2013 Men’s Australian Open Tennis Preview

2013 Men’s Australian Open
Sunday, January 13-Sunday, January 27, 2013
Melbourne Park – Melbourne, Australia
Playing Surface: Plexicushion (Hard)
Defending Champion: Novak Djokovic
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker

Novak Djokovic is the favorite to win the Australian Open for the third straight year.

While Serena Williams dominated women’s tennis in the second half of 2012, the top 4 men’s players each won a major last year. Those four men also beat one of the other three in the final. Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open. Nadal returned the favor in the French Open. Roger Federer beat Andy Murray at Wimbledon. Murray would beat Federer in the gold medal match in the Olympics also at the All England Club three weeks later. Murray would also win his first official major by beating Djokovic in the U.S. Open final.

Nadal hasn’t played since Wimbledon, as he is recovering from a knee injury. He will also miss the Australian Open as he recovers from a stomach infection last month that left him too weak to train. Also notably absent are Americans John Isner who is out with a knee injury, and Mardy Fish who is still recovering from a heart issue. With the retirement of Andy Roddick that leaves #20 Sam Querrey as the only seeded American man.

Djokovic, Federer and Murray are still in the Australian Open though, and are the top 3 seeds.  It is hard to see one of them not winning it, as only Juan-Martin Del Potro has won a major since 2004 other than the Big Four.

Anyway, let’s take a further look at the favorites and other contenders, with odds courtesy of Bookmaker.

Novak Djokovic (-110)

Djokovic, 25 from Serbia, has won the Australian Open 3 times, including the last 2. He has 5 majors overall. He has made to at least the semifinals of the last 10 majors. For most players, winning a major and being the runner-up at two others would be a highly successful season. However, after Djokovic won 3 in 2011, many though his 2012 was a disappointment. He also made it to the semis at the Olympics but lost to Federer and Del Potro and did not claim a medal. Djokovic has not yet played a match in 2013, but did narrowly hold on to his #1 ranking narrowly at the end of 2012.

Djokovic is the #1 seed at the Australian Open. Other seeded players in his section of the draw include #31 Radek Stepanek, #20 Querrey, #15 Stanislas Wawrinka, #11 Juan Monaco, #22 Fernando Verdasco, #26 Jurgen Melzer, and #5 Tomas Berdych. Djokovic shouldn’t be challenged until the quarterfinals by either Monaco or Berdych if either makes it that far. Djokovic could play #4 David Ferrer in the semifinals. Djokovic should make it to the Final at least.

Andy Murray (5/2)

Murray, 25 from Scotland, has made to at least the quarters in 10 of the last 12 majors. His breakthrough at the U.S. Open was his first major, after coming close several times. He is a two time runner up at the Australian Open, but lost in the semifinals last year. Murray started off 2013 with a win in Brisbane in his only action of the year.

Murray is the #3 seed. Other seeded players in his section include #25 Florian Mayer, #18 Alexandr Dolgopolov, #14 Gilles Simon, #12 Marin Cilic, #21 Andreas Seppi, #30 Marcel Grannollers, and #6 Del Potro. Murray and Del Potro should meet in the quarters, and the winner will likely face Federer in the semifinals.

Roger Federer (15/4)

Federer, 31 from Switzerland, is a 17 time major champion. He has won the Australian Open 4 times, but not since 2010. He has lost in the semifinals here the last two years. Federer won Wimbledon and also won a silver medal at the Olympics. He hasn’t played yet this season.

Federer is the #2 seed. Other seeded players in his section include #27 Martin Klizan, #17 Philipp Kohlschreiber, #13 Milos Raonic #9 Richard Gasquet, #19 Tommy Haas, #29 Thomaz Bellucci, and #7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Kohlschreiber or Raonic could challenge Federer in the fourth round, but Federer should escape to face either Tsonga or Gasquet. I like Federer to make to at lest the semifinals.

Juan Martin Del Potro (11/1)

Del Potro, 24 from Argentina, won the 2009 U.S. Open. He has never made it past the quarters in Melbourne. Del Potro lost in the quarters, at the Australian, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open last season. He hasn’t played yet in 2013.

Del Potro is the #6 seed, and is in Murray’s section of the draw.  If those two make to the quarterfinals, it could be a great match. However, Murray is just a little better right now.

David Ferrer (25/1)

Ferrer, 30 from Spain, has never won a major before. Ferrer has never made it past the semifinals at any major. Ferrer made to the quarters here last year. Ferrer is 7-1 this season with a win at Auckland, and a loss in the semis at Doha.

Ferrer is the #4 seed. Other seeded players include #28 Marcus Baghdatis, #23 Mikhail Youznhy, #16 Kei Nishikori, #10 Nicolas Almagro, #24 Jerzy Janowicz, #32 Julien Benneteau, and #8 Janko Tipsarevic. Ferrer has a tough draw, and will struggle to make to the semifinals.

Other contenders and their odds include Tsonga (30/1), Berdych (40/1), Raonic (50/1), and Tipsarevic (70/1).

I like Djokovic to beat Murray in the final. It should be a an exciting tournament in the blistering summer sun in Melbourne.

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