Saturday, 14 January 2012

Australian Open Oracle

The 2012 season is upon us, and before we could say the words "Who withdrew today?", it's already the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. I'm not going to do a quarter-by-quarter analysis of the Australian Open draw, since there are plenty of those already. Rather, like I did with Wimbledon at the time, I'll post a list of specific predictions and thoughts, and we'll see in a couple of weeks how many of them came true (I only got one right last time, I think).

Let's get to business:
  • Raonic-Roddick. A replay of the absolutely wonderful Memphis final, it's the predicted 3rd round on paper, and I think both will get there. While I saw people mostly tipping Milos to win this, I'm picking Roddick, if only due to him itching to get back on courts lately.
  • Youzhny-Gasquet - a possible 2nd round and a battle of one-handed backhands. This one I want to see. Incidentally, they met in twice in the Australian Open already - first rounds in 2003 and 2010, when they played a 3-tiebreak 5-set match. Youzhny won both of those meetings, but I'm picking Richie here.
  • Tipsarevic-Ferrer. If seedings hold, this will be a fourth round, with the winner going on to meet (probably) Djokovic. Based on Janko's form in Chennai, and him being as clutch as possible on break points in the final (saved 9 of them), I think he'll make the second straight quarterfinals of a Slam.
  • Gulbis def. Llodra, 3-1. Am I totally crazy?
  • Ferrero def. [19] Troicki, for our first 1st round upset in the menu. Moreover, one more win, and we'll get a replay of the amazing Ferrero-Monfils match from the last US Open. Watching this live was one of the highlights of my 2011 tennis season, and I believe Ferrero's willpower in best-of-five should propel him to the 4th round (where he'll lose to Murray).
  • Murray-Tsonga, QF. I had a lot of deliberations here, but despite Jo's lone win over Andy, which was in the 1st round of AO 2008, their general H2H and Mr. Lendl's presence lead to think that Murray will pull the win. But this is the most intriguing quarter, no doubt about it.
  • Muller def. [8] Fish, another 1st round upset.
  • Tomic def. [22] Verdasco, 3-2, in a long and grueling (and hopefully good!) match. There's a possibility of a Dolgopolov-Tomic 3rd round which I'm very much looking to. Their head-to-head is 3-0 to Dolgo, who lost a tight first set and easily won the next two in their last two meetings. Can Tomic finally figure him out, or will he crumble under the Aussie pressure (after giving Stosur advice on how to handle it ;))?
  • Del Potro - Federer. Ah. Now we hit the interesting stuff. I haven't seen Delpo play this week, so it's hard for me to assess how good his form is at the moment. I believe he can win this match. I also believe he won't.
  • Baghdatis to make the 4th round, beating [21] Wawrinka and [10] Almagro on the way. Just because he can.
  • Quarterfinals: Djokovic-Tipsarevic, Murray-Tsonga, Del Potro-Federer, Berdych-Nadal.
  • Semifinals: Top 4, for variety.
  • Finals: Djokovic def. Federer.
I'm not too strong on WTA predictions, but I'll try to take a detailed look at the draw tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with most Anna, however expect Fish & Ferrer to go further ! Also praying for Murray v Djokovic! If he does then will have confidence to beat Federer!! Can't wait !!!!