Grand Slam The Australian Open Preview Thread (17 Jan-30 Jan)

Winners of the Aus Open(Man+Women)

  • Daniil Medvedev

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • Alexander Zverev

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Rafa

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Next Gen (Male)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (Men)

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Ashleigh Barty

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • Naomi Osaka

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Muguruza/Halep/Swiatek/Krejcikova

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Kontaveit/Badosa/Sabalenka/Sakkari

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Other (Women)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Novak Djokovic

    Votes: 4 28.6%

  • Total voters
    14

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BobbyMorri

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It is nearly here. The 1st grand slam of 2022 and the 110th edition of the Australian Open.

First things first, we will use daily threads once it starts, with the schedule of the matches on the major courts and all the Aussies. Feel free to create one.

2nd, there is a separate Novak thread. Please keep all discussion on that in that thread.

The Qualies start on Monday and will be held in Melbourne Park, which is free and open to the public. Ground passes are available and start at $49. Always great value in the first couple of days.

This will be the last tournament in singles for Sam Stosur, who I won't hear a bad word against. A Slam winner, Aussie number 1 for 441 weeks; just an outstanding career. It is also the last tournament for Dylan Alcott, who has been a wonderful ambassador for tennis and wheelchair sports. Dasha Saville (nee Gavrilova) is also back from a troubled 2 years with injury.

injures or other stuff have seen the likes of Bianca Andreescu, Pliskova, Domi Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and 3 of last years semi-finalists in the women in Jen Brady, Muchova and Serena all withdraw before a ball has been hit in anger. Plus, maybe one more superstar who must not be named.

In the men's, it is looking to be wide open outside 1 player. I am going to ignore he who must not be named here and assume he will be in Serbia watching it on tellie. Medvedev has had an outstanding couple of years on hardcourt and will be the one to beat. runner up last year, winner of the US Open and a great character. Perhaps the only person who might be able to beat him while Medvedev is in top gear is Sasha Zverev, who has his own issues with scandal. I doubt Tsitsipas will be fit enough to play, with a very dodgy elbow clearly bothering him. That leaves perhaps just a 20-time major winner left as the only player who could upset Medvedev. Nadal has never done "great" in Aus for one reason or another and he got covid in the warm-up. but he has only won 20 majors so discount him at your peril. We retired Andy Murray in 2019 so it is a surprise to see him back. Could there be a breakthrough by a member of the next gen like Sinner or FAA. Doubtful but this would be the tournament it could happen at, with Covid potentially wreaking havoc in the draw. The winner will have to be disciplined on and off the court.

It will be the first time in 24 years that neither of the Williams Sisters will make the trip down under. The baton has well and truly been passed to others. The Defending Champ in Osaka is back and has a crazy record on hardcourts in Major tournaments. but the current fav is a hometown girl and world number 1 for 109 weeks in Ashleigh Barty. For the first time, the women's semis finals will be played at night on Thursday the 27th. I expect this forum and the whole of Australia will be cheering her on and that she will dominate the night sessions, especially with the lack of star players(or just RF) on the men's side. As always the women's draw is crazy open. We have the Swiatek, the Adelaide champ from last year, playing good tennis. We have Kontaveit, who was painting lines at the end of last year and is everyone's favourite darkhorse. We have the US Open finalists/winner in Fernandez and Raducanu. We have Sabelenka, always ready to disappoint in a slam. Badosa, Halep, Muguruza the list goes on and on. I have missed so many other grand slam winners or players in top form it is scary. Special mention to Kenin, who is defending her winning points from 2020.

I will post all the WC's once they are all announced. Maybe even the draws

So, have fun predicting and reacting to non-lawyer news in the next week.

My tips
Medvedev over Nadal
Swiatek over Barty
 

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yaco55

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My highlight will be the post-match interview if Medvedev beats an Aussie in a tight match in which there is high-level crowd involvement - His post-match interview at the US Open in 2019 was a corker.
 

JamisonRun40

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My prediction at this stage (I will probably change my mind)
Men - Medvedev (even if he shan't be named plays)
Women - Barty (wildcard Halep)
 

danstar

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After watching Barty this week and the improvement in her game which was already top notch, Barty is the clear favourite to win. Only thing stopping Barty is pressure from home town crowd resting on her shoulders
 

pepsi

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My prediction at this stage (I will probably change my mind)
Men - Medvedev (even if he shan't be named plays)
Women - Barty (wildcard Halep)
Definitely think Medvedev is the clear favourite, even if ND plays. He was a bit rusty against hurcazk, but has improved every match this week and faced strong opponents. A very nice warm up a week out from a slam.

Barty has played solid tennis this week after a fair while off the tour. But women's tennis always throw surprises up in slams. Animisova for example has been playing very well this week. Let's see how the draw plays out, but it is looking likely due to seeding, that Barty faces a 25% chance of facing Osaka in the 4th round.
 

Hamingja

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If Djokovic gets sent home on Monday then by rights Medvedev should chop everyone else up but it would be a different kind of pressure going in as the man expected to win compared to cruising under the radar and having a free shot at Novak at the end of the tournament.
 

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Hamingja

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Bernard drew Safiullin in qualies. The one advantage for Australian players is that they usually have a more advanced prep over their opponents. Safiullin rock hard match fit after 4 matches at the ATP cup. Unlucky Bernard.
 

pepsi

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So my question, what if a player tests positive in the lead up to a quarter final, semi final or worst case scenario the final?

Cases are sky high in Melbourne right now (and Sydney) where hundreds of players will converge. How many players will pull out between now and the end of the Aus open? I'm going to guess at least 5, but that's probably conservative.
 

BobbyMorri

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So my question, what if a player tests positive in the lead up to a quarter final, semi final or worst case scenario the final?

Cases are sky high in Melbourne right now (and Sydney) where hundreds of players will converge. How many players will pull out between now and the end of the Aus open? I'm going to guess at least 5, but that's probably conservative.
a lot i reckon.

I know the US and French were held at the peak of covid in Europe, but that virus was easier to control and manage.

This is going to be way harder. It is up to the tennis players themselves. If they are smart, they will be self-bubble.
 

yaco55

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a lot i reckon.

I know the US and French were held at the peak of covid in Europe, but that virus was easier to control and manage.

This is going to be way harder. It is up to the tennis players themselves. If they are smart, they will be self-bubble.

Also add that the French and Wimbledon were held in a bubble, which surprisingly Australia has avoided. Apparently the US Open was more open.
 

Bumpswithagrin

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So my question, what if a player tests positive in the lead up to a quarter final, semi final or worst case scenario the final?

Cases are sky high in Melbourne right now (and Sydney) where hundreds of players will converge. How many players will pull out between now and the end of the Aus open? I'm going to guess at least 5, but that's probably conservative.

We've seen it in the cricket so I don't doubt it will happen in the tennis. Couldn't put a number on it though.
 

BobbyMorri

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Oh Tomic....Just when we think you couldn't go any lower, you surprise us once again. Just post one tweet from Ben but the rest are there above

Not sure if Tomic is blaming his physical difficulties on potential Covid, but he just complained to the umpire during the changeover that #AusOpen is relying on rapid antigen tests rather than PCR tests.
 

Bonz

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Tomic is always making some excuse or complaining. Nothing has changed.

Tomic [tom-ic] [Tom-ic-ed] [tom-ic-ing]

verb
1. Apply yourself for a small period of time before giving up. (I am tomicing this match).
noun
2. Play exceedingly well for a month and then give fallacious promises to the world. (He performed a tomic).
verb
3. A sharp rise in the space of a short amount of time, succeeded by a long, long fall. (He tomiced the rankings)
 

yaco55

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Posted earlier that Radacanu will do well to keep her top 20 ranking - She played unbelievably well at the US Open but i wonder if she can consistently reach that level again.