Australian Open predictions: men

Rafael Nadal, Rafa Nadal

Rafa Nadal has won only once at the AO, beating Roger Federer in five sets in 2009. He now has 19 Grand Slams — 12 from Roland Garros, two at Wimbledon, and four from US Open. Too often he was injured so he couldn’t grab the Down Under slam year after year.

Now, he has another chance. Here, it’s all about the getting to the quarterfinals. Early on, he could face the Aussie Nick Kyrgios, who has beaten him three times in seven matches, in the round of 16. “New Nick” is a very controversial person and he has never gone deep at the AO. This time? Close, but no cigar.

Nadal could face the very good players, including Dominic Thiem in the quarters. What a match! It has to be a five setter, each punishing the ball with a lot of spin. Even though Nadal will be a bit hurt, he will move on, putting his left hander up into the air and he revels. At least for now.

Novak Djokovic dominates the Laver Court at the AO. When he is running hard, and he won’t have any fear, then he can out-stroke them. He has won this title seven times. Still, he is mortal. He could face the soaring Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the fourth round, and the Greek can punch it away. There will be some long rallies, backhand to backhand, and in the fifth set, the Serbian will edge him once again in Melbourne.

Roger Federer is preparing to win another Grand Slam. If he does, it will be three year since he stunned Nadal in the fifth set in the final, moving forward with his improved one-hander backhand. But, that was in 2017. He definitely likes the hardcourts, but the 38-year-old is slowly down. While he can look amazing, but at the hard court Slams, he can slip up. He will reach the second week, and he could face Italian Fabio Fognini. Over the past couple years, he finally became more consistent, and he has a tremendous variety. However, can Fognini put together all of his shots, and frustrate Federer? Maybe for a couple of hours. But, on the hard courts, Federer has better serves, and his return, too. The Swiss will advance.
Here is another young player, Daniil Medvedev, who is coming up hard. For the most part, he is stable, rarely gives up and hustles. The Russian was close to winning the 2019 U.S. Open, but Nadal edged him. Now, in 2020, Medvedev is capable of winning a major immediately. In the fourth round, he will likely face Andery Rublev, who in the first two weeks, he was on fire. Rublev is another young Russian who can hit a number of winners, and he focused. If they meet, the match has to last for four hours, and at the end, Medvedev will knock him down.