2012 Australian Open: Predicting All 127 Men's Singles Matches
I see only three seeds going down in the first round, but seven more getting upset in the Round of 64. One unseeded player should make it through to the quarterfinals, but in the end, the semifinals should be awfully familiar.
Does the greatest player ever have one more run left in him? Or will it be 2011 all over again?
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Novak Djokovic (1) def. Paolo Lorenzi
The world's top player beat Lorenzi in straight sets in their only meeting back in 2010.
Santiago Giraldo def. Matteo Viola
Giraldo is 2-11 in Grand Slams, but his only two wins have come in the first round of this event the past two years.
Tatsuma Ito def. Potito Starace
Starace is 0-6 at the Australian Open.
Radek Stepanek (29) def. Nicolas Mahut
This is a rather even match-up, but Mahut is coming off a bad loss to James Duckworth in Brisbane, so the edge goes to Stepanek.
Milos Raonic (23) def. Filippo Volandri
Raonic is one of the hottest players on tour, coming off a win in Chennai.
Philipp Petzschner def. Lukas Rosol
Someone is going to win his first career match here and the edge goes to Petzschner, who holds a victory in their only head-to-head meeting and has had more success at hard court Grand Slams.
Lleyton Hewitt def. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe
Hewitt is playing in his 16th consecutive Australian Open and while he is nearing the end of his tremendous career, the former world No. 1 is certainly capable of beating an inexperienced 21-year-old like Stebe in the first round.
Andy Roddick (15) def. Robin Haase
This is a rematch of last year's third-round contest that Roddick won in four sets.
Janko Tipsarevic (9) def. Dmitry Tursunov
This is one of the more intriguing first-round match-ups. The two split a pair of hard-court meetings last year, but Tipsarevic had the better of the play and is off to a stronger start in 2012.
James Duckworth def. Jurgen Zopp
The hometown teenager is coming off a nice win over Mahut in Brisbane.
Mikhail Youzhny def. Andrey Golubev
Youzhny has reached the third round here each of the past two years.
Richard Gasquet (17) def. Andreas Seppi
Gasquet is 3-1 against Seppi, including wins in each of the past two years.
Juan Ignacio Chela (27) def. Michael Russell
Chela hasn't won a match here in five years, but Russell is 2-13 at hard court majors.
Igor Kunitsyn def. Pablo Andujar
Kunitsyn took down Andujar in straight sets in their only meeting last year.
Ryan Sweeting def. Matthias Bachinger
This is Bachinger's first Aussie Open, while Sweeting reached the second round in his debut last year.
David Ferrer (5) def. Rui Machado
Ferrer reached the semis here last year.
Andy Murray (4) def. Ryan Harrison
The two-time defending runner-up is coming off a win in Brisbane.
Xavier Malisse def. Edouard Roger-Vasselin
Malisse defeated Roger-Vasselin in straight sets on the hard courts of Metz in 2010.
Ernests Gulbis def. Michael Llodra
Gulbis is 2-0 against Llodra in Tour and Grand Slam matches, beating him on the hard courts of Montreal last year.
Alex Bogomolov Jr. (32) def. Daniel Gimeno-Traver
Bogomolov hasn't played here in five years, but he's facing an opponent that is 0-3 at this event.
Viktor Troicki (19) def. Juan Carlos Ferrero
Troicki hasn't lost a first round match here since 2008, which was also the last time Ferrero won a first round match here.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez def. Mikhail Kukushkin
Garcia-Lopez just beat Kukushkin in straight sets at Doha.
Dudi Sela def. Thomaz Bellucci
Sela overcame a two-set deficit to defeat Bellucci at last summer's U.S. Open and also beat the Brazilian in straights at the ATP Challenger Tour Finals last year.
Gael Monfils (14) def. Marinko Matosevic
Monfils has reached at least the third round here in his last four appearances.
Gilles Simon (12) def. Danai Udomchoke
Simon hasn't lost in the first round of a major since 2008.
Julien Benneteau def. Karol Beck
Beck hasn't won a match here in seven years.
Matthew Ebden def. Joao Souza
Perth resident Ebden should have the crowd behind him.
Kei Nishikori (24) def. Stephane Robert
Nishikori reached the third round here last year.
Marcel Granollers (26) def. Jesse Levine
Neither player has had much success at this event, but Granollers has the superior record on hard courts.
Ivan Dodig def. Frederico Gil
The edge goes to Dodig because he's had more success in Grand Slams.
Roberto Bautista-Agut def. Ricardo Mello
Mello hasn't won here in seven years, so it wouldn't be a shock to see the qualifier advance.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6) def. Denis Istomin
Tsonga hasn't dropped a set in two meetings with Istomin.
Mardy Fish (8) def. Gilles Muller
Fish ousted Muller in straight sets at the hard court event in Los Angeles last year.
Alejandro Falla def. Fabio Fognini
Falla holds a victory in their only meeting and has a better track record here.
Albert Montanes def. Pere Riba
Montanes has become a better hard court player over the past two years.
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Juan Monaco (25)
Kohlschreiber is 8-0 in first round matches here, and Monaco isn't exactly a hard court specialist.
Florian Mayer (20) def. Yen-Hsun Lu
Mayer beat Lu in a tight match on grass last year, and the German has the better resume at the Australian Open.
Florent Serra def. Steve Darcis
The qualifier has a good chance to move on here against a guy whose only two Aussie Open appearances were first-round exits in 2008 and '09.
Blaz Kavcic def. James Ward
Kavcic has reached the second round in three of his last six Grand Slams.
Juan Martin Del Potro (11) def. Adrian Mannarino
It's tempting to pick the upset here being that Mannarino defeated Del Potro in straight sets last year and the Argentine just lost to Marcos Baghdatis at the Sydney tune-up, but last year's match was on grass and went to two tiebreakers. In a best-of-five, Del Potro should pull it out.
Alexandr Dolgopolov (13) def. Greg Jones
Dolgopolov reached the quarters in his Aussie debut last year, and he just finished runner-up to Murray in Brisbane.
Victor Hanescu def. Tobias Kamke
Kamke is 0-3 in hard court majors, while Hanescu has at least had some success.
Sam Querrey def. Kenny De Schepper
Querrey has gone out early here the past three years, but he should end his slump against the Aussie Open rookie.
Fernando Verdasco (22) def. Bernard Tomic
Verdasco beat Tomic in straight sets on the hard courts of Brisbane three years ago.
Jurgen Melzer (31) def. Ivo Karlovic
Melzer is 5-0 against Karlovic.
Jesse Huta Galung def. Carlos Berlocq
Berlocq is 0-3 at the Australian Open.
Andreas Beck def. Eric Prodon
Prodon defeated Beck twice on clay last year, but the German is the more experienced hard court player.
Roger Federer (3) def. Alexander Kudryavtsev
The chances of a qualifier becoming the first man since 2003 to beat Federer in the first round of a Grand Slam are quite remote.
Tomas Berdych (7) def. Albert Ramos
Berdych reached the quarters last year, while Ramos is making his debut at this event.
Bjorn Phau def. Olivier Rochus
Rochus hasn’t won here in five years.
Sergiy Stakhovsky def. Illya Marchenko
Stakhovsky had a breakout year at the majors in 2011, reaching the third round of the Australian and French.
Frederik Nielsen def. Kevin Anderson (30)
It may be a match-up of qualifier versus seed, but Anderson is 0-4 at the Australian Open.
Stanislas Wawrinka (21) def. Benoit Paire
Last year’s quarterfinalist has never dropped a first round match here.
Marcos Baghdatis def. Benjamin Becker
Baghdatis is 7-0 in first round encounters at the Aussie Open.
Jeremy Chardy def. Grigor Dimitrov
Chardy beat Dimitrov in straight sets in the first round of last year’s French Open and the result shouldn’t be too much different Down Under.
Lukasz Kubot def. Nicolas Almagro (10)
Kubot overcame a two-set deficit to oust Almagro from the first round of last year’s French Open and given that clay is the 10 seed’s favorite surface, expecting a repeat on hard courts isn’t that far-fetched, especially since Kubot reached the fourth round here in 2010.
John Isner (16) def. Benjamin Mitchell
Isner has reached at least the third round here each of the past two years.
David Nalbandian def. Jarkko Nieminen
These 30-year-olds have squared off 11 times, so there is plenty of history to use in making a prediction here. Nalbandian leads the all-time series, 7-4, including victories in the past two meetings and a 2-0 record at hard court Grand Slams.
Nikolay Davydenko def. Flavio Cipolla
Davydenko beat Cipolla in straight sets on the hard courts of Montreal last year.
Feliciano Lopez (18) def. Leonardo Mayer
Lopez doesn't have the best track record here, but at least it's better than Mayer's 0-2 mark.
Ivan Ljubicic (28) def. Lukas Lacko
Ljubicic has reached the third round in consecutive Aussie Opens.
Donald Young def. Peter Gojowczyk
Young is just 1-3 at this event, but coming off a breakout Round of 16 finish at the U.S. Open, the American should be able to get past the qualifier.
Tommy Haas def. Denis Kudla
Haas hasn’t lost in the first round here since 1998.
Rafael Nadal (2) def. Alex Kuznetsov
Nadal says he feels good and that’s bad news for everyone, starting with this qualifier.
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Novak Djokovic (1) def. Santiago Giraldo
Djokovic downed Giraldo in straight sets in their only meeting back at the 2007 French.
Radek Stepanek (29) def. Tatsuma Ito
Stepanek’s experience should win out here.
Milos Raonic (23) def. Philipp Petzschner
These two split a pair of matches played last year, but Raonic won the hard court battle and looked better overall.
Andy Roddick (15) def. Lleyton Hewitt
Roddick has won the last six meetings.
Janko Tipsarevic (9) def. James Duckworth
Tipsarevic has won three times as many matches this month as Duckworth has won in his career.
Mikhail Youzhny def. Richard Gasquet (17)
Youzhny overcame a two-set deficit to win a five-set, three-tiebreaker match at the first round of the Australian in 2010. Later that year, Gasquet got his revenge with a three-set win in Cincinnati. They have split four career encounters on hard courts, but Youzhny is 2-0 at this event and just looked good in a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Nadal.
Igor Kunitsyn def. Juan Ignacio Chela (27)
In their only meeting, Chela beat Kunitsyn in three sets on the clay of Monaco three years ago, but the talent gap is much narrower on hard courts, and the Argentine hasn’t reached the third round here since 2007.
David Ferrer (5) def. Ryan Sweeting
Ferrer has reached at least the third round of the last seven majors.
Andy Murray (4) def. Xavier Malisse
Murray is 4-0 against Malisse on tour.
Ernests Gulbis def. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (32)
Gulbis defeated Bogomolov Jr. in straight sets last year in the semis of the hard court event in Los Angeles.
Viktor Troicki (19) def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
Troicki is 4-0 versus Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Gael Monfils (14) def. Dudi Sela
Monfils has reached at least the third round in his last four appearances here.
Gilles Simon (12) def. Julien Benneteau
Simon has won his last three meetings with Benneteau.
Kei Nishikori (24) def. Matthew Ebden
The home crowd can only take Ebden so far as Nishikori attempts to advance to the third round for the second straight year.
Ivan Dodig def. Marcel Granollers (26)
Dodig defeated Granollers rather easily on the hard courts of Zagreb last year.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6) def. Roberto Bautista-Agut
Tsonga should have no trouble with the qualifier.
Mardy Fish (8) def. Alejandro Falla
Fish is 3-1 against Falla, including a dominant 6-1, 6-4 victory in Delray Beach last year.
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Albert Montanes
Kohlschreiber is 12-7 at the Australian Open, while Montanes is just 4-10.
Florian Mayer (20) def. Florent Serra
Mayer should be able to return to the third round for the second time in three years.
Juan Martin Del Potro (11) def. Blaz Kavcic
Del Potro crushed Kavcic in straight sets at last year’s French Open.
Alexandr Dolgopolov (13) def. Victor Hanescu
In their only hard court meeting, Dolgopolov defeated Hanescu in straight sets at Indian Wells last year.
Fernando Verdasco (22) def. Sam Querrey
Querrey defeated Verdasco in two tight sets at Indian Wells last year, but that was before a series of injuries forced the American to miss Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Jurgen Melzer (31) def. Jesse Huta Galung
Melzer reached the fourth round here last year.
Roger Federer (3) def. Andreas Beck
Federer bested Beck in straight sets at the 2010 U.S. Open.
Tomas Berdych (7) def. Bjorn Phau
Berdych has advanced to at least the third round here in four of the past five years.
Sergiy Stakhovsky def. Frederik Nielsen
Stakhovsky could have a nice path to the third round if he gets to play two straight qualifiers.
Marcos Baghdatis def. Stanislas Wawrinka (21)
Baghdatis is off to a great start this year, beating Harrison and Nishikori in Brisbane before defeating Tursunov and Del Potro in Sydney.
Lukasz Kubot def. Jeremy Chardy
Chardy has never reached the third round here, while Kubot advanced to the Round of 16 in 2010.
David Nalbandian def. John Isner (16)
Nalbandian ousted Isner from the quarterfinals of Auckland last year in straight sets.
Nikolay Davydenko def. Feliciano Lopez (18)
Davydenko has won the past two meetings, including an easy straight sets win on the hard courts of Rotterdam in 2010.
Ivan Ljubicic (28) def. Donald Young
Ljubicic has tasted victory more often than Young at this event.
Rafael Nadal (2) def. Tommy Haas
Nadal is 4-0 against Haas.
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Novak Djokovic (1) def. Radek Stepanek (29)
Djokovic is 6-1 versus Stepanek.
Andy Roddick (15) def. Milos Raonic (23)
These two played an incredibly tight three-setter in the finals at Memphis last year with Roddick coming out on top. Roddick better be on his game if he doesn’t want to suffer an early exit.
Mikhail Youzhny def. Janko Tipsarevic (9)
Youzhny has emerged victorious in his last two encounters with Tipsarevic, winning the last four sets they’ve played.
David Ferrer (5) def. Igor Kunitsyn
Ferrer dropped just three games in a win over Kunitsyn last year in Miami.
Andy Murray (4) def. Ernests Gulbis
Murray is 5-0 against Gulbis.
Gael Monfils (14) def. Viktor Troicki (19)
Monfils is 2-0 versus Troicki, including a 6-2, 6-3 rout in Doha earlier this month.
Gilles Simon (12) def. Kei Nishikori (24)
Simon offs to a better start this season, reaching the semis of Bisbane, while Nishikori was ousted in the Round of 16.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6) def. Ivan Dodig
Tsonga is coming off a title in Doha.
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Mardy Fish (8)
Kohlschreiber just took a set off Nadal in Doha and owns a victory over Fish in their only meeting.
Juan Martin Del Potro (11) def. Florian Mayer (20)
Mayer beat Del Potro in Sydney last year, but the Argentine has won both of their meetings at the Australian Open.
Alexandr Dolgopolov (13) def. Fernando Verdasco (22)
Dolgopolov reached the quarters here last year and got off to a hot start this season, advancing to the finals at Brisbane before falling to Murray.
Roger Federer (3) def. Jurgen Melzer (31)
Federer is 3-1 against Melzer, winning both hard court meetings.
Tomas Berdych (7) def. Sergiy Stakhovsky
Berdych defeated Stakhovsky in straight sets in their only meeting.
Marcos Baghdatis def. Lukasz Kubot
Baghdatis just beat Kubot, 6-2, 6-2, in the Round of 16 at Brisbane.
David Nalbandian def. Nikolay Davydenko
Nalbandian is 7-5 against Davydenko, winning the most recent meeting and the last two played on hard courts.
Rafael Nadal(2) def. Ivan Ljubicic (28)
Nadal is 7-2 versus Ljubicic.
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Novak Djokovic (1) def. Andy Roddick (15)
Roddick has won four of their last five meetings, but Djokovic triumphed in the most recent match, and they didn’t even play during the Serb’s tremendous 2011.
Mikhail Youzhny def. David Ferrer (5)
Youzhny has won the last four hard court meetings with Ferrer.
Andy Murray (4) def. Gael Monfils (14)
They split a pair of hard court meetings last year and both have started 2012 strong, but Monfils has never reached a quarterfinal here, while Murray is a two-time defending finalist.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6) def. Gilles Simon (12)
Tsonga has won the past four meetings.
Juan Martin Del Potro (11) def. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Del Potro is 4-0 against Kohlschreiber, winning both encounters last year.
Roger Federer (3) def. Alexandr Dolgopolov (13)
In their only meeting, Federer was leading 6-4, 5-2, before Dolgopolov retired at Basel in 2010. As for Federer’s current issues with back spasms, he says he’s ready to go.
Tomas Berdych (7) def. Marcos Baghdatis
These two split a pair of hard court matches in 2010, but Berdych looked a whole lot better in his win.
Rafael Nadal (2) def. David Nalbandian
Nadal has won the last three meetings, including a straight sets victory at last year’s U.S. Open.
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Novak Djokovic (1) def. Mikhail Youzhny
Djokovic has won three of the past four meetings, including the most recent one in the finals of Dubai two years ago.
Andy Murray (4) def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6)
The last four encounters have gone to Murray.
Roger Federer (3) def. Juan Martin Del Potro (11)
Federer is 7-2 against Del Potro, beating him in straight sets in their most recent meeting at Cincinnati last year.
Rafael Nadal (2) def. Tomas Berdych (7)
Nadal has won nine in a row against Berdych.
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Novak Djokovic (1) def. Andy Murray (4)
Murray beat Djokovic in their last meeting, when the Serb was forced to retire in the second set of their championship match in Cincinnati, but Djokovic won the other two meetings in 2011, including an easy straight sets victory in the finals of this event.
Roger Federer (3) def. Rafael Nadal (2)
Federer is 5-4 against Nadal on hard courts, including a dominant 6-3, 6-0 win in their most recent meeting at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London just two months ago.
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Roger Federer (3) def. Novak Djokovic (1)
It’s always a toss-up when these two play, but the one thing you know for certain is that it will be a tight and highly-entertaining match. Djokovic won four of five meetings last year, with three of them coming in the semis of majors. The Serb won in straight sets at the Australian, Federer got his revenge by handing Djokovic his first loss of the year at the French and then Djokovic overcame a two-set deficit to hand Federer a gut-wrenching loss at the U.S. Open. It’s nearly impossible for Djokovic to repeat what he did last year and I think Federer has one more left in him.