Friday, January 10, 2014

Australian Open draw summarize


Rafael Nadal faces a extremely intriguing first round match against Aussie favourite Bernard Tomic. World 57 Tomic has started this season well by reaching the final In Sydney this week to defend his title, whilst Nadal won in Qatar last week. The two have meet one before (Australian Open 2011) in which Nadal won in straight sets however I think this match could without a doubt be somewhat closer. In his draw Nadal could potentially face Gael Monfils in the third round and Nishikori or Hewitt in the fourth round.

Novak Djokovic opens up against Lukáš Lacko in what should be a straight forward match for the 2nd seed. The last time these played each other was at the European Summer Boys cup in 2004 (just a little while ago then). Potential opponent's in the early stages include Albert Montanes, Dmitry Tursunov and Fabio Fognini. In the quarter final he could face last years US Open semi Finalist Stanislas Wawrinka.

David Ferrer begins against Venezuela's Alejandro González. In a relatively kind draw for the Spanish number 2 he could potentially face Adrian Mannarino in R2, in form Alexander Dolgopolov in R3 and Mikhail Youzhny in the last 16. The quarter final opponent that could await Ferrer is 7th seed Thomas Berdych.

Andy Murray (4th seed) meanwhile faces Japans Go Soeda in their first meet. Soeda is currently ranked 112 however his season didn't begin two well after he failed to quality for the main draw in Chennai. If Murray who is still trying to regain his full form wins his first round encounter he potentially faces a qualifier in round 2 (currently unknown), Feliciano Lopez in R3 and the big serving John Isner in R4. There is a potential mouth watering quarter final awaiting Murray in the form of Rodger Federer. Federer opens up against wild card James Duckworth. In the same half as Tsonga Federer could face Radek Štěpánek in R2, Fernando Verdasco in R3 before Tsonga in R4 (if all goes well). 


As for the women top seed and favourite for the title Serena Williams begins against wild-card Ashlieigh Barty. Barty who is a strong doubles player (reaching three Grand Slam doubles finals in 2013) played well in last weeks Brisbane International by qualifying as well as a first round win but unfortunately withdrew from her match against Maria Sharapova due to a small tear in her left adductor. Williams could then face in her half Dolonc or Arruabarrena (can't decide who will win that match), Daniela Hantuchová in R3 then Ana Ivanovic in R4. In the quarters awaiting her could be Italian 7th seed Sara Errani. This should be a straight forward first four round for Williams (famous last words!).

Second seed Victoria Azarenka opens up against Sweden's Johanna Larsson. The pair has met once before (US Open 2011) in which Azarenka produced a comprehensive 61 63 win. Future oponants include Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová in R2, Jamie Hampton in R3 and Solone Stephens or Svetlana Kuznetsova in R4. In the quarters she could face 5th seed Agnieszka Radwańska however the Polish tennis star is currently strugulling with an shoulder injury.

Maria Sharapova begins with a good test for her against Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Mattek-Sands beat Agnieszka Radwanska earlier on this week in Sydney. Sharapova however does have a comanding 5-0 head to head lead over the American. In her half she could be up against Karin Knapp in R2, Alize Cornet in R3 and the very talented Carla Suárez Navarro in R4. Quarter finals oponants could be Jelena Janković or 2013 WTA newcomber of the year Simona Halep.

Li Na begins her match against a yet to be decided qualifier. Further a field she could face the oldest women on the tour at 42 Kimiko Date-Krumm (former Wimbledon Semi Finalist in 1996) in R2, Lucie Šafářová in R3 and Sabine Lisicki in R4. In the last eight she could be on course to meet the mighty Petra Kvitová.

Finally for the British Fans Laura Robson who is currently carrying a injury faces a hard match against Kirsten Flipkens.

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