Here we go! With 2014 well underway, today marks the first official day of action at the 2014 Australian Open.
Just joining in on the fun? Let’s take a look at the men’s and women’s Australian Open draw and take a look at what to expect from the years first Grand Slam.
Men’s Australian Open Draw
After a quick review of the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic is undoubtedly poised for success. The current world number two and four time Australian Open champion, sits at at the bottom half of the bracket almost inconspicuously, and with a relatively clear path to his fourth consecutive championships.
While there are no guarantees in tennis, Novak couldn’t have scored a better draw. Leading up to the round of 16, his biggest challenge will likely be 15th seed, Italian Fabio Fognini. However, with a foot injury leading up to the Australian Open Fojnini will have his hands full if he does indeed end up facing Djokovic.
Outside of that, Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka who’s seeded eighth in the tournament, is arguably Djokovic’s biggest threat on the way to the championship match. Although, with a 15-2 record against Wawrinka, we’re inclined to give Djokovic the edge.
With the remaining three of the big four, Nadal, Federer and Murray all sitting in the top half, things are likely to get much more interesting.
Nadal has some interesting matches on his road to the finals, including local Bernard Tomic in the first round as well as the acrobatic Gael Monfils, who he could likely meet in the third round. However, Nadal’s most challenging opponent en route to the finals would likely be 5th seed Del Potro, who he’d meet in the quarters.
Roger Federer’s biggest early challenge would likely be tenth seed Fernando Verdasco in the third round, however things would get more challenging in the round of 16 with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and then finally Andy Murray in the quarters if he makes it that far.
Coming off his fairly recent back surgery, Murray the fourth seed faces some challenges, including a possible matchup with the big serving 13th seed John Isner in the round of 16, and then as aforementioned, Federer in the quarters.
Women’s Australian Open Draw
In this years women’s draw, things feel a bit more balanced. Number one seed Serena Williams will by no means have an easy road to the finals, but besides number 16 seed Ana Ivanovic and number 7 seed Sara Errani, there’s not many in the field that seem to present too much of a hurdle if she can bring her A game.
Victoria Azarenka, making a run for her third consecutive Australian Open title, sits in the bottom half of the draw with the potential to meet American Sloane Stephens in round of 16 and then 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the quarters.
Third seed Maria Sharapova, has a pretty reasonable draw through to the quarters where she’d potentially face the number eight seed Jelena Jankovic.
All in all, the women’s field has tended to be considerably more unpredictable, with top seeds often falling early in tournaments. Nonetheless, we’re excited for what this years Australian Open has to offer.
This year at the 2014 Australian Open there’s quite a few Australian favorites to keep an eye on.
In the men’s draw there are nine Australian players including Lleyton Hewitt as well as Australian hopeful Bernard Tomic, who received the rather unfortunate first round draw against Nadal.
On the women’s side, there’s only six Australian’s, three of which landed in Serena’s part of the bracket. 17 year old Ashleigh Barty drew Serena in the first round, and world number 17 Samantha Stosur would meet Serena in the round of 16 if she can make a solid run this tournament.
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