• Top 25 contenders at the Australian Open: Part 4

    12/26/12 5:30 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Top 25 contenders at the Australian Open: Part 4 Tennistalk continues its countdown of the Top 25 Australian Open contenders with Nos. 6 through 10. Included in this group is fourth-ranked Rafael Nadal.

    10. Janko Tipsarevic – Twice in a row Tipsarevic has backed into the World Tour Finals as No. 9 player in the world and first alternate. No matter how you slice it, however, his breakout 2011 campaign was no fluke. The Serb won 54 matches that season and found the win column 57 times in 2012. Tipsarevic is on top of his game right now, but rarely is he in similar form Down Under. His best showing was a 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 5-7, 6-1, 10-8 loss to Roger Federer in the 2008 third round. He should get at least one step further this time.

    9. Milos Raonic - The Australian Open has been Raonic's best slam, but that isn't saying a lot. The big-serving Canadian qualified for the main draw in 2011 but underachieved amidst high expectations in 2012. After advancing two rounds, he was upset by Australia's own Lleyton Hewitt and was thus denied a shot at Novak Djokovic. Raonic is poised to improve this time around, at this slam and at every slam. He more than doubled his career win total with 45 victories in 2012 and he is currently peaking at a rank of No. 13 in the world.

    8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – Starting with Tsonga, we're now talking about guys who at least have some kind of chance to win it all in Melbourne. In six appearances, the eighth-ranked Frenchman has a runner-up, a semifinal, and a quarterfinal. He is 20-6 at the event after losing to Kei Nishikori in a fourth-rounder that went five sets. Tsonga's 2012 fall swing was decent, but he flamed out of the World Tour Finals without a single win. Perhaps his partnership with Roger Rasheed will get Tsonga back on track in time for the upcoming slam.

    7. Rafael Nadal – Not much has to be said about Rafael Nadal. You know the story. When the Spaniard is 100 percent, he is right up there with Novak Djokovic as the favorite at the Australian Open, played a relatively slow, high-bouncing hard court. Of course, this Nadal has not played a match since the second round of Wimbledon. Now that he is out of Abu Dhabi with a stomach virus, he heads into 2013 as an ever bigger question mark.

    6. Tomas Berdych – Watch out for Berdych Down Under. He is a proven commodity at Grand Slams, including the Australian Open (two straight quarterfinals). At this summer's U.S. Open he upset Federer before falling to Andy Murray in the semis. Berdych could be a more serious threat than ever in 2013 after ending this year with a Davis Cup title. No matter that the Czech lost his final match to David Ferrer; his confidence should be at an all-time high.

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Where's part 5? I'm dying to see which order you have them in and why.

ts38 , 12/31/12 12:23 AM

1 Djokovic - defending champion, current great form
2 Murray - won last slam, beating Djokovic
3 Federer - he's Federer
4 Del Potro - playing great again
5 Ferrer - playing the best tennis of his career


Conspirator , 12/31/12 5:36 PM

Time for the AO mock draw before Friday's farce (although AO draw is typically not as predictable as FO and USO) but here goes:

1. Muzz in Nole's half (natch)
2. Berdy and Delpo in Nole's half
3. Raonic and Nishikori in Nole's half
4. Tipsy, Monaco, Almagro and, of course, Wawa in Feddy's half


Conspirator , 1/9/13 2:46 PM

Ooops, forgot the "random" odds of above:

1. 50%
2. 12%
3. 12%
4. 6%

Combined odds of all of the above? 0.04% or 2300 to 1.


Conspirator , 1/9/13 2:52 PM

Should be able to edit posts. Scratch that...

1. 50%
2. 25%
3. 25%
4. 6%

Combined odds of all of the above? 0.2% or 500 to 1.

I really think that Muzz, Berdy and Delpo will be in Nole's half (1. and 2. above) which has a 12% chance or 8:1.


Conspirator , 1/9/13 3:14 PM

Now we know the grand slam committee would try to make Fed win two slams. One is the Wimbledon ( to beat Sampras' record). Which is the other? If the AO, then probably all of Conspirator's predictions could come true though there are a few other good cupcake possibilities.
Anyway, we will know when we see the draw. I think selecting AO might be a good idea because if he doesn't win it, the other 3 are still available. (Though the "con" is that fixing all the draws might 'draw' too much attention).
If Fed doesn't win AO and Rafa isn't in good form on clay, Fed and GS committee could aim for FO as it would make his resume more balanced.

holdserve , 1/9/13 4:43 PM

Where is part 5???

Maybe Conspirator, 12/31/12 5:36 PM negated it.


Conspirator , 1/9/13 6:28 PM

posted a long time ago - stralian_Open%3A_Part_5

RickyDimon , 1/9/13 9:28 PM

Sorry Ricky but it's not coming up. Why don't you make a comment there so it's visible under "latest commented"?
Thanx ;)

danica , 1/10/13 9:17 AM

Seems as if Isner's withdrawn. Hope there won't be too many others :(

deuce , 1/10/13 10:33 AM

try this link danica...


Conspirator , 1/10/13 4:18 PM

Here is a neat factoid. In 2012 each of the Top 4 won their respective slam at the same slam where they won their 1st career slam!

(OK, it WAS Muzz's 1st slam in 2012 but still...)


Conspirator , 1/10/13 6:07 PM

Wow. Struck out on those predictions although I did say AO was less predictable.

C'mon Muzz!!!! You can do it!!! C'mon!!! GO!!!!


Conspirator , 1/11/13 2:01 AM

@conspirators conspiracy theories gone all wrong. :p

abhirf , 1/11/13 4:39 AM

Fed is going to try and win 2 slams this year. So while all draws would be fixed to the extent they have been from say 2004 or 5, 2 of the draws would be fixed like Wimbly and Olympics last year.
Fed might think no one is going to find it suspicious if the goat wins a calendar slam at age 32 but I am sure his advisors would have dissuaded him from trying for all 4 based on brazenly fixed draws.
Now if Fed wins AO, that would be a bonus for him and then only one slam draw would need to be brazenly fixed.

holdserve , 1/11/13 9:04 AM

I'm happy if all of my conspiracy predictions are wrong. Means tennis is fair again.


Conspirator , 1/11/13 3:59 PM

Yes, tennis needs to be fair. Doubt whether that will happen till Roger retires. The Establishment listens to money and Fed is hellbent on establishing himself as the absolute GOAT by breaking every record.
If Fed hangs around too long, he will destroy interest in tennis.

holdserve , 1/11/13 4:55 PM

@conspirator I too would love them to go all wrong.

abhirf , 1/12/13 3:42 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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