Sunday, January 18, 2009

Aus Open - The slacker’s guide to who might win

Jo-Wilfried TsongaMen:
All the eyes are on Murray but surely Federer and Nadal deserve more favouritism than the petulant Scot? Didn’t he make a first round exit last year? Let’s presume his body / attitude won’t stand up to seven matches and write him out earlier, say the fourth round. And the defending champion Djokovic? Well not a great time to switch racquets, let’s say he gets toned by Nieminen the third round. And last year’s finalist Tsonga – loses to Verdasco in a quarterfinal? Fed’s draw looks easy despite some nonsense written on it. And it’s not hard to see him winning Major number 14, perhaps in an epic battle for tennis supremacy over Rafael Nadal. We can only wish.

Nadal’s Quarter
Seeds: Simon, Gasquet, Tursunov, Gonzalez, Monfils, Almagro, Karlovic
Players to watch: Hewitt, Haas, Ancic, Youzhny
Winner: Nadal

Murray’s Quarter
Seeds: Tsonga, Stepanek, Blake, Verdasco, Youzhny, Melzer
Players to watch: Ljubicic, Nishikori, Clement, Gabashvili
Winner: Verdasco

Djokovic’s Quarter
Seeds: Roddick, Robredo, Fish, Mathieu, Nalbandian, Soderling, Fish
Players to watch: Santoro, Benneteau, Groth, Nieminen
Winner: Roddick

Fed’s Quarter
Seeds: Del Potro, Lopez, Ferrer, Wawrinka, Berdych, Safin
Players to watch: Anderson, Tipsarevic, Ginepri, Moya, Tomic
Winner: Federer

Final: Nadal vs Federer
Winner: Roger Federer

Ana IvanovicWomen:

Sharapova missing for the second straight slam and no clear favourites in this Henin-less world inhabited by headline-generating Serbs, play-when-we-feel-like-it American sisters and head-case Russians. Elena the (almost) great is in great form but whether the head (and the serve) will last seven matches is debatable. Time for Azarenka and Wozniacki to do some damage.

Jankovic’s Quarter
Seeds: Zvonareva, Bammer, Bartoli, Petrova, Kirilenko
Players to watch: Rybarikova, Wejnert, Pironkova, Errani, Sprem, Shvedova, Mirza
Winner: Jankovic

Safina’s Quarter
Seeds: Ivanovic, Hantuchova, Wozniacki, Cornet, Chakvetadze
Players to watch: Dellacqua, Makarova, Rezai, Mayr, Dokic, Keothavong, Johansson
Winner: Safina

Dementieva’s Quarter
Seeds: Venus Williams, Pennetta, AMG, Cibulkova, Schnyder
Players to watch: Oudin, Holland, Vesnina, Moore, Mchale, Chan, Benesova, Lisicki
Winner: Dementieva

Serena Williams’ Quarter
Seeds: Kuznetsova, Bondarenko, Radwanska, Mauresmo, Azarenka
Players to watch: Rodionova, Vaidisova, Pin, Cirstea, Kvitova, Dulko, Bremond
Winner: Azarenka

Final: Safina vs Dementieva
Winner: Elena Dementieva

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