Australian Open draw revealed

The 2018 Australian Open draw ceremony was held on Thursday night at Melbourne Park. It was less chaotic than it might if been Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori had not withdrawn, but there was still plenty of intrigue with several players seeded lower than usual due to injury layoffs.

Novak Djokovic, the No. 14 seed, and ninth-seeded Stan Wawrinka both landed in the bottom half of the bracket. The two former Aussie Open champions find themselves in the same quarter with Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and a solid list of unseeded competitors that includes Steve Johnson, Fernando Verdasco, Hyeon Chung, Donald Young, Frances Tiafoe, and Doha champion Gael Monfils. Djokovic and Monfils could go head-to-head in the second round.

Federer, who did an on-court interview prior to the draw being revealed, should enjoy a routine first week as he begins his title defense Down Under. The 36-year-old Swiss, however, could run into an injury-plagued Milos Raonic in the last 16 and either David Goffin or Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals.

“It was an amazing final for me and an amazing moment in my life,” Federer said of his 2017 Australian Open title. “I had a great four to six weeks of tennis training, and many months before that to get myself ready for the training. I thought physically I would be ready, but my game and wins weren’t going to come.

“I was thinking perhaps I might get to the quarterfinals;semifinals at best, then run into a red-hot Djokovic, (Rafael) Nadal, or Murray and my game wouldn’t be good enough for that day. But it was, ending with the epic match against Rafa. The fifth set was perhaps the best set I played. It was the highlight of my year, beating my Wimbledon win later in the year.”

As the top two seeds, Nadal and Federer can only face each other in what would be a final rematch. The top-ranked Spaniard heads into Melbourne with knee concerns, but his draw is a favorable one that he can capitalize on if 100 percent.

Nadal will likely cruise through his quarter (under the condition that he is healthy), but plenty of interest in the top half of the field will be generated by the second quarter–or more specifically Grigor Dimitrov’s eighth of the bracket. That is home to Dimitrov, Kyrgios, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Andrey Rublev, David Ferrer, and a first-round battle between youngsters Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Draw at the Australian Open website 

32 Comments on Australian Open draw revealed

    • Interesting draw. I’m going with Rafa, Dimi, Gael and Delpo but I would not be surprised if none of them make it through to the semis. 3rd quarter looks like the most “interesting”.

      • Hi Ramara, what a coincidence, I was thinking the same about Rafa, Dimi, Gael and Delpo! Gael sermed to be playing well, winning Doha and feeling so happy about it. I think on his good day, he can trouble anyone. I know Djoko vs Gael H2H is ridiculously lopsided, but Djoko is just back from injury and may be vulnerable in the early rounds.

        Delpo vs Fed (if they meet) will be interesting; if Delpo plays well to win in Auckland, I think he will be a real threat at the AO. Rafa and Dimi, if they get that far to meet in the SF, will be another serious battle.

        Rafa vs Isner and then Cilic; Dimi vs Kyrgios; A Zverev vs Djoko or Monfils, those will be interesting matches too, and I hope Rafa is ready when facing the servebots.

  1. Rafa vs Delpo final with Rafa winning in 4. Rafa will almost certainly get to the final if Isner and Dimitrov goes out(could beat them both). Fed’s draw is VERY difficult so don’t think he’ll make it to the semis

  2. It’s easy to say that Fed will never be able to get through that draw if it holds. It’s especially easy to conclude that even if he were able to make the final, how would he possibly have enough left if he faced Rafa in the final? It is unquestionably a difficult draw… That being said, his draw last year was also very difficult, even without having to meet Murray in the QF, so I can’t say that his draw makes it impossible for him.

    As for Rafa, I know that big servers can be tricky for him in recent years, but I don’t see anyone in his quarter truly troubling him. Assuming he remains healthy, he should have no problem making the semis. I actually think he has an extremely ideal draw in terms of getting to the semis. Looking at this draw, I can’t imagine a better draw for Rafa in terms of getting to the Final… For me personally, Rafa’s chances of winning this title have now gone up significantly given the draw. He was going to be one of the favorites no matter what. With this draw, he could arguably be THE favorite now, for me. The bottom half of the draw is scarily stronger than the top half… Rafans should be very happy!

    • I have the exact opposite thoughts, lol! I think Roger can navigate through his half quite well. There are a ot of dangerous players in his half, but he doesn’t have to play all of them. They will eliminate each other before Fed meets them. Also, his quarter is very easy and he has a good chance to find his groove. IMO, Rafa’s path to the final is more difficult.

        • Especially Cilic might turn out to be a tripwire.Then there’s Kyrgios, should he and Rafa manage to reach the semis, which is of course a big “if”.
          I don’t see any major stumbling blocks in Fed’s half. Goffin won’t beat him in a best-of-five format. And I highly doubt that Delpo can repeat his victory from the USO as long as Fed’s back holds. The surface is different, too, and favors Fed.
          But I can see why Fedfans are a bit apprehensive.

          • Littlefoot, why the surface favors Fed but not Delpo? Delpo likes quick surfaces too, and his big serve and big FH will serve him well on quick surfaces, making them very difficult to defend against. When his game is on, he can blow Fed off the court with his raw power.

            Both Fed and Rafa will have to face the former USO champions – Delpo and Cilic respectively – should they all get to the QF and so I don’t see Rafa’s draw being more difficult than Fed’s. Fed may have to beat either Raonic or Querrey in R4 whilst Rafa has Isner as his potential R4 opponent, but Isner, Querrey and Raonic are all not playing well at the moment.

            Fed may be meeting Haase in R3 ( I think Hasses may beat Gasquet to meet Fed), Haase may be the first test for Fed though Fed will beat him most like in straight sets.

            I doubt AZverev will make the SF out of his quarter, I think it’s either Djoko or Monfils, and should Djoko make it that far, he should be playing well and Fed vs Djoko SF will be interesting.

            • Fed on a quick surface has advantage over anyone. At least if you’re looking at it just in terms of the surface. Del Po can ball on fast surfaces but Fed on fast surfaces is nearly unstoppable no matter who he plays. I’m unsure how fast the courts are this year but if they’re on the faster side like last year, Roger’s got a great shot at it.

    • Rafa got a pretty nice draw here and at the US Open but many will still insist that tourneys rig their draws in Fed’s favor.

      • I’m not going to enter the rigged-draw discussion right now. Just want to point out that on paper Rafa’s draw at the USO wasn’t all that easy. But Rafa’s path to the semis became easy because potentially difficult players like Dimi didn’t make it and lost before they could meet Rafa.

      • Benny you made me laugh! Have you forgotten how Fed played last year at the AO, having to play three five setters? It happened that Kei and Stan got injured during their matches, Rafa was tired by his long SF match with Dimi and with one less day of rest.

        You make it sound like Fed was so all conquering and will be so all conquering that he’s going to beat anyone again! Come on, Delpo has a good chance especially he’s well rested and if he’s playing well.

        • My main point is he is heavily favored on quick surfaces. I don’t mean unstoppable as in he wins easily no matter who he plays. I mean he’s the toughest guy to beat on this surface. Basically it’s extremely difficult to stop him on fast courts. Dude hadn’t played in seven months coming into AO last year and won. It just shows how well and quickly he was able get into the groove on that kind of surface considering it already favored him more than other surfaces besides maybe grass.

          • The thing is, the six months that he’s away, he wasn’t sitting around but worked on his game especially his BH, and that’s why he’s physically fresh and his BH had improved. You talked as if he came to AO not being well prepared last year, in fact he’s very well prepared, playing Hopman Cup ensuring he had at least a few matches under his belt.

            I would say both Fed and Rafa benefitted from Djoko’s and Murray’s early departure at the AO last year. Imagine Fed having to play Murray, Kei, Stan and Rafa in five sets each! Or Rafa having to play five setter vs Djoko.

            Fed doesn’t have the luxury of a six months but a six weeks break prior to the start of this season . I doubt he’s physically as fresh as when he’s at start of AO 2017.

  3. IMO, Fed drew the short stick here. Certainly no favouritism shown toward him based on this draw. Still, he should do ok until semis if he’s healthy.

    Rafa could have a tough match against Coric in R3, but otherwise has to be happy with his draw to the QF. Isner is much less dangerous in B05, but Cilic will be tough.

    • Agree, that both players have a fairly manageable path to the quarters.Fed’s is a bit easier IMO. Then things will definitely get rougher.
      But Djokovic is the one who really drew the short stick here…

            • Just read Tignor’s predictions: he has Kyrgios over Rafa and Fed over Djokovic in the semis and Fed over Kyrgios in the final.
              Considering the well documented Tignor curse none of the above will even make it into the semis lol! But joking aside: Kyrgios certainly has the talent to make it into a slam final – but I doubt that his mind as well as his body are ready for seven best-of-five matches. And we still have no clear evidence that Novak is ready for a run into the semis of a slam. Same might be true for Rafa, although I’ve become more optimistic in the last two days. But if Rafa will progress that far and if he does indeed meet Kyrgios there, I think Rafa will prevail because he will have found his groove by then. His great experience and mental thoughness will guide him through the match.

            • With one exception, who actually picks Kyrgios, all the experts at have Fed for the win. And I guess that Ricky (and other experts) agree, lol! From a gambler’s point of view it sure seems to be the sane thing to do. But apart from how it will play out in the end, what does this tell us about the current state of men’s tennis?

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