2017 Australian Open Predictions
The men’s tennis season has barely finished, and yet most of the Internet is alive with talk of next year. Then again, I’m no different; that’s why I’m posting my 2017 Australian Open predictions in the middle of December!
Before we get into it, it’s worth reminding everyone that Ad Court Ramble is a blog about men’s singles tennis. I have nothing against the women’s game, or the doubles… or wheelchair for that matter. This just isn’t the platform for me to talk about those variants. However, for some good chatter on the women’s side of this great game, I recommend checking out Moo’s Tennis Blog. Now, onto the predictions.
2017 Australian Open Predictions
Update: The 2017 Australian Open draw has been made. Check out our breakdown breakdown of it here;
The Big Four
I’ll start with the obvious. I do think the Australian Open will go to one of the Big Four in 2017.
Wait! I will get more specific.
Personally I can’t see this going any other way than yet another Andy Murray/Novak Djokovic final. Federer and Nadal will be back, of course, but I’m having a hard time believing they will have it in them to win this Slam. I believe Federer has another Wimbledon in him yet, and it would be silly to count Nadal out of another title at Roland Garros. But to win the Australian on so little match time, and when neither have managed a Slam title for some time (by their standards) seems a stretch. I would expect Federer to at least make the fourth round, possibly a quarter final. For Nadal I wouldn’t be surprised if a relatively early exit was on the cards.
A Murray/Djokovic final isn’t that much of a prediction, of course. After all, they’ve done it four times! I would claim boldness by picking Murray to finally win down under… but I’m not even sure it would be a surprise now. Djokovic seemed to regain his mojo at the ATP World Tour Finals, breezing to the final with barely a break of sweat. But whatever composure he’d found against the rest of the field deserted him against Murray.
It was very much a role reversal. Murray typically had, for the most part, dispatched all comers until he came up against Djokovic. How long this role reversal will last remains to be seen. I believe Djokovic will be able to reach the final, and I think he’ll be far more competitive than he was in London last month, but I’m predicting Murray will take his maiden Australian Open title in 2017.
The Big Four Predictions
- Rafael Nadal — Third Round
- Roger Federer — Quarter Finals
- Novak Djokovic — Runner Up
- Andy Murray — Winner
The Best of the Rest
This is, of course, my own personal opinion, but for this section of my 2017 Australian Open predictions, I’m going to look at those whom I consider to be the best active players that are not part of the Big Four.
I’ll start with my favourite Canadian. Obviously I don’t believe Milos Raonic will win the tournament—I’ve already predicted Murray will take that honour—but I do believe he’ll nab himself another Grand Slam semi-final berth. There is an air of uncertainty around Raonic after his unexpected split with coach, Carlos Moya. While it’s too soon to tell whether or not this will have a negative impact on the Canadian’s playing, it’s almost certainly too soon to have had a positive impact. For this reason, I don’t envision him doing better than in previous years, but a semi-final slot is well within his reach.
Former Australian Open champion and Grand Slam maestro, Stan Wawrinka, can never be written off. This has been proven by the fact that he’s only (“only”, ha!) one Slam away from a Career Slam. Despite his penchant for popping up to take a Grand Slam out of nowhere before disappearing back into the fold, I’m predicting a quarter final exit for Wawrinka. I have a sneaking suspicion that he may be focusing on a certain grass court tournament this year.
Similarly, I’m putting Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori down for a quarter final minimum. I do think one of them will go one better and reach the semis, but I’m not completely sure which. Because I have to make an actual prediction (it’d be a cop out otherwise), I’m going to go with Nishikori. His performance at the ATP World Tour to me was an indication that he may be ready to really cause problems for the big guys, so he’s my pick for the semis. It’s a flimsy pick, however, and I won’t be surprised if Cilic equals or betters Nishikori showing this year.
Honourable mentions from this group go to Dominic Thiem and David Goffin. The fourth round at least beckons for these two in my opinion. And seeing as I want my 2017 Australian Open predictions to have some teeth, I’m going to pick Thiem to make the quarters. Thomas Berdych is in the mix, of course, but I don’t think he’s going to cause any big waves, and there are hungrier and/or younger players in his way.
Best of the Rest Predictions
- Thomas Berdych — Fourth Round
- David Goffin — Fourth Round
- Dominic Thiem — Quarter Finals
- Marin Cilic — Quarter Finals
- Kei Nishikori — Semi Finals
- Milos Raonic — Semi Finals
I could hardly make my 2017 Australian Open predictions without mentioning Australia’s bright hope for the future, Nick Kyrgios. I think we all hope this is just a phase he’s going through. But a player who—by his own admission—just doesn’t care, is a hard player to back in the big tournaments. His talent is undeniable, but just ask Andy Murray if talent and ability are enough to win a Grand Slam these days. I predict a third round exit for Kyrgios, though I do hope I’m proven wrong.
Juan Martín Del Potro will be flying high going into 2017 following his historic Davis Cup triumph, but will it be enough to see him through to a second Grand Slam? Well, obviously I don’t think so as I’ve already predicted Murray will win. That being said, I fully expect the Argentinian to make some big waves in 2017… I just can’t see them being at the Australian. I predict a quarter final exit for DelPo, but bigger things to come later in the year.
The final player I’m going to mention in my 2017 Australian Open prediction extravaganza is Gael Monfils. Now I realise that, at number seven in the world, Monfils should probably be hoping for a better showing than the fourth round prediction I’m going to give him. However this undeniably great athlete seems—to me at least—to be well and truly on a downward trend. The brilliance is still there but in increasingly smaller amounts, and I feel (sadly, I should add) that we may start to see the Frenchman start to slip down the rankings next year. He is one of my favourite players to watch, so this will be one prediction I won’t mind being wrong about!
Everyone Else Predictions
- Nick Kyrgios — Third Round
- Gael Monfils — Third Round
- Juan Martín Del Potro — Quarter Finals.
I don’t think I’m making any particularly bold predictions here. The thing is, I genuinely don’t expect much in the way of surprises. Short of some drastic changes, it seems Murray and Djokovic will continue to have a lock down on the top two. The only question mark over that is what order they will be in. There are a few outside title chances in the likes of Nishikori, Raonic, Cilic, and Wawrinka. Anyone outside of the Big Four taking the title will be a surprise to me, however.
You can expect somewhat sheepish follow up post after the tournament with me trying to explain how Murray and Djokovic got eliminated in the fourth round while David Ferrer went on to win his first Slam.