Tennis: The 2018 Australian Open Draw Analysis. Is it Federer’s to lose?

Predicting the outcome of a tournament is always risky and a crap shoot at best. Imagine predicting Rafael Nadal’s win at the US Open or Roger Federer’s at the Australian Open 2017.

 

Rafael Nadal’s Quarter

Rafael Nadal will face his first test against Borna Coric, who has beaten Nadal in the past. However, Nadal’s experience should allow him to get past Coric in the third and also John Isner or Alexandr Dolgopolov in the fourth. Even the quarterfinal should be quite easy against Marin Cilic, or Pablo Carreno Busta. Nadal hasn’t lost to Cilic in a long time and should find a way to win again. This is a lackluster quarter and the reigning number one, Nadal, should reach the semifinals even if he has to play wearing a monkey suit with one hand tied behind his back.

Semifinalist: Nadal

 

Grigor Dimitrov’s Quarter

The second quarter seems a lot more happening with Andrey Rublev meeting David Ferer, and Stefanos Tsitsipas playing David Shapovalov in the first round. We also have Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios in this quarter, and they could face each other in the fourth.

 

Nick Kyrgios at his best should be able to beat Grigor Dimitrov in a best of five sets, and he defeated Grigor recently at the Brisbane semifinals. Nick Kyrgios, however, may find it more difficult to get the better of either Denis Shapovalov or Jo Tsonga in the earlier rounds. Jack Sock, on the other hand, has an easier draw until the fourth, where he could lose either to Lucas Pouille or Kevin Anderson.

Semifinalist: Nick Kyrgios

 

Rafael Nadal has little to worry until the semis, where he could be in trouble against Nick Kyrgios. Grigor Dimitrov has had close matches against Nadal, but he should be an easier opponent than Kyrgios for Nadal. We do not see Jack Sock beating either Kyrgios or Dimitrov in this quarter.

Finalist: Nick Kyrgios

 

Roger Federer’s half of the tournament.

The real action is in the bottom half of the draw. The biggies have been bunched in the bottom half to make lives miserable for each other. A player capable of maneuvering his way to the finals through the landmines here should take home the trophy too. We believe that the eventual title winner should emerge from this half of the draw. Here, we not only have David Goffin, Stan the Man, Novak Djokovic, and the Maestro himself, but also Juan Martin Del Potro who could be the biggest spoiler of them all. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Juan Martin won it all. He is capable of beating anyone if that forehand is firing well.

 

Dominic Thiem’s Quarter

With Bautista Agut or Stan Wawrinka looming large in the fourth, we don’t expect Dominic Thiem to make the quarters.

Novak Djokovic has his hands full, from day one, with Donald Young in the first and Gael Monfils in the second. Monfils is capable of bringing down Novak Djokovic. However, Gael Monfils is known to get painful mental cramps at important moments in big matches, and that may happen here again. The Zverev brothers will have a tough one in the third, where they may face each other. If the younger, Alexander Zverev, emerges as the winner in the battle of the Zverevs, then his fourth-round match against Novak Djokovic should be a treat to watch. Zverev may beat Djokovic to make the quarters against Stan the Man.

Stan Wawrinka could go down in his earlier rounds to either Bautista Agut or Dominic Thiem, or just about anyone wielding a tennis racket. However, he is a top contender if he reaches the second week of the Australian Open. Stan has a good shot at bringing down Alexander Zverev and reach the semifinals.

Semifinalist: Stan Wawrinka

 

Roger Federer’s Quarter

We have been seriously impressed with David Goffin’s performance in the year-end ATP Finals in 2017. He played more aggressive than even Roger Federer in many of his matches but ran out of steam in the finals. The Slams are a best of five formats, and we worry that Goffin’s build may not be suited for a best of five over seven matches in the grueling Melbourne heat. However, if the courts play fast and Goffin is able to shorten the rallies then anything is possible. Give this man the power and physique and then enjoy some scintillating Federer type tennis from this dude.

Goffin has too many good players in his draw to make the quarters, and even Julien Benneteau is quite capable of ending his run in the second. David Goffin also has Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth, who could certainly take out a tired Goffin in that encounter. Del Potro, however, has a stern test in the first round against the American, Frances Tiafoe. Del Potro, however, should be able to ride his experience and the current good form to get past Tiafoe.

Federer has an easy ride until the fourth, where he could meet either Milos Raonic or Sam Querrey if Querrey can get past Feliciano Lopez in the first round.

Roger Federer’s quarterfinal against Juan Martin Del Potro will probably be the match of the tournament.

Semifinalist: Roger Federer

 

The possible semifinal between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka

Depending on who has more cylinders firing in the semifinal, both Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are capable of making the finals. However, based on the recent form, and the level of fitness and health, Roger Federer scores a little better and should reach the finals.

Finals: If Roger Federer reaches the finals, and is not injured, he will take home the trophy even if he has to face both Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios together on the other side of the net.