Sunday, 26 January 2014

Australian Open 2014 - Finals

Na Li and Stanislas Wawrinka came out victorious. Na Li was an outside bet but how many realistically believed Wawrinka would be the first since Del Potro to win a Grand Slam especially against Nadal in the finals.

Na Li (China) [4]
Dominika Cilbulkova (Slovakia) [20]

Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1]
Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) [8]

Na Li now brings her Grand Slam total to 2 and is now the oldest female to win the Australian Open. Wawrinka wins his maiden Grand Slam and finally breaks the stranglehold of the Top 4. Will this shape into the year where the Top 4 break? The rankings of Monday will already signal it as Wawrinka will rise up to No.3 in the world and become the top Swiss! Del Potro and Ferrer will leap ahead of Murray to become No.4 and No.5 respectively whilst Murray stands in at No.6. Federer will also drop to 8. This is the most varied Top 10 ranking in a long while. But it's all subject to change as the rankings from 3-8 are all quite close.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Australian Open 2014 - Day 11 and 12

As the finals are now set lets see what results led to them!

Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) [30]
Na Li (China) [4]

It would have been one too many shocks if even Na Li was ousted. The veteran finally put a stop this all this chaos and will surely be the favourite to win her first Australian Open in the finals against Cibulkova though she is playing very well.

Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) [20]
Agnieszka Radwanka (Poland) [5]

I am absolutely dumbfounded by this scoreline. How could she beat Azarenka (with one bagel) and then lose so tragically against Cibulkova, I should really watch this match.

Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) [7]
Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) [8]

Both were playing for their first Australian Open final but it was Wawrinka, who has arguably had a more successful run to the semis, who prevailed. I wish him luck against Nadal as I can't imagine anything besides that if he is to beat him.

Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1]
Roger Federer (Switzerland) [6]

Federer has shown good form in the past two weeks but up against Nadal was simply too much too soon. Nadal will surely get his second Australian Open.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Australian Open 2014 - Day 9 and 10

Sorry, the piling work and the WTF losses deterred my interest in keeping up to date. This slam is nearly as messed up as the whole of Wimbledon 2013. Here are some significant results

Na Li (China) [4]
Flavia Pennetta (Italy) [28]

Since her wake up call Na Li has been playing with conviction, if she continues this form I can't imagine any of the remaining players having the game to beat her though weirder things have happened this tournament.

Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) [14]
Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) [30]

One day beating the undisputed world No.1 the next day losing to an upstart teen. Bouchard isn't a pushover but if Ivanovic wanted to reclaim her No.1 spot this inconsistency is not going to help.

Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) [8]
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) [2]

Good job to Wawrinka, but unless he can keep this up he's just made the finals so much easier for the top half, which most likely will be Nadal.

Simona Halep (Romania) [11]
Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) [20]

I did not see such a scoreline happening, I guess Cibulkova is in even better form than I'd imagined, Radwanska next, will this be another shock and Cibulkova makes her first finals?

Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) [5]
Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) [2]

The favourites keep falling, falling, falling. I applaud Radwanska, hopefully she'll manage to make it to the finals and give Na Li a good fight since she looks in decent form or I will lament on the fact that my three favourite players all left too soon.

Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1]
Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) [22]

Dimitrov did well to push this into four sets, he's finally graduated from being a young star to a legitimate future contender.

Andy Murray (Great Britain) [4]
Roger Federer (Switzerland) [6]

Whatever happens in this match it will be noteworthy, so I'm leaving a space for it right now! Watch for updates!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Australian Open 2014 - Quarterfinals


1R - Bernard Tomic (Australia)
6-4 (Retired)    RANK 57
2R - Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia) WC
6-2,6-4,6-2 1h53   RANK 570
3R - Gael Monfils (France) [25]
6-1,6-2,6-3 2h01    RANK 32
4R - Kei Nishikori (Japan) [16]
7-6(7-3),7-5,7-6(7-3) 3h17     RANK 17

Rafa, the King of Clay, Spain's Raging Bull, The Comeback King? Whatever you want to call Nadal he is indisputably the King of the Game right now, still dominant even after his career threatening injury. Bar that, the 27 year old, Nadal has 61 titles of which 13 are Slams, 1 is an Olympic Gold and a further 26 Masters! However his lone Australian Open title was in 2009.

His next opponent will be the rising star, Dimitrov. Whilst nobody is expecting anything from the young Bulgarian it will be interesting how the match plays out. Nadal will be looking to keep his straight sets run if he's aiming for the elusive second Aussie.


1R - Bradley Klahn (USA)        
7-6(9-7),4-6,4-6,3-6 2h34     RANK 93
2R - Yen-hsun Lu (Taiwan)       
3-6,3-6,6-7(11-13) 2h04       RANK 53
3R - Milos Raonic (Canada) [11] 
3-6,6-3,4-6,6-7(10-12) 2h36 RANK 11
4R - Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) 
6-3,3-6,6-2,6-4 2h24           RANK 62

This 22 year old Bulgarian is the youngest guy left in the draw. For several years named as the main rising star he has finally broken out and reached his first QF. Since turning pro he has won one title, being the Stockholm Open last year against David Ferrer in the final. He is the most successful Bulgarian men's tennis player.

He will next play Nadal, to beat him is possibly an insurmountable feat, but Dimitrov has announced his arrival and the next match will determine how far up the ladder he has reached.


1R - Go Soeda (Japan)
6-1,6-1,6-3 1h27   RANK 112
2R - Vincent Millot (France) Q
6-2,6-2,7-5 2h01   RANK 267
3R - Feliciano Lopez (Spain) [26]
7-6(7-2),6-4,6-2 2h15     RANK 27
4R - Stephane Robert (France)
6-1,6-2,6-7(6-8),6-2 2h42   RANK 119

At 26 Murray can be considered "young" for this draw. In his career he has already garnered 28 Career titles, the most significant of which being his two Slams, one being his Wimbledon title last year. He also has an Olympic Gold medal to call his own. However out of the Top 4 players the No.1 title has still eluded him, will 2014 be his breakthrough? 

Just back from injury Murray is playing down his chances however he does have a very good record at the Australian Open in recent years. However his road is just about to get tougher as to win the title he'll most probably need to face the onslaught of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic consecutively!


1R - James Duckworth (Australia) WC 
4-6,4-6,2-6 1h46        RANK 133
2R - Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia)         
2-6,1-6,6-7(4-7) 1h47 RANK 99
3R - Teymuraz Gabashvili (Russia)             
2-6,2-6,3-6 1h41        RANK 79
4R - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) [10]           
3-6,5-7,4-6 1h52        RANK 10

At 32, in tennis terms Federer can be considered a pensioner! But Federer is still fighting strong. This legend has amassed 77 titles in his career, 17 of which slams (of which 4 are Aussies), 6 Year End titles and 21 Masters. Of the many records he has one of them is making the last four of the every Aussie Open in the last ten years.

The next round will be very interesting, it is indisputably the match of the round and will end the road for one of the "Top 4". His comprehensive win over Tsonga will suggest that he still has it but could Murray be one step too far?


1R - Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kazakhstan)
6-3,6-4,6-3 1h50  RANK 94
2R - Kenny De Schepper (France)
6-4,6-1,6-3 1h42  RANK 86
3R - Damir Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Q
6-4,6-2,6-2 1h44 RANK 188
4R - Kevin Anderson (South Africa) [19]
6-2,6-2,6-3 1h58   RANK 21

The 28 year old Czech boasts being a Wimbledon 2010 Finalist in his resume whilst being in a tough era of the Top 4. He is probably considered the most likely after the players with Slams already. Outside of the slams he owns 8 titles, the most prestigious of which being the BNP Paribas Masters in 2005.

He has yet to falter or be tested in the tournament, dispatching of all his opponents within 2 hours, in straight sets and not having needed a tiebreak for any, however his next opponent, David Ferrer, will bring a dogged match to the game. Will he be able to finally make the SFs here after being so close the last three years?


1R - Alejandro Gonzalez (Colombia) 
3-6,4-6,4-6 2h05              RANK 74
2R - Adrian Mannarino (France)     
6-7(2-7),7-5,0-6,3-6 3h02 RANK 71
3R - Jeremy Chardy (France) [29]  
2-6,6-7(5-7),2-6 2h11       RANK 31
4R - Florian Mayer (Germany)  
7-6(7-5),5-7,2-6,1-6 2h55 RANK 37

31 year old Ferrer is the most successful tennis player without a slam. His consistency has allowed him to be the first player to break the stranglehold the Top 3/4 had on the rankings. His greatest achievement being a finalist at the 2013 French Open and he is a reliable player in the slams, reaching the QF or better in his last 8 runs. He has amassed 20 titles within his career, the most significant of which being the BNP Paribas Masters in 2012.

Ferrer has been a little shaky coming into the QF but his dogged game has allowed him to progress without too many problems. His next opponent, Berdych will be feeling much fresher but with Ferrer's athleticism it's difficult to say where this match will be going.


1R - Andrey Golubev (Kazakhstan)
6-4,4-1 (Retired) RANK 85
2R - Alejandro Falla (Colombia)
6-3,6-3,6-7(4-7),6-4 2h47 RANK 87
3R - Vasek Pospisil (Canada) [28]
Walkover RANK 30
4R - Tommy Robredo (Spain) [17]
6-3,7-6(7-3),7-6(7-5) RANK 18

At 28 Wawrinka was always in the shadows of his Swiss compatriot but recently he's finally finding his path. With 5 titles in the bag and a recent SF appearance at the US Open Wawrinka is having the best time of his career to date. His most significant title probably being the Portugal Open last year where he beat Ferrer. He also managed to reach the finals of last years Mutua Madrid Open (Masters).

Whilst it wasn't the thrilling 5 setter we were all hoping for Robredo kept it close in every set. Having his first true test will put him in good stead against Djokovic but it might be a bit too much for Wawrinka to handle.


1R - Lukas Lacko (Slovakia)
3-6,6-7(2-7),1-6 1h50 RANK 96
2R - Leonardo Mayer (Argentina)
0-6,4-6,4-6 1h47        RANK 98
3R - Denis Istomin (Uzbeksitan)
6-3,6-3,5-7 1h59        RANK 49
4R - Fabio Fognini (Italy) [15]
3-6,0-6,2-6 1h33        RANK 16

This man needs no introduction, at 26 he has 41 titles, 6 of which Grand Slams, 16 of which masters, held the No.1 spot for 101 weeks, won the Tour Finals 3 times and brought Serbia to their first Davis Cup win; as well as breaking many records in between. he comes into this Australian Open having won the previous three and will surely be looking to add a fifth to his mantelpiece to exceed Agassi and Federer's record.

He goes into the QFs looking in great form, it's hard to deny him of being the overwhelming favourite over his opponent but either way it should be a good match and his first true test in his goal to winning his 5th Aussie.


1R - Kiki Bertens (Netherlands)
6-4,6-4 1h32 RANK 93
2R - Annika Beck (Germany)
6-1,6-2 0h56 RANK 54
3R - Samantha Stosur (Australia) [17]
7-6(10-8),4-6,2-6 2h14 RANK 17
4R - Serena Williams (USA) [1]
6-4,3-6,3-6 1h56   RANK 1

The 26 year old Serbian beauty was a teen-queen. She had it all going for her, winning the French Open at the tender age of 20 and reaching No.1 but it was all a matter of too much too early in her career and she subsequently fell apart. She has a further 11 WTA titles to her name.

She is finally finding her best form back, being unbeaten in 2014 and simply outplaying Serena Williams will put her back on the map. She will surely go into the next match as the favourite after two very strong performances.


1R - Hao Chen Tang (China) WC 
7-5,6-1 1h28              RANK 487
2R - Virginie Razzano (France)
6-2,7-6(12-10) 1h57   RANK 100
3R - Lauren Davis (USA)       
6-2,6-2 1h17              RANK 68
4R - Casey Dellacqua (AUS)      
7-6(7-5),2-6,0-6 1h43 RANK 120

Eugenie, 19, leads a group of teens as the new stars of the show as well as sparking the resurgence of Canadian tennis alongside her male counterparts. She is currently on her best run in a Grand Slam. Whilst she has yet to win a title her best run came at the HP Open in Osaka, where she lost in three sets to Samantha Stosur.

Her next opponent will really test her game, Ivanovic is playing well, she will go into the next match as an underdog however this is her best result in a Grand Slam so she has nothing to lose.


1R - Ana Konjuh (Croatia) Q
6-2,6-0 1h01 RANK 241
2R - Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) Q
       6-0,7-6(7-5) 1h20 RANK 187
3R - Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) [26]
 1-6,7-6(7-2),6-3 2h38  RANK 26
4R - Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) [22]
 6-2,6-0 0h59  RANK 22

At 31 Na Li is part of the growing trend of late bloomers in women's tennis. She is also the most successful player under the Chinese banner ever, men's or women's. She was a Grand Slam champion at Roland Garros in 2011 and also made the final of the Australian Open twice. She has a further 7 titles to her name.

She had a slight hiccup against Safarova but she goes into the QF as the favourite having just thrashed Makarova with her aggressive tennis.


1R - Alexandra Cadantu (Romania)
6-0,6-2 1h03      RANK 60
2R - Monica Puig (Puerto Rico)
6-3,6-4 1h20      RANK 58
3R - Mona Barthel (Germany)
6-1,7-5 1h14      RANK 39
4R - Angelique Kerber (Germany) [9]
1-6,6-4,7-5 1h52 RANK 9

At 31, and only a day older than Li, Flavia is seeing a second wind to her career having achieved her best Grand Slam result, a SF at the recent US Open. Now she sees her first QF slam placement outside of the US. Flavia was the first of the female Italians to make the Top 10 breakthrough. She has 9 WTA titles to her name, her greatest success being at the now defunct LA Women's Tennis Championships in 2009.

She goes into the QF against Na Li as an underdog however she has been playing solidly and shouldn't be discounted.


1R - Katarzyna Piter (Poland) Q
0-6,1-6 0h54 RANK 119
2R - Varvara Lepchenko (USA)
6-4,0-6,1-6  2h03   RANK 50
3R - Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) Q
1-6,4-6 1h07  RANK 152
4R - Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) [8]
4-6,6-2,0-6 1h52     RANK 8

One of the hottest players on tour last year, 22 year old Halep has 6 titles to her name (all in 2013). The most significant of which being the Tournament of Champions where she beat Samantha Stosur. This is also her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, her previous best being at the recent US Open. On the cusp of the Top 10 this performance could be her entry to it.

Her next match will be against Cibulkova, who has been in great form at the tournament. It should be an interesting tussle between the two diminutive players.


1R - Francesca Schiavone (Italy)        
3-6,4-6 1h37  RANK 42
2R - Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland)     
0-6,1-6 0h57  RANK 46
3R - Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) [16]  
1-6,4-6 0h59  RANK 16
4R - Maria Sharapova (Russia) [3]  
3-6,6-4,6-1 2h12  RANK 3

What she lacks in height she more than makes up for in pure aggression. At 24 Cibulkova's best performance in a slam was her semifinal run at the 2009 French Open. She has 3 WTA tour titles, one of which being the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford where she beat Radwanska. She has been a threat for a number of years but now finally she has reached the QF or better in all four slams.

Her next opponent will also be one of the hottest players on tour. It will be an interesting match to see who goes on to their first Australian semifinals.


1R - Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan)
6-0,5-7,6-2 2h02 RANK 112
2R - Olga Govortsova (Belarus)
6-0,7-5 1h15   RANK 98
3R - Anastasia Pavyluchenkova (Russia) [29]
5-7,6-2,6-2 2h15   RANK 30
4R - Garbine Muguruza (Poland)
6-1,6-3 1h13   RANK 38

24 year old Radwanska has 13 titles under her belt, known for her intelligent play she is a regularly in the latter stages of slams. Her best performance at a slam is her 2012 Wimbledon finals appearance and this is her fourth consecutive QF appearance at the Australian Open. One of her biggest and most recent achievements is winning the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open against Maria Sharapova.

She next faces an old nemesis, Azarenka. They both rose through the ranks together but Azarenka has undeniably been the more successful one. It will be a tough match for Radwanska but if she is to advance in her career she'll no doubt have to face this challenge in the future.


1R - Johanna Larsson (Sweden)                    
6-7,(2-7),2-6 1h46 RANK 91
2R - Barbara Zahlavova Strycova (Czech Republic) 
1-6,4-6 1h26         RANK 84
3R - Yvonne Meusburger (Austria)                 
1-6,0-6 1h00         RANK 49
4R - Sloane Stephens (USA) [13]                
3-6,2-6 1h31         RANK 13

At 24 Victoria has already been a two time Australian Open champion, World No.1 for 51 weeks, as well as having amassed 17 titles. For the past year or two she has also been the only consistent contender against the dominant Serena Williams.

With Serena out Azarenka is the legitimate front-runner in the tournament and she is the only female player to still be on her straight sets run. Her next opponent will be against a long-standing competitor Radwanska. It will be an interesting match but Azarenka should have all the answers to her game.

Australian Open 2014 - Day 8

And the French are all out. Well actually the Russians, Germans and Americans all bowed out before them with equally large contingents but minus Sharapova and Williams their contingents looked meagerly in comparison. And, a side note, each of the female quarter finalists are from different countries! Here are some significant results.

Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1]
Kei Nishikori (Japan) [16]

A very valiant effort from the Japanese player. This is easily the most difficult straight sets win Nadal could possibly have imagined. Nishikori shows that he clearly has a bright future.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) [10]
Roger Federer (Switzerland) [6]

This was not as expected, a rather comprehensive win for Federer. Does he have what it takes to capture his fifth Australian?

Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) [22]
Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain)

With this win Dimitrov has announced his arrival. He is finally showing the tennis world that he's ready, now he'll need to show that he's a legitimate contender against Nadal.

Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) [20]
Maria Sharapova (Russia) [3]

This was expected, Sharapova was rusty and Cibulkova was in fine form, congratulations to Cibulkova, she now has reached the QFs or better in every slam.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Australian Open 2014 - Day 7

The world is still shaking from the results today. And we say goodbye to the last Aussie. Here are some significant results.

Fabio Fognini (Italy) [15]
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) [2]

Djokovic is in it to win it!

Serena Williams (USA) [1]
Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) [14]

It's not impossible for Serena to lose but for her to lose in that fashion and to Ivanovic wasn't on the plan! Ivanovic is finally coming back.

Na Li (China) [4]
Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) [22]

Na Li announced her return after narrowly beating Safarova, she'll be the favourite in the top half now Serena is gone.

Casey Dellacqua (Australia)
Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) [30]

The last of the Aussies, she stood strong at the start but withered towards the end.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Australian Open 2014 - Round 4

Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1]

1R - Bernard Tomic (Australia)          6-4 (Retired)    RANK 57
2R - Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia) WC  6-2,6-4,6-2 1h53 RANK 570
3R - Gael Monfils (France) [25]         6-1,6-2,6-3 2h01 RANK 32

Nothing announced Nadal's arrival as much as his straight sets thrashing of Gael Monfils. I don't know how that managed to happen but if Kei Nishikori was watching I wish him luck.

Kei Nishikori (Japan) [16]

1R - Marinko Matosevic (Australia) 3-6,7-5,2-6,6-4,2-6 3h41 RANK 54
2R - Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) Q      1-6,1-6,6-7(3-7) 1h49    RANK 117
3R - Donald Young (USA)            5-7,1-6,0-6 1h47         RANK 91

After a tough opener Nishikori is playing into his game but Nadal will be an insurmountable step up from his recent matches and I don't think Nishikori has the answers right now to sail over the No.1.

Prediction - Nadal in a good 3

Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) [22]

1R - Bradley Klahn (USA)        7-6(9-7),4-6,4-6,3-6 2h34   RANK 93
2R - Yen-hsun Lu (Taiwan)       3-6,3-6,6-7(11-13) 2h04     RANK 53
3R - Milos Raonic (Canada) [11] 3-6,6-3,4-6,6-7(10-12) 2h36 RANK 11

Dimitrov finally showed the Grand Slam ability befitting of his title as the next Federer. I am a Dimitrov fan however I have a feeling that Dimitrov might choke in the next round. Though it is his best performance in a slam ever.

Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain)

1R - Tim Smyczek (USA)                    6-2,6-1,6-1 1h30        RANK 90
2R - Juan Martin Del Potro (Argetina) [5] 3-6,3-6,6-7(11-13) 3h53 RANK 5
3R - Benoit Paire (France) [27]           2-6,1-6,4-6 1h30        RANK 28

It's hard to deny Bautista-Agut after shocking Del Potro and giving Paire a right whopping. He has been playing great tennis for most part so his match against Dimitrov could be very interesting. Though either way Nadal really needs some competition before the semis.

Prediction - Bautista Agut in 4

Andy Murray (Great Britain) [4]

1R - Go Soeda (Japan)             6-1,6-1,6-3 1h27      RANK 112
2R - Vincent Millot (France) Q    6-2,6-2,7-5 2h01      RANK 267
3R - Feliciano Lopez (Spain) [26] 7-6(7-2),6-4,6-2 2h15 RANK 27

It's worrying that Murray's draw isn't giving him too much of a test since his QF opponent will be a big step up. He isn't as clean either but he should sail over Robert either way.

Stephane Robert (France) LL

1R - Aljaz Bedene (Slovenia)     7-6(7-3),6-3,6-0 1h53          RANK 104
2R - Michal Przysiezny (Poland)  7-6(7-3),6-1,6-7(3-7),6-1 2h33 RANK 64
3R - Martin Klizan (Slovakia) LL 6-0,7-6(7-2),6-4 1h54          RANK 106

Robert has yet to play a tough opponent so Andy Murray will be a huge step up. I think it's safe to say it will take a gargantuan effort to beat Murray.

Prediction - Murray in 3

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) [10]

1R - Filippo Volandri (Italy)   7-5,6-3,6-3 1h50      RANK 70
2R - Thomaz Bellucci (Brazil) Q 7-6(8-6),6-4,6-4 2h15 RANK 129
3R - Gilles Simon (France) [18] 7-6(7-5),6-4,6-2 1h53 RANK 19

Tsonga has been playing valiantly through the last three rounds and his next will be a very interesting match-up. It's a repeat (though a round earlier) of their match-up last year, Federer won that time but at that point Federer was still on his long run of 2nd week showings.

Roger Federer (Switzerland) [6]

1R - James Duckworth (Australia) WC 4-6,4-6,2-6 1h46      RANK 133
2R - Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia)         2-6,1-6,6-7(4-7) 1h47 RANK 99
3R - Teymuraz Gabashvili (Russia)   2-6,2-6,3-6 1h41      RANK 79

Federer has been doing the rounds to an inevitable Round 4 matchup with Tsonga. However his opponents are not the type to give Federer many problems whilst his next opponent will. My head says Federer but my gut is going for Tsonga.

Prediction - Tsonga in 5

Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) [7]

1R - Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kazakhstan)        6-3,6-4,6-3 1h50 RANK 94
2R - Kenny De Schepper (France)               6-4,6-1,6-3 1h42 RANK 86
3R - Damir Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Q 6-4,6-2,6-2 1h44 RANK 188

Berdych has been plain sailing since the start, taking about the same time to dispatch of each of his opponents. But having not been tested could prove a problem when he reaches the latter stages of the tournament.

Kevin Anderson (South Africa) [19]

1R - Jiri Vesely (Czech Republic)    2-6,6-7(4-7),6-4,6-4,6-4 3h49 RANK 83
2R - Dominic Thiem (Austria) Q       6-4,6-3,6-4 1h47              RANK 136
3R - Edouard Roger-Vasselin (France) 3-6,4-6,6-3,7-6(7-5),7-5 3h54 RANK 40

With two tough 5 setters under his belt I doubt he'll have much left against Berdych especially when Berdych holds a 9-0 H2H against him. And of interest is that Anderson lost to Berdych in the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open!

Prediction - Berdych in 3

Florian Mayer (Germany)

1R - Denis Kudla (USA) Q           6-4,6-2,6-4 1h45         RANK 113
2R - Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) [14] 4-6,6-3,3-6,6-3,3-6 3h06 RANK 15
3R - Jerzy Janowicz (Poland) [20]  7-5,6-2,6-2 1h38         RANK 20

Mayer should be appropriately battle hardened having played two good opponents and a tough five setter but his journey is only going to get tougher as Ferrer is a much more consistent player.

David Ferrer (Spain) [3]

1R - Alejandro Gonzalez (Colombia) 3-6,4-6,4-6 2h05          RANK 74
2R - Adrian Mannarino (France)     6-7(2-7),7-5,0-6,3-6 3h02 RANK 71
3R - Jeremy Chardy (France) [29]   2-6,6-7(5-7),2-6 2h11     RANK 31

Ferrer hasn't been left unscathed in his three matches up to this point. The next match will be just as tricky but with Ferrer's match experience he should come out alive.

Prediction - Ferrer in 5

Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) [8]

1R - Andrey Golubev (Kazakhstan)  6-4,4-1 (Retired)         RANK 85
2R - Alejandro Falla (Colombia)   6-3,6-3,6-7(4-7),6-4 2h47 RANK 87
3R - Vasek Pospisil (Canada) [28] Walkover                  RANK 30

Wawrinka is lacking vital time on the court and match practice with the top players. His next opponent could prove his undoing.

Tommy Robredo (Spain) [17]

1R - Lukas Rosol (Czech Republic) 6-1,6-7(7-9),3-6,7-6(7-5),8-6 3h32 RANK 47
2R - Julien Benneteau (France)    6-3,6-7(4-7),6-1,7-6(8-6)     3h32 RANK 38
3R - Richard Gasquet (France) [9] 2-6,7-5,6-4,7-6(8-6)          3h19 RANK 9

One has spent too little time on court, the other has spent too much time! How will it turn out? However Robredo has an overwhelming 6-1 H2H against Wawrinka! This is the toughest one to predict I think.

Prediction - hmmm... Robredo in a tight 4

Fabio Fognini (Italy) [15]

1R - Alex Bogomolov Jr. (Russia) 6-3,6-2 (Retired)     RANK 89
2R - Jarkko Nieminen (Finland)   7-5,6-4,3-6,6-2 2h347 RANK 39
3R - Sam Querrey (USA)           7-5,6-4,6-4 1h55      RANK 51

Fognini has had a good three rounds up to now but Djokovic will be a huge step up. Fognini has only ever beaten Djokovic once and that was all the way back in 2006 when both were youngsters (they were actually born only two days apart!) And in the other 7 times Fognini hasn't really been a threat.

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) [2]

1R - Lukas Lacko (Slovakia)      3-6,6-7(2-7),1-6 1h50 RANK 96
2R - Leonardo Mayer (Argentina)  0-6,4-6,4-6 1h47      RANK 98
3R - Denis Istomin (Uzbeksitan)  6-3,6-3,5-7 1h59      RANK 49

Djokovic is doing enough to go through each round in a simple fashion, his next opponent will be a bit tougher but Djokovic will have the answers to all of his weapons. Djokovic has his mind on the finals.

Prediction - Djokovic in a good 3


Serena Williams (USA) [1]

1R - Ashleigh Barty (Australia) WC      6-2,6-1 0h57 RANK 155
2R - Vesna Dolonc (Serbia)              6-1,6-2 1h03 RANK 104
3R - Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) [31] 6-3,6-3 1h20 RANK 33

Nothing has been able to stop Serena's relentless drive. Hantuchova has given her the biggest test but even then Serena has been solid as a rock.

Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) [14]

1R - Kiki Bertens (Netherlands)       6-4,6-4 1h32           RANK 93
2R - Annika Beck (Germany)            6-1,6-2 0h56           RANK 54
3R - Samantha Stosur (Australia) [17] 7-6(10-8),4-6,2-6 2h14 RANK 17

Ivanovic is slowly finding her way back into the elite. She still has a way to go though and the next match will be a painful reminder.

Prediction - Serena in a good 2

Casey Dellacqua (Australia) WC

1R - Vera Zvonareva (Russia)        6-2,6-2 1h15 RANK 95
2R - Kirsten Flipkens (Belgium)[18] 6-3,6-0 1h03 RANK 19
3R - Jie Zheng (China)              6-2,6-4 1h23 RANK 56

This Australian has been fighting strong. It's hard to deny her from being a strong contender in her next match. She'll also hold the hopes of her country on her shoulders as she's the last Aussie left in both the men's and women's draw.

Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) [30]

1R - Hao Chen Tang (China) WC 7-5,6-1 1h28        RANK 487
2R - Virginie Razzano (France)6-2,7-6(12-10) 1h57 RANK 100
3R - Lauren Davis (USA)       6-2,6-2 1h17        RANK 68

Eugenie has been in a luck, she has yet to receive an opponent that has really troubled her. Her next round will be tougher but will still provide opportunity for her to make her best performance in a Grand Slam.

Prediction - Dellacqua in 2

Na Li (China) [4]

1R - Ana Konjuh (Croatia) Q               6-2,6-0 1h01          RANK 241
2R - Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) Q       6-0,7-6(7-5) 1h20     RANK 187
3R - Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) [26] 1-6,7-6(7-2),6-3 2h38 RANK 26

Li's journey hasn't been plain sailing. She managed to dominate a pair of 16 year olds but she got stuck against Safarova. Her next opponent will not let up so easily but with a tough match under her belt it might just have been enough to be a jolt to her system.

Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) [22]

1R - Venus Williams (USA)       2-6,6-4,6-4 2h29 RANK 37
2R - Irina Falconi (USA) LL     6-2,7-5 1h25     RANK 142
3R - Monica Niculescu (Romania) 6-4,6-4 1h26     RANK 64

Makarova likes the Australian and has been faring well since her first round match against Venus. Her next opponent will be a big step up as she is also suitably battle hardened, Makarova will need to bring her A-game.

Prediction - Li in a tight 3

Angelique Kerber (Germany) [9]

1R - Jarmila Gajdosova (Australia) WC 6-3,0-6-6-2 1h47 RANK 329
2R - Alla Kudryavtseva (Russia) Q     6-4,6-2 1h02     RANK 162
3R - Alison Riske (USA)               6-3,6-4 1h19     RANK 53

Besides an early slip up to Gajdosova Kerber has been playing well. She's coming in on decent form so expect her matchup with Pennetta to be a tight one.

Flavia Pennetta (Italy) [28]

1R - Alexandra Cadantu (Romania) 6-0,6-2 1h03 RANK 60
2R - Monica Puig (Puerto Rico)   6-3,6-4 1h20 RANK 58
3R - Mona Barthel (Germany)      6-1,7-5 1h14 RANK 39

She has been playing decent opponents but it's been pretty much plain sailing for Pennetta however her 4th Round opponent will be a whole different ball game. I would love to see Pennetta win but I think it will be tight.

Prediction - KERBER in 3

Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) [8]

1R - Misaki Doi (Japan)   6-1,6-2 1h14 RANK 89
2R - Ayumi Morita (Japan) 6-2,6-0 0h56 RANK 61
3R - Kurumi Nara (Japan)  6-4,7-5 1h38 RANK 74

I did not realise that Jelena Jankovic dashed the hopes of 75% of the Japanese female team! Anyway she has been playing well enough but she'll find it tough against Halep.

Simona Halep (Romania) [11]

1R - Katarzyna Piter (Poland) Q   0-6,1-6 0h54      RANK 119
2R - Varvara Lepchenko (USA)      6-4,0-6,1-6  2h03 RANK 50
3R - Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) Q  1-6,4-6 1h07      RANK 152

She hasn't had the most difficult of draws and her results reflect that, however she did have a bit of a faff against Lepchenko. Her next match will reveal in what state she really is.

Prediction - Halep in 3

Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) [20]

1R - Francesca Schiavone (Italy)        3-6,4-6 1h37  RANK 42
2R - Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland)     0-6,1-6 0h57  RANK 46
3R - Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) [16]  1-6,4-6 0h59  RANK 16

She has been in fine form in the last three rounds, probably the cleanest bar Serena. Her match with Sharapova will be very interesting as Sharapova only recently recovered from injury. It will be a tough physical match for both players.

Maria Sharapova (Russia) [3]

1R - Bethanie Mattek Sands (USA) 3-6,4-6 1h39      RANK 41
2R - Karin Knapp (Italy)         3-6,6-4,8-10 3h28 RANK 44
3R - Alize Cornet (France) [25]  1-6,6-7(6-8) 1h51 RANK 25

There's no doubt that Sharapova is still finding her feet but she has proved her worth against three good opponents. However Cibulkova will be a much harder task. It will be her first true test to see where she's currently at.

Prediction - Cibulkova in a tight 3

Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) [5]

1R - Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan)          6-0,5-7,6-2 2h02 RANK 112
2R - Olga Govortsova (Belarus)              6-0,7-5 1h15     RANK 98
3R - Anastasia Pavyluchenkova (Russia) [29] 5-7,6-2,6-2 2h15 RANK 30

Radwanska has been slightly messy though still playing a good game. Her next match will be up against the rather unknown youngster who beat Wozniacki. However Radwanska should be mentally more stable to put Muguruza in her place.

Garbine Muguruza (Spain)

1R - Kaia Kanepi (Estonia) [24]        2-6,6-2,2-6 1h40 RANK 23
2R - Anna Schmiedlova (Slovakia)       6-3,6-3 1h07     RANK 81
3R - Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) [10] 4-6,7-5,6-3 2h14 RANK 10

Muguruza is a youngster with talent beating Wozniacki in a good three sets however beating Radwanska right after could be too much of a challenge for this up and comer.

Prediction - Radwanska in 3

Sloane Stephens (USA) [13]

1R - Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) 7-6(7-1),6-3 1h38 RANK 82
2R - Ajla Tomljanovic (Croatia)      3-6,6-2,7-5 2h07  RANK 67
3R - Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)       7-5,6-4 1h18      RANK 47

Sloane has been a little shaky of the bat. She'll need to bring her best against Azarenka if she is going to cause an upset. It will be the biggest test for both of them.

Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) [2]

1R - Johanna Larsson (Sweden)                    6-7,(2-7),2-6 1h46 RANK 91
2R - Barbara Zahlavova Strycova (Czech Republic) 1-6,4-6 1h26       RANK 84
3R - Yvonne Meusburger (Austria)                 1-6,0-6 1h00       RANK 49

Azarenka is playing better and better. Stephens will be a good test to see Azarenka's true form before the latter stages of the tournament as it's only going to get tougher from here.

Prediction - Azarenka in a good 2

Here's a fearless forecast of what I think might happen as of now.

Nadal VS Nishikori (Nadal in 3)
Dimitrov VS Bautista Agut (Bautista Agut in 4)
Murray VS Robert (Murray in 3)
Tsonga VS Federer (Tsonga in 5)
Berdych VS Anderson (Berdych in 3)
Mayer VS Ferrer (Ferrer in 5)
Wawrinka VS Robredo (Robredo in 4)
Fognini Vs Djokovic (Djokovic in 3)

Nadal VS Bautista Agut (Nadal in 3)
Murray VS Tsonga (Murray in 4)
Berdych VS Ferrer (Berdych in 4)
Robredo VS Djokovic (Djokovic in 3)

Nadal VS Murray (Nadal in 4)
Berdych VS Djokovic (Djokovic in 4)

Nadal Vs Djokovic (Lets leave this for later!)

Williams VS Ivanovic (Williams in 2)
Dellacqua VS Bouchard (Dellacqua in 2)
Li VS Makarova (Li in 3)
Kerber VS Pennetta (Kerber in 3)
Jankovic VS Halep (Halep in 3)
Cibulkova Vs Sharapova (Cibulkova in 3)
Radwanska Vs Muguruza (Radwanska in 3)
Stephens Vs Azarenka (Azarenka in 2)

Williams VS Dellacqua (Williams in 2)
Li VS Kerber (Li in 2)
Halep VS Cibulkova (Halep in 3)
Radwanska VS Azarenka (Azarenka in 2)

Williams VS Li (Williams in 3)
Halep VS Azarenka (Azarenka in 3)

Williams VS Azarenka (Lets leave this for later!)