2013 Australian Open: Breaking Down the Men's Singles Draw Quarters

Jason Lewis@@SirJDLCorrespondent IIJanuary 11, 2013

2013 Australian Open: Breaking Down the Men's Singles Draw Quarters

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    We're just a few days away from the first Grand Slam of the year. The excitement and anticipation is certainly growing day-by-day. 

    Yesterday the main draws of the tournament were released, and already analysts, journalists, and fans alike have busted out their critical thinking hats and started dissecting and predicting the draw.

    The four quarters in the Men's Singles tournament are loaded with appetizing and intriguing match-ups for the game's top players. Here's a brief overview and breakdown of the those quarters in the Men's Singles draw.

Novak Djokovic's Quarter

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    Seeded players:

    (1) Novak Djokovic, (5) Tomas Berdych, (11) Juan Monaco, (15) Stanislas Wawrinka, (20) Sam Querrey, (22) Fernando Verdasco, (26) Jurgen Melzer, (31) Radek Stepanek

    Dangerous unseeded players (w/world ranking):

    (68) Ryan Harrison, (38) Victor Troicki, (36) Kevin Anderson, (50) David Goffin, (47) Fabio Fognini

    Breakdown: 

    All things considered, it's a pretty straightforward and easy draw for the top-seeded Djokovic. A potential quarterfinal match-up with fifth-seed Tomas Berdych could prove tricky, but as always it's hard to know which Tomas Berdych will show up to the main draw of a tournament, and Djokovic holds an 11-1 record against the Czech. The quarter possesses several enigmatic players such as Stan Wawrinka, Fernando Verdasco, and Sam Querrey who could make significant second-week pushes if they are playing their A-Games and staying consistent. 

    While the Djokovic quarter is void on bigger-named seeds, a few potentially dangerous players are floating around in the unseeded world. Huge servers Kevin Anderson and Victor Troicki can give even the top players fits if their service game is on fire, and young guns Harrison and Goffin are growing talents that seemingly get better with every major. Depending on which Fabio Fognini decides to comes to play, he too could be a difficult match up.


David Ferrer's Quarter

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    Seeded Players

    (4) David Ferrer, (8) Janko Tipsarevic, (10) Nicolas Almagro, (14) Kei Nishikori, (23) Mikhail Youzhny, (24) Jerzy Janowicz, (28) Marcos Baghdatis, (32) Julien Benneteau

    Dangerous unseeded players (w/ world rankings):

    (103) Ivo Karlovic, (82) Lleyton Hewitt, (41) Grigor Dimitrov, (69) Gilles Muller, (48) Lukas Lacko

    Breakdown:

    Top-seed in the quarter, David Ferrer faces a tricky set of opponents in his quarter. In his second round draw, Ferrer could face the 6-foot-10 Ivo Karlovic, who is always a frustrating player to play. Further into the draw is Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who played very well in his warm-up in Brisbane, and always has a strong following in Melbourne. A potential quarterfinal match-up of Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori and David Ferrer could also be a blockbuster.

    On the bottom half, Serbian Janko Tipsarevic faces a wealth of difficult potential-unseeded opponents in hometown hero Lleyton Hewitt, the big server from Luxembourg Gilles Muller, and an on-the-rise Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Question marks hang over Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, who enters his first Grand Slam as a seeded player, and Nicolas Almagro who has a low-percentage but potential highlight-reel-game on hard courts.

    This could be the quarter of the draw with the most surprise results.

Andy Murray's Quarter

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    Seeded players:

    (3) Andy Murray, (6) Juan Martin Del Potro, (12) Marin Cilic, (14) Gilles Simon, (18) Alexandr Dolgopolov, (21) Andreas Seppi, (25) Florian Mayer, (30) Marcel Granollers

    Dangerous unseeded players (w/ world rankings):

    (54) Robin Haase, (46) Denis Istomin, (99) Gael Monfils, (109) Tommy Robredo

    Breakdown:

    Murray got a great draw to open the year. Of the four quarters in the draw, Murray's is by far the easiest. He faces a tricky opponent in the enigmatic Dutchman Robin Haase in the first round, however, after that he can enjoy a run to the quarters facing possible opponents like Gael Monfils or Tommy Robredo. Gilles Simon stands to be his biggest test prior to what could be a blockbuster quarterfinal against Juan Martin Del Potro.

    The Argentine, Del Potro, possesses an equally easy run as his part of the draw has only Cilic, Seppi, and Marcel Granollers as seeds. Uzbek Denis Istomin is a potential name to watch, as the 26-year-old had a good run in Brisbane and played Andy Murray very tight in his quarterfinal loss there.

    All signs point to it being a status quo sort of quarter with the top seeds pushing through.

Roger Federer's Quarter

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    Seeded players:

    (2) Roger Federer, (7) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, (9) Richard Gasquet, (13) Milos Raonic, (17) Philipp Kohlschreiber, (19) Tommy Haas, (27) Martin Klizan, (29) Tomaz Bellucci

    Dangerous unseeded players (w/ world rankings):

    (43) Benoit Paire, (40) Nikolay Davydenko, (64) Bernard Tomic, (52) Michael Llodra

    Breakdown:

    If the top four players in the Australian Open draw had to draw sticks, Federer most certainly got the shortest one. A plethora of crafty and difficult players stand in the way of the No. 2 seed making his way to the Semis. Right off the bat, Federer will be challenged by big-hitting Frenchman Benoit Paire. After that, he could be looking at a potential draw-of-death involving Nikolay Davydenko, Bernard Tomic, Milos Raonic and finally Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Richard Gasquet. It will be a very challenging Australian Open for the Swiss legend, and if he makes his way to a Semifinal, he will be rewarded with a potential match with Andy Murray. Rest up Mr. Federer.

    Tsonga most certainly got a more favorable draw. A potentially difficult match-up with countryman Michael Llodra awaits Tsonga in the first round, but after that he shouldn't have trouble until the round of 16 when he could potentially face another countryman in Richard Gasquet. That could be a very entertaining match as Richard Gasquet is coming off a title run in the warm-up tournament in Doha.

    Follow Jason on Twitter @SirJDL during the 2013 Australian Open for tournament news, updates, and commentary.