AUS OPEN MEN’S PREVIEW
Roger Federer ($3.00)
This time 12 months ago people questioned whether he’d win another Grand Slam major. Two Grand Slam major wins later in the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the greatest of all-time is the favourite to claim his 20th Grand Slam title, and his sixth Australian Open. It won’t be easy though – the second week of his draw could see him face Milos Raonic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Alexander Zverev and Rafa!
Potential Path: Bedene, Struff, Gasquet, Raonic, Del Potro, A Zverev, Nadal
Rafael Nadal ($5.00)
Lost an epic Australian Open Final against Federer last year, before going on to win the French and US Open, securing his rank as world number one. Some serious question marks going into the tournament as to whether his knees will hold up over the grueling fortnight, being forced to withdrawal from his last two tournaments in 2017. We’ll find out how he’s tracking in the third round if he comes up against rising star Borna Coric who’s got a 2-2 record with Rafa.
Potential Path: Estrella Burgos, L Mayer, Coric, Isner, Cilic, Kyrgios, Federer
Novak Djokovic ($7.00)
The first time Novak will enter the Australian Open seeded outside the top ten since 2007 as a 19-year-old, where he was also the 14th seed. Since 2007 he’s won the tournament on six occasions emphasising his love for Melbourne and the surface. Djokovic missed the second half of 2017 due to an elbow injury, and with his low seeding he’s got an extremely tough draw ahead of him. His likely match-up with Gael Monfils in the second round provides the fans some Week 1 entertainment.
Potential Path: Young, Monfils, Ramos-Vinolas, A Zverev, Thiem, Federer, Nadal
Alexander Zverev ($14)
With plenty of expectation surrounding the new kid on the block, unfortunately for Zverev he didn’t quite live up to the hype in 2017 and will be looking for a strong start to 2018. Despite being in the ‘quarter of death’, Zverev certainly has the ability to emerge from it with momentum behind him and make a charge to his first Grand Slam major.
Potential Path: Fabbiano, Kukushkin, Kokkinakis, Djokovic, Thiem, Federer, Nadal
Dominic Thiem ($41)
Along with Djokovic, Zverev and Wawrinka, Thiem features in the ‘quarter of death’, but don’t write off the man with the lethal backhand. Is slowly improving his game on the quicker surfaces under a new coach, and despite being 5 in the world he could be a bit of a surprise packet this Australian Open.
Potential Path: Pella, Johnson, Vesely, Wawrinka, A Zverev, Federer, Nadal
Marin Cilic ($29)
If Nadal’s body doesn’t hold up, the first quarter is all Cilic’s to lose. And if the big Croatian makes the Semi’s, there’s no reason he can’t give the title a shake. Is a Grand Slam major winner taking out the US Open in 2014, and has featured in a Semi-Final at the Australian Open in 2010.
Potential Path: Lu, Sousa, Harrison, Carreno Busta, Nadal, Kyrgios, Federer
Nick Kyrgios ($15)
A huge opportunity for Nick. On the right side of the draw, in the best shape physically and mentally for some time and coming off his first tournament win on home soil. This being said, Australia got very excited this time last year for Kyrgios to crash out of the tournament in the second round. In Dimitrov’s quarter which has worked out perfectly after beating him in Brisbane last week.
Potential Path: Dutra Silva, Troicki, Shapovalov, Dimitrov, Sock, Nadal, Federer
Jordan Thompson ($501)
Ranked just inside the top 100, Thompson finished 2017 poorly after upstaging American Jack Sock in the first round of the US Open. Should feature in the second round here, but will likely see Milos Raonic.
Potential Path: Kicker, Raonic, Querrey, Federer, Del Potro, A Zverev, Nadal
Nadal def Kyrgios
Zverev def Federer
Zverev def Nadal
*Prices subject to change