The tennis grand slam calendar starts today, and there is reason to be pumped up. The men’s draw is interesting to say the least, so without further adieu, let’s break it down…
2014 Will Not Be Repeated
I love Stan Wawrinka (recall my man crush article “How Stan Became Stan the Man”), but he will not win another Australian Open title this year. He made his breakthrough last year, played the tournament of his life, and accrued a major title. But this year, look for someone else to win. It is nothing against him, but it’s the fact that it is very difficult to repeat to a major win in consecutive years.
So who will that dude be? Well, if you’re going to Vegas you’d be wise to put money down on Novak Djokovic. He’s been the most consistent player in tennis BY FAR over the past four years. But I’m open to greener pastures. As much as Djokovic is a deserving victor, there are a lot of other players who will display renewed confidence. Why?
Two of the last two majors were won by guys who had never won a major. Keep that in mind over these two weeks.
The 2015 draws are laid out almost identically to last year’s.
Federer and Nadal are grouped in the same half of the draw, making a semifinal clash almost inevitable. Despite Nadal’s poor form recently, he normally plays deep into the tournament in Melbourne. Plus the fans will be firmly supporting him.
Federer will definitely make it to the semifinals, and possibly beyond. He won the tournament in Brisbane handily, and almost won the World Tour Finals last November in London.
Roger is one of those people who doesn’t get old. He still moves better than most 19 year olds and has twice the drive to win (even though he’s won everything). Federer plays well on every surface, but the Australian hard courts have been among his favorites. Even though new players are looking to make a statement this year, I have strong feeling that Fed will play a terrific tournament. Especially if Nadal suffers an early exit, look for Federer to make the finals.
On the other half, you have Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic is the clear favorite in every tournament he plays, but especially in this one. His Australian Open record is phenomenal, as he has won 4 titles there since 2008. Last year’s loss to Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals was his only blemish in recent memory.
Then there are the young guns who are on everybody’s heels. Players like Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, and more. Most likely one of them will win a major this year. But will it start now?
No doubt, these young players are emerging with confidence, so the status quo in men’s tennis is destined to change. Will this be the tournament where a breakthrough star emerges? Potentially, but I’m going with a Djokovic vs Federer final. And Djokovic will be the champion once again.
Let the games begin.