Well I have had to redo parts of this due to Andy Murray withdrawing from the tournament. His hip injury is still too painful. He hasn’t played since his quarter final loss to Querrey at Wimbledon.
I’ll have a look at the contenders and see who should still be around for the second week.
This is Nadal’s section. He won the title in 2013 but didn’t play the following year due to injury. Last year he lost in the fourth round to Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a 5th set tie break. This year he has a reasonable draw. He is comfortable until the third round and as he has beaten Gasquet in their last 15 meetings he should confident in that one. Berdych seems his most likely opponent in the fourth round. Nadal won 16 of their 17 matches though Berdych’s only win came in the Australian Open in 2015. You would still have to favour the Spaniard!
Fognini is also in Nadal’s half of this section and I’d expect him to fall to Berdych in the third round.
The other half has Dimitrov and Monfils as the big names. Dimitrov has been in pretty strong recent form and will be hoping for a good tournament. He will come up against some in form opponents in Dzumhur and Rublev but I’d expect him to control those matches in the best of 5 set format.
Monfils has the ability to get through the first week but his 2017 form has been a little erratic to say the least. If he is not at his best he may struggle against Chardy or Donald Young.
Predicted quarter final: Nadal v Dimitrov
Federer is the main character in this section with a few bit players set to fight it out for the scraps. Federer and his team have managed his season almost to perfection. He won the Australian Open. Then he skipped the entire clay season including the French Open. He won Wimbledon and has only failed to reach the final in Dubai and Stuttgart. The only final he lost was in Montreal earlier this month.
Federer claims that he doesn’t look at the draw and I wouldnt be surprised if that’s true. The way he has played the slams this year will give him immense confidence that he can take a third slam title in 2017. Verdasco will be a decent warm up for him in the third round and hopefully he will play Kyrgios in the fourth round.
The other half of the section has Del Potro who will need to raise him game from the levels we have seen from him recently.Despite his erratic form I think he will scrape through the early rounds. Bautista Agut is having another great season and won the title in Winston Salem this week. He is likely to meet Del Potro in the third round.
I’m not totally convinced that Dominic Thiem will go far in this tournament. I would expect Baghdatis to give him some problems in the second round and if he gets through that one he will most likely face Karlovic.
Predicted quarter final: Federer v Del Potro
This is quite wide open. Quite a few players in this section who have shown strong form recently albeit quite short lived strong form from some of them.
Alex Zverev is at the top of the pile. His Duracell Bunny act saw him win back to back titles in Washington and Montreal where he beat Federer in the final. .
Zverev has a tough draw. Vesely in the second round could give him a few problems and if Kevin Anderson gets past Gulbis in the second round he can keep the sets tight against Zverev. It wouldn’t get any easier for the young german in the fourth round where Jack Sock or Gilles Muller would be waiting for him.
The other half of the section has Querrey and Isner who have both shown strong form on the hard courts. They would probably meet in the fourth round and I would favour Querrey to take that as he has been more consistent. Isner would have to get past the other Zverev brother Mischa in the third round.
Predicted quarter final: Querrey v A Zverev
Cilic and Tsonga are the bigger names in this section. Tsonga has potentially tricky early opponents in Canadian Shapovalov in the second round and Kyle Edmund in the third round. It doesn’t get a whole lot easier in the fourth round for the Frenchman as his likely opponent is in form Carreno Busta.
Ramos and Mahut meet in the second round. That can go either way but I would expect Carreno Busta to beat whoever gets through.
Cilic has an “OK” draw. Kokkinakis should help him get warmed up in the third round and then he will face his toughest early opponent with the winner of the Pouille v Ferrer encounter waiting for him.
Not the most exciting section of the draw though the quarter final will be entertaining (assuming I’m right!).
Predicted quarter final: Tsonga v Cilic