Tenaciously Tennis

Future Predictions: Federer to Shed Happier Tears at the Aussie Open This Year

Photo Credit: AP
With the Australian Open coming up in a little less than two weeks, I thought I’d offer my thoughts on who I believe will take the title on the ATP and WTA tours over the next couple of days. While some early results come off as surprising, think Roger Federer bowing out to Robin Soderling in a recent exhibition, many others stick true to form, how about those Belgians? I’ll break it down for you, and predict the winners at the sunny summer Slam. Sorry, ladies. Men come first for now, plus I noticed that I have not really written about the ATP tour yet!

The ATP Tour:

Yes, the draws have yet to be announced, but on the men’s side, is there ever a Slam without Federer in the Final? Okay, maybe the Australian Open in 2008, but the Serbian Novak Djokovic was particularly in form that tournament. I believe that the new father will find 2010 to be much the same as last season, beginning with the Aussie Open. Although Federer fell in a tearful final to Rafael Nadal last year, he will be revved up and ready to take it to the rest of the tour quite convincingly. Think hardly dropping a set, if at all. Particularly hungry after losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open final, especially being hit off the court by that awesome bullet of a forehand by the young Argentinian, Federer will come out the victor, further showcasing his dominance of the sport. Can anyone tell me why Tiger Woods was named the best athlete of the decade?

Anyway, that takes care of the top part of the bracket, where Federer will invariably appear as the number one player in the world. Now for the second half. With Nadal coming off of a streaky year-end event and that nagging knee injury (despite a strong showing at the US Open ending in a three set semifinal beat down from del Potro), I don’t predict another Federer-Nadal final down under. If anything, I believe that del Potro will keep up his good form, and take it to Federer in four as long as the draw sets itself up that way. If not, Federer will get his revenge against the Argentinian in four sets.

Also due for a good showing in a slam is the perennial underachiever, yet hyped British player, Andy Murray. He couldn’t quite cut it during the US Open after his strong semifinal appearance at Wimbledon this past year. Murray only made it to the fourth round, before falling to Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. However, Murray, a personal favorite, has proven in the past that hard courts are his home. His best showing at a Slam is his US Open final in 2008, which he lost against Federer in three sets. Now, it’s just a matter of being more aggressive with that forehand, showing off his new high level of fitness, and displaying his beautiful brand of tennis and finesse that has proven so successful in the past.

Predictions: Federer makes it to the final; del Potro gets to the finals/semifinals (depending on whether he sits opposite Federer); Nadal disappoints in a quarterfinal loss to an up-and-comer; Murray finds his way to his first semifinal down under.

Blackhorses: Nikolai Davydenko, who came off his strongest win at the year-ending event; Andy Roddick, who’s hungry for more success after the tough 16-14 loss to Federer at the Wimbledon final and the disappointing loss to the giant John Isner at the US Open; and Novak Djokovic, who has been flying under the tennis radar for some time now.


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