Sunday, January 17, 2010

Australian Open: Men's Preview

World no. 2 Rafael Nadal will look to successfully defend a non-clay title for the first time. Title-less for the past eight months mostly due to knee problems, Nadal should cruise to the fourth round where he can meet 13th seed Radek Stepanek, 24th seed Ivan Ljbucic, or big-serving Ivo Karlovic. If he makes it through to the quarterfinals, he'll face John Isner, 12th seed Gael Monfils, or most likely 5th seed Andy Murray for a blockbuster match.

US Open champions Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Roddick are in the same side of the draw as Nadal and can meet each other in the quarterfinals. Del Potro could meet former quartefinalist James Blake in the second round and either Swiss no. 2 Stan Wawrinka or 14th seed Marin Cilic in the fourth round. Cilic will face off against almost-retired Fabrice Santoro in the first round. Roddick, in the meantime, can book an All-American third round math between himself and 25th seed Sam Querrey. Winner of that will then face either 21st seed Tomas Berdych or former finalist Fernando Gonzalez.

On the other end of the draw, 3-time Australian Open champion and world no. 1 Roger Federer will begin his quest to take back his crown against hard-hitting Igor Andreev in the first round. He should be able to get to the fourth round though where he can meet former finalist and world no. 1 Lleyton Hewitt or 17th seed David Ferrer. His quarterfinal opponent could be tricky as he could meet the man who has defeated him two times in a row, 6th seed Nikolay Davydenko, or last year's semifinalist 9th seed Fernando Verdasco. Also watch out for former finalist, Marcos Baghdatis who very recently won a title.

Finally, former Australian Open champion and 3rd seed Novak Djokovic share this side of the draw with Roger. Both of them can meet again in the semifinals, but first he must get through his own draw. On paper, his draw seems the most navigable relative to the other top seeds. His first test is perhaps a possible 4th round meeting with 16th seed Tommy Robredo or the winner of the first round match-up between Mikhail Youzhny and Richard Gasquet. Lurking in the quarterfinals are 8th seed Robin Soderling, 10th seed and former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and 18th seed Tommy Haas.

Roger Federer d. Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal d. Andy Roddick

Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Outside of watching movies, following tennis ranks high on my list of activities. I'm hoping Nadal work his way back to the top here. If not, it would be nice to see Roddick come through in a big way again.

  2. Watching movie and following tennis are two of my most favorite things to do as well! Yeah!

    Nadal seems to be in good spirits. Yes, he did awful in the year-end tournament but he IS the defending champion and managed to reach the semifinals at the most recent US Open. There's no reason he can't reach at least the quarterfinals even if he's not 100%.

    I usually do OKAY when predicting the ATP, but it's definitely the most difficult when it comes to the Australian Open so take my predicting with a grain of salt! Thanks for reading!


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