Friday, January 16, 2009

Australian Open Draw Revealed - Possible Federer-Djoko Semi

The draw for the Australian Open has been revealed with Andy Murray placed in top-seeded Rafael Nadal's half of the draw, while defending champion Novak Djokovic is in Roger Federer's half, meaning a repeat to last year's semifinal between Federer and the Serb is possible.

Nadal's quarter is packed with the likes of Gilles Simon (seeded 8th), Gael Monfils (seeded 12th), Fernando Gonzalez (seeded 13th) and Richard Gasquet (seeded 24th), and the earliest seed he could meet would be 29th-seed, Dmitry Tursonov, in the 3rd round.

4th-seeded Murray opens his campaign against Romania's Andrei Pavel, with a potential quarterfinal meeting with last year's finalist and this year's 5th-seed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is currently suffering from a back injury that forced him to withdraw from his Sydney quarterfinal on Thursday. If Tsonga makes a quick recovery and somehow manages to reach the semis on behalf of Murray, then a repeat semifinal could be possible between the Frenchman and Nadal, whom Tsonga beat at the same stage last year.

Other seeds in Murray's quarter include James Blake (seeded 9th), Fernando Verdasco (seeded 14th), Igor Andreev (seeded 18th) and Radek Stepanek (seeded 22nd). Unseeded Ernests Gulbis is also a threat in that quarter, and he could possibly face Blake in the 3rd round.

3rd-seeded Djokovic headlines the 3rd quarter of the draw where he is set for a potential quarterfinal against 7th-seed, Andy Roddick or 10th-seed, David Nalbandian.

The defending champion will have to overcome the likes of 16th seed, Robin Soderling, 2006 finalist, Marcos Baghdatis and 28th-seed, Paul-Henri Mathieu, before he makes it to the quarters.

The final section of the draw is home of three-time champion, Federer. The Swiss star is drawn to face 8th-seeded, Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarters. Potential hiccups en route to the last eight would be 26th-seed, and 2005 champion, Marat Safin, whom he could meet in the 3rd round, and 15th-seed, Stanislas Wawrinka who could await Federer in the 4th round.

Matches start in Melbourne on January 19th. You can check the full draw here...

Opening rounds:

Rafael Nadal [1] vs. Christophe Rochus
Roger Federer [2] vs. Andreas Seppi
Novak Djokovic [3] vs. Qualifier
Andy Murray [4] vs. Andrei Pavel
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [5] vs. Juan Monaco
Gilles Simon [6] vs. Pablo Andujar
Andy Roddick [7] vs. Qualifier
Juan Martin Del Potro [8] vs. Mischa Zverev

Potential Quarterfinals:

Nadal [1] vs. Simon [6]
Nadal [1] vs. Monfils [12]
Simon [6] vs. Gonzalez [13]
Simon [6] vs. Gasquet [24]
Murray [4] vs. Tsonga [5]
Murray [4] vs. Blake [9]
Tsonga [5] vs. Verdasco [14]
Djokovic [3] vs. Roddick [7]
Djokovic [3] vs. Nalbandian [10]
Federer [2] vs. Del Potro [8]
Federer [2] vs. Ferrer [11]
Del Potro [8] vs. Safin [26]
Del Potro [8] vs. Wawrinka [15]


van said...

Hey Reem, what's up? I like your post here of the draw breakdown! It's something to see, really, how much of depth there is in the game and noting that matches that could've been finals only a couple of years ago are now potential third-rounders.

Reem said...

Hi Van... Thanks :)
Hope you're well.
Yes I am looking forward to a match like Federer-Safin, although I am disappointed that Safin has such a tough draw. It's his last season and I would have loved to see him surprise us in Australia. Who knows, maybe he'll get a chance to do something cool later this season.
I hope Tsonga recovers too, although it doesn't seem like it, considering his disc problems.
Anyways, am lookin forward to your QF picks :)