I think this could be a very interesting first Grand Slam event of 2012. The first two weeks of the season have been pretty random as far as players’ form is concerned. We have also seen more injuries than I remember from other years. You really wonder how some of them have spent the off-season.
The first thing that strikes you looking through the Men’s first round matches is the number of potentially very exciting battles.
The top players don’t seem to have many problems in the opening couple of rounds. Perhaps the only potential problem could be for Andy Murray who plays Ryan Harrison in the first round and potentially plays Malisse in round 2.
10th seed Almagro faces Kubot who could put up a decent fight.
15th – Roddick isn’t in the best form and Haase may fancy hiis chances.
21st – Wawrinka plays in form Benoit Paire. We could see an upset there.
22nd – Verdasco and local boy Tomic could be the match of the round.
But the big question is who will win the title? The mens event doesn’t really do surprise Grand Slam winners.
|2006||SUI||Federer, Roger||CYP||Baghdatis, Marcos||5–7, 7–5, 6–0, 6–2|
|2007||SUI||Federer, Roger||CHI||González, Fernando||7–6(7–2), 6–4, 6–4|
|2008||SRB||Djokovic, Novak||FRA||Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried||4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6(7–2)|
|2009||ESP||Nadal, Rafael||SUI||Federer, Roger||7–5, 3–6, 7–6(7–3), 3–6, 6–2|
|2010||SUI||Federer, Roger||GBR||Murray, Andy||6–3, 6–4, 7–6(13–11)|
|2011||SRB||Djokovic, Novak||GBR||Murray, Andy||6–4, 6–2, 6–3|
It would be pretty much impossible for Djokovic to repeat his achievements of 2011. He didn’t end the season that well as injury caught up with him. I predicted his Oz Open win last year but I don’t think he will win it this time.
As the stats say that the winner will come from the top 5 which one will it be? None of them are at the top of their game. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all have recent injuries. Murray won last week but almost went out in the first round. Only last night David Ferrer looked like he was going out of his quarter final.
Perhaps 2012 will see a more unexpected wiinner. When was the last time a Frenchman won the Australian Open? I’d say Tsonga has as good a chance as anyone.
In the women’s draw Wozniacki managed to hang on to the top position thanks to Na Li beating Kvitova.
The winners list from previous years is dominated by Serena Williams with guest appearances from Clijsters, Henin, Sharapova and Mauresmo. None of those will be lifting the trophy this year. Clijsters has an outside chance but injury will put her out.
|2003||USA||Williams, Serena||USA||Williams, Venus||7–6(7–4), 3–6, 6–4|
|2004||BEL||Henin, Justine||BEL||Clijsters, Kim||6–3, 4–6, 6–3|
|2005||USA||Williams, Serena||USA||Davenport, Lindsay||2–6, 6–3, 6–0|
|2006||FRA||Mauresmo, Amélie||BEL||Henin, Justine||6–1, 2–0 retired|
|2007||USA||Williams, Serena||RUS||Sharapova, Maria||6–1, 6–2|
|2008||RUS||Sharapova, Maria||SER||Ivanović, Ana||7–5, 6–3|
|2009||USA||Williams, Serena||RUS||Safina, Dinara||6–0, 6–3|
|2010||USA||Williams, Serena||BEL||Henin, Justine||6–4, 3–6, 6–2|
|2011||BEL||Clijsters, Kim||CHN||Na, Li||3–6, 6–3, 6–3|
Players who have started the year well include Azarenka, Li and Kvitova. They have realistic chances to go deep into the tournament. The Ausralian crowd would love Sam Stosur to follow up her US Open wiin but she has a lot of work to do if she can turn around her performance last week.
Zvonareva and Petkovic haven’t impressed. Bartoli and Schiavone have the ability to get through a round or 3 but aren’t serious title contenders.
I think we will see either Kvitova or Azarenka win the title this year. Both have shown decent form so far in 2012 although consistency will need to improve.