For the third year in a row Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will be the protagonists of the Australian Open Championship. They hold the first two ranking positions and are likely to get into final to compete for the 2017 first Grand Slam trophy.
However, there are big names who can prevent them. These are Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori. Grigor Dimitrov, Roberto Bautsita Agut and Richard Gasquet can also make a difference on court.
In fact, many ATP players have approached the Australian Open with rather poor physical form. Maybe they will get into their best in the course of the event, but right now Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic are able to endure only one challenging match. So they both have to get straight wins in the first rounds to compete for the title.
Gael Monfils, Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic also pose questions. Tomas Berdych has to lose power somewhere near the semifinal round. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are ghost competitors now. They have shown their drawbacks at the January events and will be prone to defeats. About 20 players from the main draw may be a real threat to Nadal and Federer.
So generally we would be very surprised if the title will be lifted by someone outside the Big Three – Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka.
Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open 2017
Novak has given it up physically a bit but his mind play and his power of will let him outplay anyone, except for Andy Murray. As for his draw now, it’s not that simple. In the first round he’ll face Fernando Verdasco who has been in fire lately. After that Djokovic will come up against the winner of the Edmund-Carreno Busta matchup. If it goes well, than Novak will face wither Richard Gasquet or Grigor Dimitrov. Any of them will be fatigued and in the quarters, we guess, David Goffin will set a tough test against the World’s No.2. In the semifinal match we expect to see Nadal facing Djokovic. It may also be Bautista Agut or Raonic, but we back Rafa, who will enjoy an easy quarter in Melbourne.
Summing up, Novak Djokovic knows how to outplay all on his way to the final. The draw is rather tough, but the Serbian should survive it.
Andy Murray at the Australian Open 2017
Andy Murray looks more powerful but can also display shortcomings. First on his way is Yen-Hsun who won’t be an obstacle for the first-ranked Scot. Gerland Melzer, Lucas Pouille, John Isner, Mischa Zverev – all of them are easy nuts for Murray.
The interesting story starts in the quarterfinals where Andy will probably face either Kei Nishikori or Roger Federer. In the semis we expect to see a fatigued Murray and Stan Wawrinka, who will be in fire at another Grand Slam.
To conclude with, we would say that Murray will enjoy an easier draw at the beginning of the event but as the tournament progresses it will become more complicated than Novak’s. Still, Andy is a big favorite in his bracket.
Djokovic – Nadal
Murray – Wawrinka
Final: Djokovic – Murray
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