Top Four Seeds: 1. Novak Djokovic, 2. Andy Murray, 3. Roger Federer and 4. Stan Wawrinka
TOP HALF OF THE DRAW
DJOKOVIC’S QUARTER: there is not much to say, I don’t expect anyone to really threaten him. However, since tennis is not played on paper and to be fair to the players in his quarter, there are a few if they stay focused who could possibly surprise him. His first round opponent despite his talent is not going to trouble Djokovic. His first real test may come from Ivo Karlovic, seeded 22. The other seeds in his quarter are Andreas Seppi, Gilles Simon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Benoit Paire, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and the number 7 seed, Kei Nishikori. I think Benoit Paire or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga may surprise us.
FEDERER’S QUARTER: his first test will probably be Alexandr Dolgopolov, if he stays focused. However, he can expect a battle from the 27 seed, Grigor Dimitrov if he’s not too exhausted from his recent tough final in Sydney. Dimitrov has re-discovered his form that once saw him ranked as high as number 8. The seeds in this quarter are Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, David Goffin, Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista-Agut, and Nick Kyrgios. There are quite a few talented players in this quarter that are unseeded: Leonardo Mayer, Borna Coric, Sam Querrey, and Pablo Carreno Busta. Nevertheless, I expect Federer will make his way to the quarterfinals.
BOTTOM HALF OF THE DRAW
WAWRINKA’S QUARTER: this quarter is loaded with talent. As a big fan of Rafael Nadal-seeded 5, I have to say that I am rooting for him to make it to the quarterfinals; however, he goes up against a dangerous opponent in the first round. Fernando Verdasco can make life very uncomfortable for Nadal if he brings his best tennis. Then there is the talented Ernests Gulbis who can take anyone by surprise if he is fully engaged in the tournament. The other six seeded players in this quarter are: Jeremy Chardy, Gael Monfils, Kevin Anderson, Milos Raonic, Viktor Troicki, and Jack Sock. I expect Nadal and Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
MURRAY’S QUARTER: David Ferrer took a beating from Jack Sock at the ASB Classic yesterday; however, Ferrer will come roaring back at the Australian Open. The obstacles in his path to the quarterfinals are the American Steve Johnson, seeded 31; Feliciano Lopez, seeded 18; and American John Isner, seeded 10. Some talented unseeded players who may surprise us are Lleyton Hewitt, Aljaz Bedene and Jerzy Janowicz. Andy Murray will have to fight his way through the number 16 seed, Bernard Tomic; Fabio Fognini, seeded 20; and Joao Sousa, seeded 32 to get to the quarterfinals.