QTR 1 – Seeds (1.Djokovic, 31. Stepanek, 20.Querry, 15.Wawrinka, 11.Monaco, 22.Verdasco, 5.Berdych)
It’s a competitive quarter this one and obviously the man to beat is Novak Djokovic however with matches against Harrison and maybe Lopez along the way he will have to play some good tennis to make it through.
Thomas Berdych has been a quarter finalist in the past two years and would be favourite to make it to quarter finals against Djokovic. Novak leads their head to head records 11-1 so you couldn’t back against him. The 11th seed Juan Monaco is a clay court specialist with a poor record at the Australian open (not past the 3rd round), he also has a tough potential 2nd round match against Kevin Anderson so look to lay him there.
Verdasco is a watch as his form looks poor but with more and more matches and fitness it wouldn’t shock to see him lift for a tournament he has performed well in the past.
Winner – Novak Djookvic
One to watch – Fernando Verdasco
One to lay – Juan Monaco
QTR 3 – Seeds (3.Murray, 6.Del Porto, 21.Seppi, 12.Cilic, 14.Simon,18.Dolgopolov, 25.Mayer, 30.Granollers)
Andy Murray comes to Melbourne park with plenty of confidence after winning in Brisbane and is the favourite to take out this quarter quite easily. Murrays hardest opponent could possibly be Del Porto whom he holds a 5-1 record over and also dominated on the hard courts.
Highlight of round one will be Dolgopolov vs Gael Monfis which I would lean towards to Monfis who has the better record at Aus opens. Not much depth to this quarter and would surprise if Del Potro and Murray didn’t meet in the quarter final.
Winner – Murray
One to watch – Gael Monfis
One to lay – Dolgopolov
QTR 2 – Seeds (4.Ferrer, 28.Baghdatis, 23.Youzhny, 16.Nishikori, 10.Almagro, 24.Janowicz, 23. Benneteau, 8.Tipsarevic)
It’s the where is Rafael Nadal section of the draw. A real opportunity for an emerging player to make a grand slam semi final here. Ferrer who has been there before will be the favourite and does come to this tournament with a finals appearance in Auckland this weekend.
Perennial good performers at this tournament Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis are back and will have plenty of support in the stands. Hewitt plays the 8th seed Tipsarevic first up however don’t be fooled by that ranking Janko plays more tournaments than any other player on the tour! He could win that game but at his age he won’t go too far.
Nishikori is a player on the up who has had a good preparation in Brisbane leading up to this tournament, with an easy draw should see him run into Ferrer in round 4 which will be a good game.
Winner – David Ferrer
One to watch – Kei Nishikori
One to lay – Janko Tipsarevic
QTR 4 – Seeds (2.Federer, 7.Tsonga, 19.Haas, 29.Bellucci, 9.Gasquet, 13.Raonic, 17.Kohlschreiber, 27.Kilzan)
Federer has landed a tough draw if he intends on adding to his Australian open trophy cabinet. Easy first round but then runs into the Russian Davydenko, then may face Australian hot player Tomic and then young Canadian Raonic.
Former finalist Jo-Wilfred Tsonga will like his chances of progressing here and looks fit and firing after an easy warm up at the Hopman cup. His draw sees an easy start vs fellow country men Llodra and with only Gasquet in his way for the quarters I would be on Tsonga to make it through here. He also is quite fit and will prosper in the hot conditions.
Winner - Tsonga
One to watch – Bernard Tomic
One to lay – Federer