Breaking Down the 2017 Australian Open Draw

2017 Australian Open Draw.

2017 Australian Open Draw.

The 2017 Australian Open draw is out, and it’s more or less what we were expecting. They tend to seed with the rankings down under, so we could have guessed where the top players were going to be. Now we know for certain, though. If you want to go peruse them for yourself, you can find the official men’s draw by following this link. Or you can stay here a little longer while we break down the 2017 Australian Open draw!

First Quarter

Of course, the most unique feature about the 2017 Australian Open draw over previous years is the name in the number one slot. For the first time in a long time, the number one seed is not Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Novak Djokovic. First time Grand Slam top seed, Andy Murray has a pretty sweet looking early run. He could potentially bump into Sam Querrey in the third round, but really he should be making the fourth round without breaking a sweat.

In the fourth he could come up against John Isner or Lucas Pouille, but again we would expect Murray to handle either of them. The big name at the other side of this quarter is Kei Nishikori, however all eyes will likely be on a certain 17th seed by name of Roger Federer. Federer could face Thomas Berdych in the third round, and of course may come up against Nishikori in the fourth. If Federer is anywhere near his old self, however, I would expect him to get by both of these… where Andy Murray will likely be waiting.

Short of any upsets, I can’t see anyone coming out of this quarter other than Andy Murray. The question will be who does he have to get by in the quarters. Personally, I think Federer will be that man.

Second Quarter

The second quarter of the 2017 Australian Open draw is topped by number four seed, Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka also has a nice run to the fourth round, with Nick Kyrgios being the first stiff challenge he might face then. Although Victor Troicki could be waiting for him in the third round. Wawrinka tends to either win Grand Slam’s or go out early, so you never know.

The other side of the quarter is a little more crowded in terms of big names. Marin Cilic sits at the opposite end of the quarter. Bernard Tomic and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga are also down there. I expect Cilic to get by Tomic in the third round as well as Tsonga in the fourth. As for who comes out of the quarter itself, it all depends on which Wawrinka we get.

If Stan is on the kind of form that won him three of the four Grand Slams, he could well be the man for this quarter at least. However, I’m going to pick Kyrgios. I think Nick Kyrgios will upset Wawrinka, and go on to the quarter finals where he will probably face off against Marin Cilic. I don’t think Kyrgios has an Australian Open title in him yet, but I think he can make the semis of this one. Kyrgios wins.

Third Quarter

Gael Monfils sits at the top of the third quarter as sixth seed. He has a largely unfettered run to the fourth round, though a second round matchup with either Borna Coric or Alexandr Dolgopolov could prove tricky. In the fourth round, however, Alexander Zverev could be waiting. Or, one Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has made a positive start to 2017 after a lengthy lay off, winning in Abu Dhabi and reaching the quarters in Brisbane. If his body doesn’t let him down, Nadal should have a good run in Melbourne.

At the other end of the quarter, third seed Milos Raonic should comfortably make the fourth round with Gilles Simon and David Ferrer being the biggest threats he could face. In the fourth, Milos will likely face off against Roberto Bautista Agut. A much stiffer challenge, for sure, but I expect Raonic to meet it.

In my opinion, the quarter final will see a repeat of the Brisbane quarter final matchup. Milos Raonic against Rafael Nadal, and I think it will be Rafa who triumphs. The pair have played twice this year already (though only one competitive match) splitting the results. Raonic got the last victory but I’m picking Nadal for this one. He’s hungry and healthy, and Raonic is still adjusting to losing Carlos Moya, who will be in Nadal’s player’s box. Ouch.

Fourth Quarter

Here monsters lie.

This is of course where we find Novak Djokovic. The 2017 Australian Open draw has probably been least kind to the six time and defending champion of all the top seeds. He starts off with a matchup against Verdasco who gave him a hell of a run in Doha last week. He will also likely need to get by a resurgent Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

At the other side of the draw, Dominic Thiem and David Goffin are on course to meet in the fourth round with not much in the way of potential upsets before then. Perhaps big serving Ivo Karlovic could upset David Goffin in the third, though I personally don’t think he will. I think Thiem will defeat Goffin in the fourth to set up a quarter final with Djokovic.

Which he will, of course, lose. Let’s be honest, nobody is picking Djokovic to lose before the final.

Very few are picking him to lose at all.

Semi Finals

Short and sweet. Andy Murray defeats Nick Kyrgios relatively comfortably. Kyrgios’ talent is undeniable, but taking the game seriously is a must to make that next big step and Nick just isn’t that interested right now.

Djokovic, of course, beats Nadal in the other semi. I think it will be a competitive match, however. If Nadal does get this far, he will be ready for war. That being said, a straight sets victory can still be competitive. I don’t think Djokovic will walk over Nadal, but beating the Serb so soon after his layoff is a big ask of Nadal. Especially given that Djokovic seems to have Nadal’s number in general.

The Final

So I, like many, am predicting yet another Djokovic/Murray Australian Open final. Call it hopefulness, call it wishful thinking, but I’m picking Murray to finally triumph in Melbourne. Djokovic’s win in Doha was an emphatic statement, but I find myself wondering if that’s all it was. Djokovic, possibly for the first time in a long time, had something to prove. He came into the Qatar Open final determined to show the world he’s still the top dog, and he threw everything at Murray.

The question is; did Murray throw everything back?

We all know Murray wants this Slam, probably more than any other Slam right now. He’d just taken the number one position and soundly beaten Nole at the World Tour Finals. I can’t help but think that Murray might have had one eye on the Australian Open, whereas Djokovic was solely focused on the task at hand in Doha. I could be way off, of course. And there are many Djoker fans who will be quick to tell me that’s exactly what I am. But there’s my theory.

It will be tight, but I’m sticking with my earlier prediction of Murray to win.

The 2017 Australian Open draw is out. The players are warmed up. All that remains is for the matches to start!

John Bullock

Maker of digital (and sometimes physical) things. Attention span of a

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