Australian Open 2012: Preview (by PJ)
Australian Open is a mere 36 hours away, and whilst it may seem late to report breaking news…I’m going to caption it as such, anyway.
BREAKING NEWS: FEDERER AND DJOKOVIC ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE DRAW.
For the first time since RG2005, apparently!
Seems like le Tennis Gods decided to prove me wrong and plop these two on the opposite side of the draw. Best thing ever to happen? Errr…rightio, let’s get on with the usual Open preview…
I know I said I will spork myself if Federer lands in Djoko’s half of the draw again, so I was quite happy when I saw that he was in Rafa’s half. A decision that I may truly truly regret in the event both of ‘em lives up to their seeding, so…
Anyway, Federer’s draw looks fairly manageable…a qualifier first round, probably Andreas Beck second round, Jurgen Melzer/Ivo Karlovic third round…then it gets tricky. He will potentially plays my other favourite Crazy Dolgopolov…who, on one of his genius days, can prove to be very difficult (as Bobby Sod Soderling will readily tell you). As of now, crazyass days happen more often than genius days so we shall see. His other possible R4 opponent is Bratface Tomic (ugh). His QF opponent by ranking will be Mardy Fish, or perhaps more realistically, Juan Martin del Potro. I still have US Open angst/fear/blah blah but hey, I will have faith in the Old Man, definitely.
And then. Rafa. *twiddles thumbs and frazzles like a madwoman*
The lolcat on the fence. It clearly has deep, vested meanings.
On paper, it sorta looks like a joke because Rafa could potentially play 3 qualifiers in the first three rounds. Upon closer scrutiny…well, it’s still somewhat a sweet bakery treat draw. He plays a qualifier, and then maybe Tommy Haas, and then Ivan Ljubicic. Haasi and Papa Ljubs are no longer the players they were, and much as I like to live in Delusion Land, they will not even remotely trouble Rafa. R4 sees Rafa potentially playing
minion Feli Lopez or John Isner. If anyone thinks Isner can maybe take out Rafa based on RG last year…come join me in Delusion Land. His QF opponent is Big Berd…which is…uh…urmm…Berd (draw your own conclusions).
And then. Fed. *twiddles thumbs and frazzles like a madwoman*
Easy first round, easy second round, and then possibly Steps the Worm (easy third round), and then probably Milos Raonic, the Serve It Kid. Do I think Raonic will beat Djokovic? No. Will Raonic trouble him? Perhaps. And then for QFs it’ll be
minion Tipsarevic or basketcase Reeshie (easy QFs in that case) but by seeding, it’ll be Lord F Ferrer…
Not discounting or asterisking Lord F’s amazing win last year…but let’s face it, it’ll be a rather different Djokovic this time round, especially mentally. Honestly I don’t think this is a draw he will be unhappy with.
And then he will bro it up with his man Muzzface in the semis.
May they kill each other.
Special mention: Andy Roddick is a potential 4th round opponent…although the days of Djokovic being Roddick’s bunny were long gone. But Roddick will have to battle through Lleyton Hewitt in a second-round match (should they both get there) – where I will be put through emotional torture, not unlike Hewitt/Nalbandian from last year. Sobs.
Talk about not easy. Okay, it’s kinda tough. First up he faces Ryan Harrison – who may or may not be troublesome, depending on his fire. But certainly not the easiest of first rounds. And then it’ll be Xavier Malisse, followed by Michael Llodra/talented headcase Gulbis/Bogomolov Jr. R4 sees him taking on Gael Monfils…which on a good day can beat anyone, and on a bad day (which happens 65.78% of the time) just ends up beating himself, and then some.
Possibly Muzz has the toughest QF opponent in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He’s coming off a strong indoor season and has not lost to anyone not named Roger Federer since Paris. Will be tough for MAndy, but with Mr.Lendl in his corner, let’s see they can come up with.
And then he will bro it up with his man Djoko in the semis.
May they murder each other.
You all know who I want to win. Realistically who do I think will win? In the spirit of anti-jinxing and the such, I’m not saying anything.
For the laydees:
If Woz wants her first Slam, she gotta tough it out…with Lucie Sarafova in the third round, Glitter Gal JJ in the fourth round, defending champ Mama Kim or Li Na in the QFs. All equally capable of taking her out on a good day…or even on a not-so-good day (hahha déjà vu).
Semis? Shrieky Sharapova.
Let’s hope she stays away from kangaroos this year…their bites/kicks can be mean.
Scarily in form in Sydney – even if she lost to Li Na in the semis – so Petra comes in as a smokin’ hot favourite. Although she has Maria Kirilenko and Ana Ivanovic lurking around, they shouldn’t be any trouble at all, and her first test should come in the QFs, either against Sammy Stosur or Hamster Bartoli. If she plays the way she did in Sydney – barring any mental implosion – she’ll get through.
Semis? Screechy Vika.
Coming off a win in Sydney, she’s also considered a favourite. Seeds in the early rounds are Flavia Pennetta (whose form is still dubious due to a back injury in Auckland) and Peng Shuai, before running into the likes of Frannny Schiavone/Julia Goerges or more realistically, Agnieszka Radwanska. If everything of Vika’s is on song – her game, her brain and her screeches – she should be fine.
Semis? Barky Petra.
Boy oh boy, poor Shrieky. She opens against Gisela Dulko, who is very very fond of that whole creating upsets thing in Slams (and subsequently losing tamely in the next round). If she gets through Dulko, she should be okay for R2/R3 and then she’ll run into Sabine Liscki or Svetlana Kuznetsova. We need no reminding of what Kuznetsova could do when her brain’s on the right dial. Should Shrieky survive Sveta…Serena Williams looms in the QFs, or Vera Zvonareva according to seeing. Tough, tough road indeed.
Semis? Kangaroo Woz.
Full speed ahead, y’all! As usual, we’re riding and dying with the Grandpa Express!!