Australian Open 2014: Frazzle Post


I start with the men’s draw on the premise that we are headed for a Rafole final in Melbourne in two weeks unless someone stops them. But who might actually be capable of tripping the current Big Two?

Murray? Even the most die-hard fans of British tennis would have to concede that Toothface is nowhere near match-fit and ready to win the Aus Open.

Del Poopy? Surely, he is long overdue for a slam win over Rafa.

Wawrinka? There may be some level of cosmic balance overdue to My Friend Stanley after his five set loss to Djoko in Melbourne last year, but given Stanley’s draw, I doubt it.

Here’s a closer look at the men’s draw.

First quarter

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  • The biggest news of the draw here in Australia is the sheer amount of Aussies that Nadal managed to antagonise in one draw. En route to week two, Rafa could face Bratomic in the first round, Kokkinakis in the second, Hewitt in the fourth. Advance Australia Nowhere.
  • Monfils v Harrison first round manages to be simultaneously a compelling match-up and my idea of tennistical hell.
  • Talk about drawing Aussies – Matosevic draws Nishikori first round, with a potential Hewitt v Nishikori rematch looming in third round.
  • Nick Kyrgios. Show us what you’re made of. Two rounds is all I ask for.
  • All the misfortunes of Australian tennis aside, the first quarter comes down to a seemingly inevitable march towards one match: Rafa v Del Poopy, newly crowned champion in Sydney. But is winning a title the week before a slam a blessing or the final pin in the voodoo over your slam journey? (Here’s looking at you too, John Isner).

Second quarter

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  • When the draw first came out, Federer fans FMLed and CAPSLOCKED about how tough the draw is, with the top half loaded with serious obstacles and dark horses overdue for an Aus Open style upset. In short, to win the Australian Open, McFudd would need to beat Jo-Willy, Toothface, Rafa and most likely Djoko in the final successively, which is to say quite simply that he ain’t winning the Australian Open.  
  • But to look at Federer’s draw from another perspective, consider all the quarters that McWodge could’ve been drawn into in order of preference: 1. Ferrer. 2. Murray. 3. Djokovic. 4. Nadal. Federer ended up with his hypothetical second preference by ending up in Murray’s quarter. It’s not the ideal outcome, but it’s also hardly the worst given Murray’s current level of match fitness.
  • I’m curious. Given Federer’s abysmal 2013 and clear signs that he is now entering the twilight of his career both physically and mentally, what are his fans’ expectations of him? Have you readjusted what you want to see from him, what you expect him to accomplish in the remaining years? Or are you holding on to lofty standards, slam-winning dreams? And if you’ve lowered the bar for McFudd, where is it sitting at?
  • My position is simple: Roger Federer belongs in the second week of slams – quarterfinals and onwards. And one day, perhaps in one of these slams, he might just be gritty enough, passionate enough, and shiny enough to break through for a win.
  • In Australia however, with the new racquet and coaching arrangement still in their infancy, I’d take quarterfinals as a solid result, and semifinals as a win.

Third quarter 

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  • Berdych. Yawn. Ferrer. Forgotten. Anderson. Boom. Haas. Old. Youzhny. Mental.
  • If the penile JJ wants to make some sort of a run at slam level, he’s welcome to.

Fourth quarter

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  • Here’s the thing: I would like nothing more than a Wawrinka v Djokovic rematch in the quarterfinal, but Stanley oh Stanley. Why did you go and land yourself in the land mines section of a dud quarter? Mahut, Robredo, Benneteau, Davydenko, and Gasquet all lie in his 8th of the draw.
  • Oh yeah, Davydenko. Remember him? For a brief few weeks during the Australian summer season in 2010, Davo was Fedal’s hard court kryptonite, tennis world’s second Nalbandian. Seeing him lurking unseeded in this quarter is a sad reminder of how the tennis world has moved on, despite the top order fixtures of Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray. Looking forward to a potential second round match between Dayvo and Reeshard.
  • Novak Djokovic. When the highest seed you could potentially face before the quarterfinals happens to be Fabio Fognini, you forfeit the right for your draw to be taken seriously.
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3 responses to “Australian Open 2014: Frazzle Post”

  1. quid says :

    Should Wawrinka himself truly consider Mahut, Robredo, Benneteau, Davydenko and Gasquet to be a “land mines section” of the AO 2014 men’s singles draw, he’d be wise to avoid Djokovic this time around. Which would be rather “sad”, indeed.

  2. Tennis Draws says :

    I like your official second week expectation for Roger, nice and reasonable. And once he makes the quarters he just needs a few good extra shiny days!

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  1. Aus Open 2014: Fail better. | All I need is a picket fence ... - 24, January, 2014

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