Australian Open 2013: Power Ranking Most Entertaining Finals Possibilities

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 09:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand during a practice session ahead of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 9, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

There are guaranteed to be a handful of early-round upsets at Melbourne Park during this January's 2013 Australian Open, but it's just as certain that the game's brightest stars will be left standing in the tournament's final days.

The seedings for both the men's and women's draw have been released, but the brackets won't be announced until Friday, January 11. Therefore, all we can do for now is speculate on what the tournament's final matchups will look like. 

Here we'll power rank the three most entertaining men's and women's finals possibilities at the year's first Grand Slam. 


Men's Final

3. Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray

Assuming that No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic is fortunate enough to get his own side of the draw, Roger Federer and Andy Murray would have to meet in the semifinals. However, there is the possibility that one or the other winds up on Djokovic's side of the draw, possibly setting up a championship rematch of last year's Olympic gold medal match at Wimbledon, which Murray won.

It's always a must-watch matchup when Murray and Fed square off because it's nearly impossible to separate the two stars, especially on hard courts, where Murray has beaten Fed just nine times in 17 tries.


2. Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer

Djokovic and Federer have met nearly 30 times throughout their careers, with Fed boasting a 16-13 advantage over the current world No. 1.

What would make this potential match so entertaining, though, is the fact that these two men have met in a Grand Slam final only once. Federer edged Djokovic in straights sets in the men's final of the 2007 U.S. Open more than five years ago.

To make things even more interesting, Djokovic has won five of the last six against Fed on hard courts, and five of 11 matches overall against Fed at Grand Slam events. 


1. Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray

The most entertaining men's final possibility has got to be a rematch of last September's thrilling U.S. Open final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, which Murray won in five sets after nearly five hours of back and forth action. 

This championship showdown would also be a rematch of the 2011 Aussie Open final, which Djokovic took easily, cruising past his Scottish rival in straight sets. The edge would have to go to the Serbian in this dream scenario however, as Djokovic has won the last two hard court meetings between he and Murray since the epic final at Flushing Meadows.

Having split their first two Grand Slam final matchups, Djokovic and Murray would undoubtedly make for the most entertaining men's final match at Melbourne Park.


Women's Final

3. Victoria Azarenka vs. Maria Sharapova

A rematch of the 2012 Australian Open final, Victoria Azarenka vs. Maria Sharapova would pit two young superstars against one another on tennis' grandest stage for a second straight year.

Though the younger Azarenka dominated the Russian last year, winning 12 of 15 games en route to winning her first career Grand Slam, you can bet Sharapova will be motivated to avenge that embarrassing defeat. 

There's no Slam that Sharapova hasn't won over the course of her career, and that experience could prove vital in this potential rematch.


2. Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams

The two female stars have met twice in the final of a Grand Slam, most recently at the 2007 Australian Open, where Williams cruised to a straight set win over Sharapova. This matchup could likely take place at the semifinal stage however, considering that Sharapova and Williams are the tournament's No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively.

While Sharapova won her first and only Aussie Open title in 2008, Williams has won five over the course of her career, winning there most recently in 2010. A combined six Australian Open championships between them, this matchup is one fans will surely be rooting for this January.

There would be no shortage of power, experience or emotion in this women's final.


1. Victoria Azarenka vs. Serena Williams

Like Djokovic-Murray, this top potential women's final would be a rematch of last summer's U.S. Open final in New York, which Williams won in three hard-fought sets. Williams would definitely have the edge in this matchup once again, as Azarenka would be forced to figure out her opponent's ridiculously strong serve and then somehow mount an attack of her own.

The 23-year-old has a lot to learn and ways to go before she reaches her peak, and for now can only be considered second-best to Williams, who's won the last two majors and 35 of her last 36 singles matches overall. 


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter throughout the 2013 Australian Open for reaction and analysis on the year's first Grand Slam.

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter