Well, the draw for Australian Open 2017 is out and it promises many great matches and presents the possibility of some twists and turns along the way. This draw was highly being anticipated mainly because of the expected tougher kind of draws for Federer and Nadal. As expected, these two have received tough draws simply because they have been seeded lower than most of the top players. Andy Murray has drawn Federer for a potential quarter-final clash making his draw as a world no. 1 uncharacteristically tricky whereas Djokovic appears to have got the most forgiving draw amongst the top four seeds. Australian Open begins on Monday, the 16th on January. These are my predictions regarding the emerging semifinalists from the respective quarters of the draw.
The Andy Murray quarter
Andy Murray’s (who is seeded no. 1) projected opponents in his quarter are Illya Marchenko, Andrey Rublev/Yen-Hsun Lu, Sam Querrey (31), Lucas Pouille (16), Roger Federer (17)/Kei Nishikori (5). He should have no problem reaching the round of 16. Lucas can be expected to challenge Andy in the round of 16 but Murray should win the match in 3 or 4 sets. Pouille still doesn’t seem to have the consistent to beat the top guys. Andy will surely make it to the quarter-finals from the top half of this quarter.
Kei Nishikori (seeded no. 5) is Andy’s Murray projected semi-final opponent if seeds hold. But expect Roger Federer to be his eventual quarter-final opponent. The Swiss maestro looked in good touch at Perth and will get primed before his round of 16 clash with Kei Nishikori if he shall face him there. Kei seems to have an issue in his hip. That does play a spoilsport with the match but it cannot be helped. Expect Roger to reach the quarter-finals from the bottom half of this quarter-final.
Quarter-final match: Andy Murray (1) vs Roger Federer (17)
Andy Murray beats Roger Federer.
Emerging semifinalist: Andy Murray (1).
The Stan Wawrinka quarter
Stanislas Wawrinka (4) might face some competition from Nick Kyrgios (14) shall they meet in the round of 16. But I don’t expect Stan to get into serious trouble. The 3-time grand slam champion does have a good feel of the surface who has already won a title here and who has had a few memorable matches with Djokovic here already. He will reach the quarter-finals although he might lose some sets in the process.
I am expecting Marin Cilic (7) to come through from the lower half of this quarter. I simply can’t see Bernard Tomic (27) cause any major problem to Cilic. The only player who can be his real competitor before he reaches the quarter-final is Tsonga (12). But I would fancy Cilic’s chance of beating Tsonga shall they meet. Cilic is the kind of opponent that can unexpectedly surge through draws out of the blue. Only hindrance that he has to overcome is the surface which has been a problem for him in the past. He’ll make it to the quarter-finals from the bottom half of this quarter.
Quarter-final match: Stan Wawrinka(4) vs Marin Cilic(7)
Stan Wawrinka beats Marin Cilic.
Emerging semifinalist: Stan Wawrinka (4).
The Milos Raonic quarter
The most interesting match and also the most decisive match that we could see in the upper-half of this quarter is the possible clash of Alexander Zverev(24) and Rafael Nadal (9) in the third round. Zverev seems to have some hard-court game already and will be a big threat to Rafa. Rafa historically has had problems with big servers so if Zverev can really take his game to him he should take out Rafa here. Well, I am even saying that Zverev will defy Rafael Nadal(9) and Gael Monfils(6) (if required) and reach the quarter-finals.
Milos Raonic (3) will ace his way to the quarter-finals. There’s no threat in his path. I am fully confident that Raonic makes the quarter-finals from the bottom half of this quarter.
Quarter-final match: Alexander Zverev (24) vs Milos Raonic (3)
Milos Raonic beats Alexander Zverev.
Emerging semifinalist: Milos Raonic (3)
The Novak Djokovic quarter
From the top half of this quarter, you have to pick David Goffin (11) for the quarter-final berth. The guy clearly proved himself in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship when he took down Andy Murray in the semi-final. He then won Kooyong too. He should be confident enough to make it to the quarter-finals at least considering that Dominic Thiem (8) (who is the highest seed in this half of the quarter) isn’t really a formidable player on hard courts. Expect David Goffin to be the qualifying quarterfinalist from the top half of this quarter.
The bottom half of the quarter promises some interesting matches. Many are anticipating a tough opener for Novak Djokovic (2) against Fernando Verdasco. Altough the Spaniard is unseeded in the tournament, he can perhaps take a set or two away from him. Djokovic should come through that. A dark horse that Djokovic will possibly have to play in the round of 16 is Grigor Dimitrov (15). The Bulgarian got back-to-back top 10 wins at Brisbane and in good touch. But is he good enough at the moment to take out Djokovic on a hard court? I don’t think so. Djokovic in all probability should make it to the quarter-finals.
Quarter-final match: David Goffin (11) vs Novak Djokovic (2)
Novak Djokovic beats David Goffin.
Emerging semi-finalist: Novak Djokovic (2)
Conclusion for the Australian Open draw
It’s really difficult to look beyond the top 4 seeds as far predicting the semifinalists for the Australian Open goes. But, well, these are only predictions. This draw has created many interesting possibilities and has a lot of unpredictability associated with it. Surprises and shocks are totally possible in a situation of mayhem. So, let’s patiently wait for the open to begin for this one is going to be one of the best grand slams that you will watch.
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