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Australian Open 2020

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 16 Jan 2020, 8:26 am

The main draw has been made. Djoko and Fed are in the same half, which means Rafa gets Medvedev in his half.

Djoko plays Struff first up, while Nadal has Dellien, Fed plays Johnson and Medvedev has a potentially tough opener against Tiafoe. Other first-rounders include Thiem v Mannarino, Zverev v Cecchinato and Tsitsipas v Caruso.

Evans has McKenzie MacDonald in the first round while Edmund takes on Lajovic.

In the women there's a repeat of the Wimbledon first round, with Coco Gauff again taking on Venus. Barty opens against Tsurenko while Osaka has Bouzkova. Konta gets Jabeur while Heather Watson has the lower-ranked Pliskova twin.

Djoko, to me, is clear favourite but the women, as ever of late, is really difficult to predict.

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 16 Jan 2020, 1:01 pm


Federer definitely has the kindest draw. I can see him making the semis handy enough.

Djokovic has a very tricky opener against Struff, he has beaten a lot of top players and is very capable on his day. I think after that his draw could be worse until he potentially meets Tsitsipas.

Nadal has a pretty tricky draw with some awkward opponents in his way.

I think potential banana skins to look out for:

Tsitsipas vs Kohlschreiber in round 2 (Kohli can throw in some big performances in early rounds)
Zverev is always prone to early round collapses and verdasco could be that man in round 3
Chardy could take out Goffin in round 1
Anderson could easily take out Thiem in round 4 (even ramos vinolas in round 3)
Tiafoe is a tricky round 1 match for Medvedev

Federer has a real chance in this tournament with such a kind draw up to the semis. Shapovalov and Dimitrov can be good on their day but you could get much harder matches than those.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 16 Jan 2020, 4:17 pm

Good analysis, Slasher. While the draw was being made, in Hobart Heather Watson had her best win for around three years, finally seeing off number one seed Mertens 7-5 in the third after more than three and a half hours.

The two could meet again in Melbourne if Watson can get past the lower-ranked of the Pliskova twins.

Although Federer has a reasonable draw, it must be reckoned that he's bound to be more vulnerable now he's in his 39th year. Crazy to write his chances off, though.

Wonder if anyone would care to pick a winner from among the women? As in the last few Slams, a case could be made out for a good dozen players.

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 16 Jan 2020, 4:32 pm


I agree SFP, it would be a tall order for Federer to win in his 39th year. The draw stacks up well but if he does face Djokovic in the semis, that would be a tall order in best of 5 sets. He was so close at Wimbledon but Rod Laver Arena is like Novaks home court.

I am really keen to see how the young pretenders do, particularly Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Thiem. It feels like Thiem needs to take a big step outside of clay because Nadal owns the French.

Medvedev will have a target on his back and this is the first time he comes into a slam with huge expectations after what he did at the US Open and those other big wins he had in 2019.

Tsitsipas has the potential but can be a bit of a hot head. He needs to somehow avoid early banana skins, the further he goes the confidence will build. It might still be a bit too soon but i wouldnt write him off.

I actually dont see Nadal winning this, despite being top seed. He needs to avoid Djokovic who has really been his nemesis on hard courts in recent years. I would put Medvedev 50/50 if he meets Nadal in the semis.

No idea with the womens tennis, i just dont follow it.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 16 Jan 2020, 4:42 pm

Amazingly, for such a highly-ranked player, Thiem managed just one win in the three Slams outside the French last year. Zverev, meanwhile, has a really awful GS record, while Medvedev must avoid having a mental meltdown which can happen with him.

Just as I can't look beyond Nadal for the French, I don't see anyone beating Djoko in Melbourne. If we're going to get a non top-three GS champion this year it's going to have to come at Wimbledon or the USO.

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 16 Jan 2020, 4:59 pm

I think the US Open is the most likely tournament to produce a shock result. I feel like there are very few potential winners at wimbledon, it takes time for players to develop on grass and therefore there are less real contenders.

US open throws in a number of unknowns. First of all its late in the season and players can pick up injuries, players have more time during the year to play themselves into form and hard courts are the most neutral surface and is arguably the favourite surface for the vast majority of players. It is a more open playing field.

I could see Medvedev or Tsitsipas possibly winning the US Open.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 16 Jan 2020, 5:42 pm

High temperature (> 40 deg C) and smoke will be a toxic combination. Is there any indication that the smoke will clear come the start of the tournament (main draw)?

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 17 Jan 2020, 5:25 am

Andy Murray's current injury is being called "bone bruising" and "pelvic injury". He has ruled out playing in February. He had previously mentioned he had hoped to return by mid-february but slower than expected recovery has prevented that and he has now decided not to put any timeframe on his return at this present time.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/51142442

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 17 Jan 2020, 7:57 am

Not good news about Murray. Schedule is out for Monday with Fed third on Rod Laver court and Djoko getting the night match.

I see Dan Evans is the 30th seed. Must be very gratifying for him to finally be seeded at a Slam after more than 10 years on the circuit.

GB's Harriet Dart has qualified for the main draw.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 18 Jan 2020, 8:13 am

Barty won the title in Adelaide today but I'm predicting she'll fail to win in Melbourne, where Aussie players always seem to succumb to the pressure. Having said that, if anyone can buck this trend it's Barty.

Humbert was also a tournament winner today - yet another good French player.



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Post by No name Bertie Sat 18 Jan 2020, 9:35 am

I don't watch women's tennis.  I lost touch with it ever since the appearance of the shrieking.   I only see the headlines.  As far as I can tell there are no consistent high level performers apart from perhaps Serena Williams who is about 59 38, except she always seems to throw in a bad round or who comes across someone whom is on form and moves well and is about half her age.

Every year with the arrival of the Australian Open the BBC run a campaign to demonise Margaret Court because of her Catholic beliefs and which they always misrepresent.  The aim is to get the name of the Margaret Court Arena changed.  I would change it to the Aboriginal Genocide Arena but that's just me.

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Post by MrInvisible Sat 18 Jan 2020, 6:57 pm

Anyone up for a fun *free* challenge head over to TffDreamTeam.com for the Aus Open dream team challenge. You can get to take on the several hundred other players plus also see if you can do better than me by joining '606Champions' group - you will need to enter the following password: 3211926be9fe55c59a5737885ea82494


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Post by sirfredperry Sun 19 Jan 2020, 9:28 am

Thanks Mr I. Have entered the dream team thing. Put down a few no-hopers just to keep the allocated money in balance.

I see Rublev has won again. Now watch him crash out (players, particularly British ones, are always said to "crash out" of tournaments) in the first round at Melbourne.


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Post by MrInvisible Sun 19 Jan 2020, 1:27 pm

Good luck in the Tennis Dream Team SFP. Whenever I play this I strangely seem to do better with the women than the men despite following womens' game a lot less! I've tempted fate by going for couple of Brits - hope I don't jinx them.

I'm going for Djokovic or Medvedev in the mens' - Osaka (if she's in the right mood) for the womens - if not her maybe Serena can finally win another slam final for once.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 19 Jan 2020, 2:29 pm

Serena is OK until she gets to the final! Has lost her last four and been pretty much smashed in some of them.

Tis a brave person who can predict a woman GS winner these days. Been a different titlist in the four annual slams for the last three years - an amazing stat.

I see Fed is third on - lengthening shadows, awkward light - on first day against an opponent who has already won a challenger. Upset?

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Post by MrInvisible Sun 19 Jan 2020, 7:28 pm

On day 1, the curiously titled '1573' court may see back-to-back upsets at the hands of big-serving Americans - Coric has to face Querrey whilst Fognini is up against the giant Opelka. Both Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund are in action and have, on paper, winnable matches, Evans against American McKenzie McDonald whilst Edmund takes on Lajovic.

One of the matches of the day could be Gulbis, who has come through qualifying, against Auger Aliassime, though strangely the organisers have this down as a match with 'no court assigned'. Agree that Federer could find Johnson tricky, though I see this more as a match Federer makes heavy weather of rather than losing. Venus vs Gauff re-match looks womens' pick of the matches. Serena, Osaka and Barty all ought to be fine you would have thought.

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Post by lags72 Mon 20 Jan 2020, 4:56 am

Major surprise to see Shapovalov go out in R1, especially as he has been in such fine form of late. Great win by Fucsovics clap

On RLA, the only good thing for poor Steve Johnson was that the pain inflicted by Federer didn’t last very long. The match had a brief interruption due to rain (which at least gave Johnson some temporary relief) - but even so the actual court time was an astonishingly brief 1 hour 21 mins. Impressive.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 20 Jan 2020, 8:25 am

Well, much easier for Fed than I thought. The rain has already made everything a bit lopsided with a number of players now likely to have to play two days running.

Bit of a shock for Shapo but these things happen to young players. The Canadian is at about the same stage of his career as Roger was when he lost in the first round at Wimbledon to Ancic in 2002.

Good win for Dan Evans from two sets down. I've no doubt that he would have lost that match a couple of years ago. Easy wins for Serena, Osaka and Kvitova. Coric is out, while Gauff has beaten Venus again.

Barty and Djoko on court later. Expect them to be ruthless while the unfortunates watching the rain descending are roofless.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:16 am

Barty had a bit of a scare, losing the first set before dropping just two games in the rest of the match to go through.

Bit ominous for her opponents, that. She's had a tough match plus all the expectation being a number one Aussie in her home GS, and now she's well prepared.


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Post by sirfredperry Mon 20 Jan 2020, 12:35 pm

Djoko dropped the third set in his match but has come thru in four. Meanwhile Sloane Stephens served for the match, promptly lost seven games in a row and has now lost in three sets.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 20 Jan 2020, 12:59 pm

Struff is a very good player. He was always going to be a very tough 1st round match. I think he has 8 wins vs top 10 players over the past year alone.

I think a tough opener could do Djokovic good

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 20 Jan 2020, 7:42 pm

Struff is a perfect 1st round opponent for Djokovic - powerful, and good enough to push him and bring his 'A game' but not quite enough to actually beat him. Great win for Evans to come back from 2 sets down to win in 5 too.

In more important news, miraculously I am somehow in 2nd place in the Tennis for Free Dream Team after Day 1 - I'll enjoy it whilst it lasts, as I am likely to sink down the table fast!


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Post by sirfredperry Tue 21 Jan 2020, 8:40 am

Well done, MrI, for a good start in the dream team thingy. Most of my players have been knocked out already.

Bad day for Britons today. Konta out, Edmund out, Boulter out. Not great for Felix A-A, either, who was beaten by qualifier Gulbis. JWT had to retire in his match. Rafa thru easily.

Strangest scoreline of the day was Muguruza-Rogers with the Spaniard winning 0-6, 6-1, 6-0.

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Post by MrInvisible Tue 21 Jan 2020, 12:09 pm

Alas, not seen any Aus Open yet. Tried the usual streaming websites but they seem to be more prone to viruses these days.

Heard some 5Live commentary - Medvedev v Tiafoe sounded a great match - real early test for Medvedev and I bet he's glad to have got through that without going the distance. Gulbis is a nightmare opponent for 1st round. I also think he's more dangerous when coming through qualifying as it makes him that bit hungrier.

Really disappointed for Edmund to lose again in 1st round - that semi-final run 2 years ago seems a long time ago now. On a more positive note, great 3 set win for Harriet Dart beating a higher ranked player.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 21 Jan 2020, 2:49 pm

Dart squandered two MPs at 6-5 in the third then found herself 1-5 down in the tiebreak before winning nine of the last 10pts. Plucky win.

Half my men's dream team are already out but my women are doing better. Not sure the scoring (a point for every game won) is actually that fair - but that's just because I'm losing.

Guess just how many of Isner's four sets went to tiebreaks today? Yeah, you're right. Might just as well abandon the main body of the set when he plays and go straight to the breaker.

Perhaps some clever clogs can work out the percentage of Isner's sets that have gone to tiebreaks in his career.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 21 Jan 2020, 5:14 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Dart squandered two MPs at 6-5 in the third then found herself 1-5 down in the tiebreak before winning nine of the last 10pts. Plucky win.

Half my men's dream team are already out but my women are doing better. Not sure the scoring (a point for every game won) is actually that fair - but that's just because I'm losing.

Guess just how many of Isner's four sets went to tiebreaks today? Yeah, you're right. Might just as well abandon the main body of the set when he plays and go straight to the breaker.

Perhaps some clever clogs can work out the percentage of Isner's sets that have gone to tiebreaks in his career.

Just for a giggle, I had a look at the H2H between Isner and Karlovic. They've played (surprisingly, only) 5 times, with 9 of the 12 sets played being tie breakers, including the last 8 sets


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Post by sirfredperry Tue 21 Jan 2020, 6:31 pm

They managed to finish 89 singles matches today which may be some sort of one-day GS record.


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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 21 Jan 2020, 6:35 pm

Really curious to see how Kohlschreiber does against Tsitsipas in round 2. Kohli is moving on the years but Is always capable of taking a scalp in the early rounds. Tsitsipas will need to be careful in that one. I expect him to come through but it could go to 4 or 5 sets

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Post by lags72 Wed 22 Jan 2020, 4:44 am

@ slashermcguirk - well Tsitsipas does ‘come through’. But by way of a w/o rather than a battle over 4 or 5 sets, with Kohli sadly forced to withdraw before the match .... apparently a muscle strain of some sort.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 22 Jan 2020, 8:40 am

Dimi has just gone out to Tommy Paul after a 4hr 20 mins battle which went to a final-set tiebreak.

Coco came thru a tough three setter and now takes on defending champ Osaka.

Caroline W, in her final tournament came from 1-5 down in the first set and 0-3 down in the second to win in straight sets.

Apaart from Sandgren beating Berrettini, there were no real shocks elsewhere.

Heather Watson continued her welcome recent good form with a three-set win and now plays Mertens for the second week running.


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Post by sirfredperry Wed 22 Jan 2020, 10:58 am

My women are doing far better than the men in my dream team. I'm a staggeringly-high 6th in the women's table, while languishing in 310th place in the men's.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 22 Jan 2020, 11:48 am

Fed thru in straight sets in just over an hour and a half. His opponent had to play a four-hour match the day before which was hardly ideal.

Roger now plays Millman who beat him at the USO in 2018. Almost bound to be a night match which, I think, always helps Fed.

RBA is thru after a first set hiccup. Good. He's in my dream team.

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Post by theslosty Wed 22 Jan 2020, 1:52 pm

It's amazing how well Federer can still play. We all know how much Djokovic loves this event but we shouldn't forget that since the courts were sped up in 2017 Fed has won 2 of the last 3. His draw has opened up and he is capable of winning this event again.

However I think there are two potential pitfalls for Federer. The first is that the courts are reportedly playing a touch slower than the previous 3 years and it's hard to see him finding a way past Novak if that's the case.

Secondly, there have been numerous instances in recent years of Federer progressing serenely through the draw only to throw in a stinker of a performance out of nowhere. This happened most recently at the O2 where he brilliantly dispatched Djokovic only to fall to Tsitsipas in the semi final. The slam exits to Anderson, Millman, Dimitrov were shocks at the time but now appear to follow a trend.


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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 22 Jan 2020, 2:03 pm

What a shocker that the courts are playing slower, I suppose it is the only way Djokovic can beat Federer.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 22 Jan 2020, 4:21 pm

I never know whether it's better for a player to waltz thru the early rounds of a GS and so preserve energy or to have a big test early on to become battle-hardened.

Fed is not the only one to suffer in this respect. You may well recall Murray playing brilliantly for four rounds as defending champ at Wimbledon in 2014 then performing horribly to lose to Dimi in straight sets in the quarters.

However, Fed does seem to have a clear path thru to the semis, with a number of possibly tricky opponents already out.

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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 22 Jan 2020, 5:28 pm

Soul Requiem., I presume you are joking...djokovic has beaten Federer at every single slam and pretty much every surface speed there is. Admittedly Federer is more comfortable on faster surfaces but it would hardly be a huge shock if Novak beat him here. Did you see how he destroyed Federer in the semis of the oz open in 2016. Other than when Nadal beat Federer is the final of the French open in 2008, I have never seen a player dismantle Federer like Novak did that day.

Shame to see Kohli retire before the Tsitsipas match, that could have been an interesting match up.

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Post by theslosty Wed 22 Jan 2020, 6:09 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:Soul Requiem., I presume you are joking...djokovic has beaten Federer at every single slam and pretty much every surface speed there is. Admittedly Federer is more comfortable on faster surfaces but it would hardly be a huge shock if Novak beat him here. Did you see how he destroyed Federer in the semis of the oz open in 2016. Other than when Nadal beat Federer is the final of the French open in 2008, I have never seen a player dismantle Federer like Novak did that day.

Shame to see Kohli retire before the Tsitsipas match, that could have been an interesting match up.

Well, admittedly Novak was unplayable the first two sets but Fed did turn it around for about a set and a half. Wouldn't put it on the same level as RG 2008 which was probably Nadal's best vs Fed still recovering from mono.
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Post by MrInvisible Wed 22 Jan 2020, 8:07 pm

Fognini survived another 5 setter - after seeing off Opelka he managed to beat Thompson after their match went the distance. Shame to see Berettini out so early against Sandgren. Keep an eye on Cilic, unseeded and under the radar.

Shame that Evans lost - he would have relished playing Djokovic in 3rd round. I've been v happy to see Evans' late career resurgence after finishing the ban (recreational not performance enhancing lest we forget!). However, I feel getting seeded and reaching top 30-40 is probably as high as he can go, being realistic.

On SFP's point on whether its better to be tested or not early in a slam, I think on balance it is. Djokovic's tough (but not over-long) opener against Struff was perfect. Tsitsipas has benefited from a withdrawl but may be bit undercooked. I'm also not convinced about Federer, despite the draw opening up.

Looking at each part of men's draw:

Nadal - ought to reach 4th round, many pundits are talking about match with Kyrgios, but Khachanov is also lurking - potential 3rd round opponent for Kyrgios.

Big shout for Karlovic - 40 years young but through to 2nd round(!) - Monfils will have too much for him in their match though, and looks likely to play Thiem in 4th round.

After a tough opener against Tiafoe, Medvedev's path looks easier - likely to play Isner or Wawrinka in 4th round.

I would probably pick in-form Rublev over Goffin in next section of draw - to play Zverev probably.

Querrey ought to have too much for Sandgren, and probably likely to play Pella in 4th round, as Fognini's court time ought to catch up with him.

Agree that Federer's draw has opened up - his next match against Millman probably trickier than a 4th round against qualifier Paul or Fucsovics.

Tsitsipas finally gets a test against Raonic in 3rd round - would probably go for the young Greek to play Cilic or Bautista Agut (the latter looks a real 50:50 tough to call match) in 4th round.

I don't see Djokovic being unduly troubled against Nishioka in 3rd round, though Schwartzman could give him a test in 4th round.

My prediction therefore for quarter-final line-up is:

Nadal v Thiem
Medvedev v Rublev
Federer v Pella
Tsitsipas v Djokovic

Not been looking in-depth at womens' but I'm probably going to stick with Osaka.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:48 am

Watson's recent run came to an abrupt end against Mertens, with heather only winning three games and taking just eight points in the second-set bagel.

Thiem looked in trouble at two sets to one down v Bolt but he took the last two sets to come thru. Means the Austrian has already doubled the number of GS wins he achieved last year outside the French.

Another GS under-performer - A Zverev - won in straight sets, as did Medvedev who survived a nosebleed undoubtedly brought on by the rarefied air of his high ranking.

Significant result today was Cici Bellis, a 20-year-old American, who beat 20th seed Muchova in straight sets. Bellis was as high as 35 in 2017 before needing FOUR surgeries last year on various arm injuries.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 23 Jan 2020, 7:49 am

slashermcguirk wrote:Soul Requiem., I presume you are joking...djokovic has beaten Federer at every single slam and pretty much every surface speed there is. Admittedly Federer is more comfortable on faster surfaces but it would hardly be a huge shock if Novak beat him here. Did you see how he destroyed Federer in the semis of the oz open in 2016. Other than when Nadal beat Federer is the final of the French open in 2008, I have never seen a player dismantle Federer like Novak did that day.

Shame to see Kohli retire before the Tsitsipas match, that could have been an interesting match up.

I'm not joking at all, Djokovic relies on slower courts and always has, it's why he'll never be remembered as fondly as Federer; an actual Tennis genius.

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:19 am

What a load of nonsense. How has he won in Cincinnati then against Federer which is the fastest surface on tour!! How has he also won the world tour finals 5 times on indoor courts. He has also won Wimbledon how many times. I can see why a Federer fan would not like Novak, Federer has not beaten him at a slam since 2012!!!

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:21 am

slashermcguirk wrote:What a load of nonsense. How has he won in Cincinnati then against Federer which is the fastest surface on tour!! How has he also won the world tour finals 5 times on indoor courts. He has also won Wimbledon how many times. I can see why a Federer fan would not like Novak, Federer has not beaten him at a slam since 2012!!!

Great logic there, the courts are now far slower than they were 15 years ago, he's as dull as dishwater to watch. The court management at Wimbledon is terrible and come the second week the courts have slowed to such a degree it plays more like a clay court than a grass court.

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:27 am

Yeah you are right, the days of kraijeck, Ivanisevic and co serving aces every point were fantastic. Now players have a much stronger all round game and have to work harder to win points. So by your logic Nadal is also boring.

If I had the choice between watching an ace fest and seeing some entertaining rallies, I know what I would pay to watch. Also why do so many players regard djokovic among the top 2-3 players of all time?? Must be because he is so boring

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:31 am

slashermcguirk wrote:Yeah you are right, the days of kraijeck, Ivanisevic and co serving aces every point were fantastic. Now players have a much stronger all round game and have to work harder to win points. So by your logic Nadal is also boring.

If I had the choice between watching an ace fest and seeing some entertaining rallies, I know what I would pay to watch. Also why do so many players regard djokovic among the top 2-3 players of all time?? Must be because he is so boring

Yes Nadal is boring and a rally being long doesn't make it entertaining, how dare someone not think the pair are the greatest thing since sliced bread. All round game, are you serious?

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:31 am

Oh and another point, in the 2007 us open final Novak as a kid lost 7-6 7-6 6-4 to Federer. Djokovic was hugely inexperienced and he had set points and should have won the first two sets. That was on a really fast surface. The fact that Djokovic 4 years before his best years could already threaten Federer on one of the fastest surfaces around tell you everything about how good he is

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:36 am

Ok let’s look at his all round game.

Serve - not one of the biggest serves on tour but very effective, even Murray has said its so under rated

Return of serve - top 1-2 returners of all time statistically

Backhand - widely regarded as one of the best on tour

Forehand - very solid and his in to our forehand is a real weopan

Volley - not one of the best on tour but certainly well above average

His game is the perfect blend of attack and defence and hence why he has a winning head to head vs all of his biggest rivals including Federer and Nadal

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:39 am

Volley above average? That's a joke right?

How dare someone question Djokovic.

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:42 am

How dare someone not say Federer is the greatest sportsperson in history despite having a losing record against his main rivals in the biggest matches. Also how dare somebody not enjoy endless aces and unreturnable serves

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:44 am

Also he must be an awful volleyer having won both his atp cup doubles matches this month which relies mostly on volleying

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:46 am

Regarding Nadal, please tell me how he is boring and what part of his game is not complete?

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