Australian Open: Draw is Released

The Oz Open draw is out. In the first sign the world is changing, Rafa and Roger are in the same half of the draw.

Draw overview:  Q1: Djokovic will be hard at work — red-hot Milos Raonic and David Ferrer are in his quarter.  Q2: Rafa has a softer quarter with 7 qualifiers — Isner or Berdy could pose a threat.  Still, so long as Isner doesn’t stop him, it should be straightforward.  Q3: Roger faces potential threats in Fish and Dolgopolov or Tomic, possibly DelPo too, depending on his form.  Honestly, I don’t think Dolgo will pose too much of a threat and the odds are fairly low that DelPo would either.  Barring injury or a walkabout, Roger looks the likely semi-finalist here.  Q4: Along with Djokovic, Muzz has a tough quarter — he starts with Ryan Harrison and faces potential matches with Gilles Simon and Tsonga.

**

1. How did the man from Tandil fare?  DelPo has a R1 match against Adrian Mannarino, the man of the mullet.  DelPo lost to Mannarino last year at Queens.  Mannarino also upset Kevin Anderson at Auckland.  I don’t know what will happen.  Just make it to R2, DelPo!

Hair like this should not be allowed to advance to the 2nd round (Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

2. If he gets through Mannarino, and he may very well not, he has a likely R2 encounter with Blaz Kavcic, whom he beat last year at Roland Garros.  Just make it to R3, DelPo!

3. DelPo could be set for a R3 match with Florian Mayer (ugh) and a R4 match with Mardy Fish (double ugh).  Something tells me DelPo might fall in R4 to Mardy, unless he falls first to Florian Mayer in R3.  Just make it to the R4/QF, DelPo?!

4. If — if — if DelPo played well enough to reach the QF, he could potentially face Roger.  The last time DelPo & Roger played at the Oz Open in ’09, Roger inflicted a humiliating defeat with a double bagel to boot.  It was ugly.  This year, I will be over the roof if DelPo is on the court for a QF, even if it means him receiving another double serving of bagels.

**

Here are some exciting early round matches to catch:

  • A potential R2 match between Dr. Youzhny and Gasquet.  Fans of the 1HBH, rejoice!
  • R1 match between Pico and Kohlschreiber, in a precursor to the DC tie in February.
  • Verdasco vs. Tomic in R1. This could be a firecracker of a match.  Fer’s temper vs. Tomic’s indifferent cool.
  • Proof that the draw gods have a dark sense of humor: Nico Almagro vs. Lukasz Kubot in R1.  Nico won his warm-up tourny at Nice before falling in R1 at the 2011 Roland Garros in 5 sets (after being 2 sets up) to Kubot.
  • A potential R3 encounter between Dolgo and Tomic.  It will be curious to see how Tomic fares at this year’s Oz Open, given the hype surrounding him.
  • A potential R2 between Hewitt and Roddick.  Though this “veterans’ rivalry” doesn’t have the same tension (and history of animosity) of Hewitt-Nalbandian, it could turn out to be a classic encounter à la Hewitt-Nalby’s R1 5-set match in 2011.
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About mariposaxprs

I play favorites with Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon and the long line of mercurial talent that drives me to despair in front of the screen at odd hours during the week.
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9 Responses to Australian Open: Draw is Released

  1. Pingback: Post Oz-Open Swing & DelPo’s Spring Plans | mariposaxprs

  2. You don’t have much confidence in Del Po?
    And I have a question mark over Roger, since he pulled out ouf Doha. Yes, it could have simply been a precaution, but Roger NEVER pulls out of tournaments. He’s been practicing, but I wonder how his back will hold up over two weeks of best of five matches. There’s only one way to find out, I suppose.
    Vamos Del Po!

    • mariposaxprs says:

      With DelPo’s draw, I think the worst case scenario is that he loses in R1 to Mannarino, whom he lost to last year. Barring that, there is a solid chance for him to reach R3 and R4. With Mardy’s form in question, I could be hopeful and wish for a QF with Roger. I’m curious about Roger’s form too. Roger recently said that Tuesday was the first day he could really practice w/o back pain and that he was a bit scared. Overall, Roger didn’t sound as assured as I’d normally expect him to sound. Still, if Roger’s playing well enough to reach the QF, I think he would prob win a match against DelPo. Unless DelPo had the blessing of being able to play his way into form in the 1st four rounds. Only one way to find out, indeed! Vamos DelPo!!! We need a DelPo army 🙂

      • Wow, Tuesday was the first time he could practice without pain? Ouch, that definitely gives me pause. Don’t worry, I’ll help out the Del Po army. I’m still primarily a Rafa fan, but Del Po’s cool too, and he deserves another Grand Slam after the last two years he’s had.

        • mariposaxprs says:

          Yea, it was surprising b/c Fed is always the one you can rely on to be nearly immune to injury. Then again, many other players are carrying some sort of injury too, so maybe that just levels the playing field a bit more?

          Yay, we have a small but steady DelPo army — the Tandil Titans, maybe? Baby steps for DelPo! (if baby steps are possible for a tower :D)

  3. queridorafa says:

    “Something tells me DelPo might fall in R4 to Mardy, unless he falls first to Florian Mayer in R3. Just make it to the R4/QF, DelPo?!” So we’re feeling positive! Lol, no, I completely understand your hesitancy. I’m just taking it one match at a time with Rafa. One match at a time x 7 matches = … 😉
    Youzhny vs. Reeshard in the second round! No fair!
    I have a feeling Lleyton could beat Roddick (assuming they both make it that far, obvi). I don’t know the details, but Roddick lost to Nishikori 3-6, 3-6 at Kooyong–which is somewhat of an anemic showing even for an exho. Roddick’s just hasn’t seemed to be able to hold serve like he used to, for quite a while now. And since he’s always relied so heavily on it to win–seems like he’s really vulnerable.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Haha, not feeling too positive right now. Honestly, I’m taking a “just defend last year’s R2 points, and anything extra is a bonus” approach. That said, I will be uber-concerned if he falls to Florian. Or Fish. Still, I’d rather see him in a place where he’s actually playing well enough to be on a court with Florian or Fish.

      I’m so curious to see how Roddick-Hewitt will go. Since it’s the Oz Open, Hewitt will def be ready to score a win at home, esp after losing in R1 last yr. I have to say, Hewitt and Roddick aren’t players whose game I particularly like, but the one thing that makes them so interesting to watch in their later years is how much competitive fire they still have. It’s almost like that’s what powering them through the inevitable, but slow decline. It’s def an admirable trait!

  4. ariennalee says:

    I missed Nico and Kubot on the draw sheet! I always hope Nico holds it together to at least play to his seed. Sigh.

    I think there might be more hope for a DelPo Fed quarter than you might think, provided he gets through R 1 and get his feet set. Mardy is looking none too sharp himself thus far. I don’t think he’s over the WTF yet.

    I don’t think I can bring myself to watch Fer/Tomic. And unfortunately, I’m not optimistic about Pico’s first round chances. But I hope I’m wrong! I think Andy’s got the toughest quarter with the Frenchmen–don’t think we can make too much of their kooyong mess.

    I’m so glad you mentioned Mischa! I forgot about him entirely. I think he’s got that match over Gasquet. He looked super fit vs. Rafa, he’s mentally fresh, and I don’t think Reeshard has as much psychical sturdiness 😉

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yea, it seems Nico tweeted and recognized the cruel humor of his situation! https://twitter.com/#!/NicoAlmagro/status/157651536556728320. On one hand, I think Nico’s a slightly less-polished version of Gasquet, so I’d like to see him do better and live up to his seed. On the other hand, to do that at the expense of DelPo’s top 10 ranking? Sorry buddy…straight under the bus you go.

      For DelPo, I’m finicky about his form. It’s so frustrating to know he’s capable of playing top-5 tennis, only to be felled by _____ (I don’t know what). It’d be a feat if he made it to R4, even if he got thoroughly defeated in the QF. It’s just irritating how certain players (looking at you, Baggy. Now you, Mannarino) seem to get “inspired” when they’re playing him, only to be unable to replicate that success in the next round/s.

      I agree with your Pico v Kohli prediction. B/w Mischa and Reeshard, I have no strict preference, but I agree with your prediction and pick Mischa. Reeshard looks a bit unsettled of late! That match and Fer vs. Tomic will be two early round matches I will def try to tune into!

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