Have to say that it will be interesting to see Nadals form. It is pretty tough to keep it up for a prolonged stretch of time. Even you subscribe to the theory that Nadal uses (some) substances, the body adapts and a proper balance is difficult to maintain.
    Think you are right to keep a upbeat tone w.r.t. to Rogers prospects. Nadal look as a machine at times but that machine has at times fallen apart and it might do it again. Roger is not the only human on tour.
    Nadals strength IMO is that (please forgive Nadal fans) intellectually, he is a simpleton. His mind doesn’t disturb him during matches. In this sense, he is the exact opposite of Roger.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes NAdal may use substances but if he doesn’t slump again this year would that mean he doesn’t? Something to ponder.

    [Reply]

  4. If we have the Roger of 2012, I will be very confident he will reach Semis at least without any problems overcoming all his opponents with Tsonga included. The Roger of 2014 still ‘huge’ work in progress, he was ‘gift’ the match against Tsonga on Wed after all it’s Roger and Friends event. Having said that, so long he continues to be persistent and continue to bang on the door till he gets it right. Something has to move in his direction soon rite?

    As for Nadal, if he still on 2013 mode, its pretty much demolition work all the way to the final. Same goes for Djoker. Both are very consistent, the only way they don’t reach the final if they tragically injured themselves so badly they can’t play.

    [Reply]

  5. Right now I wouldn’t look further than R3. Really one match at a time expectation given how poorly he played in Brisbane (final). Hopefully Roger will play into some form and cut down all that shanking (I’m thinking it has something to do with the new racquet which means it will be better as he plays more with it). And hopefully his draw will open up. Verdasco can be a tough opponent depending on the day (as we have seen it a few years ago vs Nadal).

    Finally if the AO courts this year really play fast (as Brisbane and Sydney) then we can expect the unexpected…and I will say 2-3 non top 10 quarterfinalists won’t be surprising.

    [Reply]

  6. I’m just looking foward to seeing Fed win one match at a time and progressing positively with each win. I hope he wins this slam and starts off the year great. My biggest concern is his confidence and will he able to maintain his level of play. Let us hope for the best.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s the problem Dave. Theoretically this draw is ideal for progressing with every win, and if he does so he should make at least semis. But as we have seen from Fed he plays well for a while and then all of a sudden he just collapses mentally. There is no real pattern.

    [Reply]

  7. As many have pointed out, Brisbane was Federer’s first tournament with the new racket so it’s to be expected that he was lacking a bit of confidence in the crunch. He played with the old racket for over a decade, he has to make significant adjustments to the new one. It’ll take time.

    If Federer loses in the quarters, it’s still better than he did in the last two majors. So that has to be considered progress, rather than a sign of decline or regression.

    He just needs to stay positive, keep working, keep pushing. Eventually he will get his chance and then he will be in a position to seize the opportunity. Once he gets momentum, he usually goes on a long winning run.

    It was important for him to play a baseliner like Hewitt to see where his game stood. That 6-1 set was a result I think of his rushing too much, of trying to end every point in three or four shots. When he adjusted and played more patiently and started using more variety rather than trying to hammer the ball all the time, he did much better.

    No matter how much he tries to shorten points, he will still have to play many long, tough rallies against tireless retrievers, so he’ll have to get accustomed to doing this with his new racket. Although of course he needs to take every chance he has to come forward and finish at net, and even to rush the net to prevent the opponent from getting a rally going.

    I don’t think the draw matters too much. It really depends on how Federer is playing.

    The days where he could come in with his game slightly off but play himself into form during the fortnight and end up winning the title are over. Thanks largely to his influence and professionalism, the opposition is always highly fierce and extremely well-prepared from the early rounds–and in the later rounds, he must contend with the members of NadaDjokoMurray troika. And now that he’s older, he has less margin for error. He can’t just flip a switch and blast his way out of trouble with a stream of winners.

    If he’s not fully prepared, he won’t win. Not that he ever slacked off in training for Grand Slams–as far as I know, he prepares as thoroughly as he can for every single one–but sometimes he came in off the back of early losses in smaller tournaments or was dealing with illness or injury that affected his ability to train. In those days he was able to make up the deficit with raw talent. Now he can’t.

    It just means that he has to be smarter about scheduling and more careful about recovering and making sure his body has a chance to recuperate. Perhaps last year’s difficulties have taught him that he needs to be more conscientious about dealing with injuries.

    Right now, he’s a work in progress. I don’t think he’s fully used to the new racket yet and so it will be hard for him to win without a huge stroke of luck, like Nadal and Djokovic eating bad seafood or something. But he’s healthy, working hard, and enjoying himself and you really can’t ask for anything more than that. Titles will come with time. Go Roger!

    [Reply]

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