One of the things we always like to do at Tennismash is have a quick scan of Grand Slam draws. Why? Well, because of the sheer number of players taking part there are banana skins lurking at every turn. What’s more, we like to see what’s going to happen as the meat of the tournament kicks in.
On the men’s side of things, the top four all fared pretty badly in the first round. Of course they will all expect to win, but Murray v Stepanek and Wawrinka v Rosol stand out as two tricky ties. Meanwhile Novak Djokovic faces a testy opponent in Yen-Hsun Lu and Rafa Nadal could have had an easier draw than Sam Groth.
Elsewhere, Milos Raonic v Janko Tipsarevic, Vasek Pospisil v the coachless Tomas Berdych, and Grigor Dimitrov v Viktor Troicki are stand-out first round ties.
Looking further ahead, a Djokovic v Nadal semifinal is an obvious headline, while a Murray v Nishikori quarter should be a cracker.
On the women’s side of the draw it’s safe to say Serena would have grimaced when she saw her path to the final. The early rounds aren’t too taxing (although Mladenovic in Round 3 could be problematical), but from the quarterfinals on it gets hard. Very hard, in fact. Vika, in particular, will fancy her chances against the reigning champion in the quarterfinals. At the other end of the draw it’s a different story. There’s distinctly less ‘star power’ in the bottom half meaning that Simona Halep will fancy her chances, as will Garbine Muguruza who seems to enjoy the red clay.
Elsewhere in the opening round, Angelique Kerber will be wary of Kiki Bertens, Eugene Bouchard will not be looking forward to facing Laura Siegmund and Sveta Kuznetsova will know she has a job on her hands to face the mercurial – albeit somewhat erratic – Slava Shvedova.
We’ve picked out some particularly tasty first round match-ups, and projected the quarter- and semifinals based on seedings.
Notable Men’s first rounds:
Novak Djokovic v Yen-Hsun Lu
Borna Coric v Taylor Fritz
Vasek Pospisil v Tomas Berdych
Rafa Nadal v Sam Groth
Milos Raonic v Janko Tipsarevic
Grigor Dimitrov v Viktor Troicki
Stan Wawrinka v Lukas Rosol
Andy Murray v Radek Stepanek
Potential Men’s quarterfinals (if the seeds hold)
Novak Djokovic v Tomas Berdych
Rafa Nadal v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Milos Raonic v Stan Wawrinka
Kei Nishikori v Andy Murray
Potential Men’s semifinals (if the seeds hold)
Novak Djokovic v Rafa Nadal
Stan Wawrinka v Andy Murray
Notable Women’s first rounds:
Serena Williams v Magdalena Rybarikova
Francesca Schiavone v Kristina Mladenovic
Angelique Kerber v Kiki Bertens
Johanna Konta v Julia Goerges
Alize Cornet v Kirsten Flipkens
Eugene Bouchard v Laura Siegmund
Svetlana Kuznetsova v Yaroslava Shvedova
Sam Stosur v Misaki Doi
Aga Radwanska v Bojana Jovanovski
Potential Women’s quarterfinals (if the seeds hold)
Serena Williams v Vika Azarenka
Angelique Kerber v Timea Bacsinszky
Roberta Vinci v Garbine Muguruza
Simona Halep v Aga Radwanska
Potential Women’s semifinals (if the seeds hold)
Serena Williams v Angelique Kerber
Garbine Muguruza v Aga Radwanska
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