Australian Open 2018: Complete Predictions for Men’s and Women’s Draw

Australian Open 2018: Complete Predictions for Men’s and Women’s Draw

The world’s finest tennis players will descend on Melbourne on Saturday to tussle for the first Grand Slam title of the year at the Australian Open.

In the men’s draw, imperious veteran Roger Federer is the favourite for the prize, having returned to form in spectacular fashion in 2017. Should the Swiss triumph ahead of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, it would be his 20th major title.

The women’s bracket is wide open, especially after it was confirmed that defending champion Serena Williams would not be competing. World No. 1 Simona Halep will view this as a brilliant chance to clinch her first Grand Slam prize.

Read on for the pre-tournament seedings and a closer look at who is poised to triumph down under.


Men’s Rankings

1. Rafael Nadal

2. Roger Federer

3. Grigor Dimitrov

4. Alexander Zverev

5. Dominic Thiem

6. Marin Cilic

7. David Goffin

8. Jack Sock

9. Stan Wawrinka

10. Pablo Carreno Busta


Women’s Rankings

1. Simona Halep

2. Caroline Wozniacki

3. Garbine Muguruza

4. Elina Svitolina

5. Venus Williams

6. Karolina Pliskova

7. Jelena Ostapenko

8. Caroline Garcia

9. Johanna Konta

10. Coco Vandeweghe



At the start of 2017, plenty were questioning whether Federer would ever add to his haul of Grand Slam titles. He went on to win two in the year.

The first came in Melbourne, as he and Nadal rolled back the years to deliver a classic five-set final. For Federer, it was a triumph that recharged him early in the campaign, and that renewed belief was on show when he added another Wimbledon title to his haul.

The signs have been positive for Federer again as he gears up for the defence of his Australian Open title.

As noted by journalist Simon Haring, Switzerland’s win in the recent Hopman Cup was a reminder of the longevity he has showcased:

In addition to his own excellent form, a number of Federer’s major rivals are absent—Andy Murray will miss the competition—or have had doubts over their fitness in the buildup to the tournament. Nadal, Djokovic and Wawrinka have all had issues to contend with as of late.

It was Nadal who triumphed in the other two Grand Slam events last season, and while his warm-up for the tournament has been low-key to this point, tennis writer Tumaini Carayol commented on how impressive he looked in a recent win over Lucas Pouille:

While there appear to be a select few with the quality to triumph in the men’s bracket, in the women’s singles, it’s difficult to select a favourite.

Serena Williams was expected to return to the court to defend the title she won a year ago, but she confirmed a week ago she wasn’t ready to play after her recent hiatus due to her pregnancy. It gives the rest of the field a massive opportunity.

In 2017 Ostapenko, Muguruza and Sloane Stephens made the most of her absence. By contrast, Halep, in a theme that has come to define her career so far, was unable to produce her best when it mattered.

She lost the final of the French Open to Ostapenko, fell out of the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and suffered first-round losses in Australia and the U.S. Open.

Halep appears to be in fine form, though, as she was excellent in winning the Shenzhen Open; as we can see here per the WTA, she thrilled the crowd with her shot-making:

Of the other Grand Slam winners from 2017, Muguruza is undoubtedly one to watch, as she often brings her best to the big occasion. The Spaniard has already won at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and she will be keen to show she can compete on hard courts, too.

Wozniacki is the second-highest ranked player in the field and has enjoyed a renaissance in her career as of late.

As relayed by Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times, it’s been a while since the Dane was seeded so highly at such a prestigious event:

Given his excellent preparation and sparkling recent form. it’s tough to see past Federer winning the men’s prize for what’d be a sixth time—especially given the doubts over Nadal and Djokovic pre-tournament.

Halep will view this as an enormous chance to break her Grand Slam duck and should be bristling with confidence following her rise to world No. 1 late last season. It will be far from straightforward, but she will finally hold things together and clinch the prize her talent deserves.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page

January 13, 2018 at 04:43AM


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