Men’s Single Women’s Single
Djokovic (1) vs. Berdych (5) Azarenka (1) vs. Kuznetsova
Ferrer (4) vs. Almagro (6) Williams (3) vs. Stephens (29)
Chardy vs. Murray (3) Na Li (6) vs. Radwanska (4)
Tsonga (7) vs. Federer (2) Makarova (19) vs. Sharapova (2)
At the onset of the Australian Open, I had predicted the top four players (men and women) to wage their way through to the quarterfinals. And it happened just that way as you can see from the matches above.
However, it was interesting to note that two unseeded players – Jeremy Chardy of France and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia – were quite privileged to make it to the quarterfinals. For these two players, getting into the quarterfinals was already an achievement by itself. Judging from the fact that these two names were not seen from the quarterfinals list of the 2012 US Open, Chardy and Kuznetsova seem to be dark horses in the Aussie Open quarterfinals. However, I am not ready to admit that they can pull surprises up till the finals. That is the spot I had reserved for the top four men and women players: Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Ferrer and Azarenka, Sharapova, Williams, Na Li.
My fearless forecast is that the semifinals will be played by Djokovic and Ferrer for the first match and Federer and Murray for the second match. We know Ferrer to be a very aggressive player but if Djokovic can use the same strategy he used against the surprisingly enhanced play of Wawrinka, he (Djokovic) is expected to prevail over the Spaniard (Ferrer).
In the case of a Federer – Murray encounter, Federer has the stronger urge to defeat Murray for two reasons: to avenge his defeats from the hands of Murray in the Olympics and the US Open.
Wherefore, from my crystal balls, though a little obscure, I see a Federer – Djokovic duel for the championship trophy but I will reserve my guess on who will emerge the champion, lest, it will dampen the excitement that is always there in the Australian Open – the grand slam opener of the year.
From among the women, I would predict an Azarenka-Williams encounter in the first match of the women’s singles in the semifinals and a Sharapova – Na Li contest in the second match.
On the same basis as in the Federer – Murray encounter, Azarenka has the stronger urge to defeat Williams. She cried a lot knowing she had the opportunity to defeat Williams in their US Open championship match last year but missed it quite badly. This time, I feel that she would not give anything to chance.
In case of a Sharapova – Na Li encounter for the semifinals, I have the gut feeling that Sharapova will prevail over Na Li (again) after Sharapova successfully denied Na Li her first grand slam title in Wimbledon.
In an Azarenka – Sharapova finals showdown, my crystal ball says the younger player will emerge the winner. I thought my crystal ball shall leave you guessing here. Apparently, it did not.
For the first time ever, I consulted my aging crystal ball to guide me in this fearless forecast. I hope it does not fail me, otherwise, it shall retire forever in its dusted wooden trunk 🙂
Men (Rank) Women (Rank)
Djokovic (1) vs. Ferrer (4) Sharapova (2) vs. Li Na (6)
Federer (2) vs. Murray (3) Azarenka (1) vs. Stephens (29)