Australian Open 2012: Who’ll Take Men’s Title

Novak Djokovic wins Australian Open 2011

As Australian Open is about to start in Melbourne, the tennis world faces some questions to answer, like will Novak Djokovic complete a Grand Slam; will Rafael Nadal find some weapons to win it against Nole; will Roger Federer find motivation to win a Major again, and the toughest one – will Andy Murray finally win a Grand Slam tournament? With all these question on mind, we are looking at the men’s draw and making some humble predictions.

First Quarter

The men’s draw gave tennis fans a major subject to discuss, as after a year of four consecutive Djokovic vs. Federer and Nadal vs. Murray potential semifinal lineups, the draw finally offered us something new: a potential AO 2011 Final re-match between Djokovic and Murray as well as first Federer-Nadal Slam semifinal encounter since the 2005 French Open.

Looking at the first quarter draw, there are some potential tricky opponents for Nole on his way to the final, with on-and-off Andy Roddick and hard-hitting Milos Raonic, the Newcomer of 2011.

In addition, this quarter also features David Ferrer, last year’s semifinalist here, and Janko Tipsrevic, who shocked Nole at the season’ending finale in London. But whether any of these guys will be tough enough t dissapoint Djokovic is a big quesion.

First-round match to watch: Roddick vs. Robin Haase.

Semifinalist: Djokovic

Second Quarter

Andy Murray Australian Open finalist

Andy Murray probably faces the toughest first round opponent from all seeds, the daring and ambitious Ryan Harrison. But I believe Murray has enough patience to safely get through. The tough time for British No 1 continues with potential threats from talented Gulbis, resurrected Malisse, most improved player of 2011, Bogomolov, and Gael Monfils or Victor Troicki in the fourth round.

And this is not the end to Murray’s troubles, as he could face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals, who’s currently playing the best tennis of his career, and is definitely looking to change his sole Grand Slam final with the first Grand Slam win.

But I believe Andy will find the weapons to beat all his opponents, especially as he now has Ivan Lendl as coach, but will he have enough gasoline to reach his third consecutive final in Melbourne Park?

First-round match to watch: Istomin vs. Tsonga.

Semifinalist: Murray

Third Quarter

Roger Federer Australian Open 2010 Winner

The third section of the draw is crowded with young talents, like Bernard Tomic and Alexandr Dolgopolov, always tough guys like Fernando Verdasco, Mardy Fish, Ivo Karlovic, and of course, the player Fed-fans are always afraid of, Juan Martin del Potro.

But still, I don’t see any potential problems for Roger Federer, especially if taking into account his current form, motivation, and revived passion for the game. The only thing that can stop him from getting into the semis is his back, but hopefully, it was just a scare for the Swiss superstar.

First-round match a must to watch: Tomic vs. Fernando Verdasco.

Semifinalist: Federer

Fourth Quarter

Rafael Nadal wins Australian Open 2009

The early rounds of the draw are likely to be an easy task for Rafael Nadal, with aging Tommy Haas and Ivan Liubicic, as well as up-and-coming Donald Young. Add some hot weather and dazzling sun, hated by most players, and loved by Rafa, and you will get three straight-set wins for the Australian Open 2009 champion.

The toughest opponents for the Spaniard are John Isner (we all remeber their battle at Roland Garros last year), Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka and always-tricky Marcos Baghdatis.

But still, I don’t think that any of them will bring much of a trouble for Nadal.

First-round match to watch: Nalbandian vs. Niemenen

Semifinalist: Nadal

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