A quick quarter by quarter breakdown of what I’ll be looking forward to, and who I think will win.
Top Quarter – Novak’s Quarter
Projected Quarterfinal – N. Djokovic v K. Nishikori
Before the draw was even made, I thought Novak Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite. Far and away. The draw helps his case in a nearly hilarious way.
There isn’t a single player in his first four rounds that can or will beat him. There just isn’t. After that, it remains pretty simple. The oft injured Nishikori or probably Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. As much as I love Jo Willy (why so silly?) it’s always difficult to see him raising his game to outlast Djokovic in five sets, especially at a tournament that Novak has so historically dominated. You can write in Novak for the semis, and you can use a pen.
Predicted Quarterfinal N. Djokovic v J.W. Tsonga
Second Quarter – Roger’s Quarter
Projected Quarterfinal – R. Federer v T. Berdych
Not unlike the women’s draw, the second quarter of the men’s draw helps spice up what otherwise might be a pretty boring day of action. We could in theory have Federer/Dimitrov, Cilic/Bautista Agut and Kyrgios/Berdych all as third round matches on the same day. Sign me up.
It would be nice to see some of these younger dudes break through and give some life to this quarter. Federer didn’t play particularly well against Raonic in the final of Brisbane, but he reportedly wasn’t feeling fantastic and it showed. I think Kyrgios probably has the best shot of doing something fun here.
Quarterfinal Prediction R. Federer v N. Kyrgios
Third Quarter – Stan’s Quarter
Projected Quarterfinal – S. Wawrinka v R. Nadal
Yup, Stan the Man still has his own quarter, and is still keeping Rafa out of the top four, so naturally he drew him in his section and is slated to play him in the quarters. There were a lot of positive signs out of Rafa in Doha, albeit against weaker opponents, and he got absolutely slaughtered in the final against Djokovic. Still, when he’s playing pretty well he can usually return well enough to handle big servers, and he’s likely to face Chardy or Gulbis in the third round and either Monfils or Anderson in the fourth round, all of which are probably reasonable yet tough asks with where his game is right now.
The other part of this quarter is just as intriguing. Jack Sock had a fantastic week in Auckland and could face off against Stan in the third round, which could be a potential blockbuster. Sock is serving big and isn’t afraid to move the ball around and open up the court. Neither is Stan. I do worry that Sock might be a little tired after a long week, however, which always makes it tough to go to a slam and play five sets every other day. The winner of that probably faces Raonic. This whole section is a toughie, but a fun one.
Quarterfinal Prediction – M. Raonic v R. Nadal
Bottom Quarter – Andy’s Quarter
Projected Quarterfinal – A. Murray v D. Ferrer
This is a pretty fantastic draw for Murray. For me, Murray has always been a guy who likes to play himself into tournaments, and can always use a few pretty straight forward wins early on. With the only other seeded players in his eighth being Tomic, Fognini and Sousa, he should be fine to cruise into the quarters.
The rest of this quarter doesn’t look likely to offer up much of a threat to Murray either. Ferrer, Feli Lopez and Isner and not a heck of a lot else (shoutout to The Rusty Lawnmower Lleyton Hewitt, though). Probably the most boring quarter of the men’s draw, and with the most predictable winner.
Quarterfinal Prediction – A. Murray v J. Isner
Semifinals Predictions – N. Djokovic v R. Federer, R. Nadal v A. Murray
Final Prediction – N. Djokovic v A. Murray
Champion Prediction – Novak Djokovic