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Discussion Starter #1
Australian Open 2020 is finally here!

Interestingly for the first time Novak Djokovic has said he doesn't feel like a favorite entering this tournament. He also feels the same about the big 3 in general. Is he right? Is this the end of their domination? We'll see...

The qualifiers/lucky losers are about to be determined pretty soon.

But taking an early glance, Nadal's side of the bracket is quite a handful. There's Khachanov, Thiem, Medvedev, Wawrinka among the more trickier players.
On the other side of the bracket, Djokovic's half, you have Berrettini, Dimitrov, Federer, Tsitsipas, Raonic, Agut and Schwartzman among some of the better opponents.

I'd say the opponents on Nadal's half are a little bit more familiar with this game while most of the opponents on Djokovic's side historically struggle against Nole.
Regarding Nadal, I'm not really sold to him anywhere outside the Roland Garros. The U.S. Open exposed a lot of his weaknesses, it seems his body is not the endurance/stamina machine that it used to be (at least not against top tier players). Honestly speaking, Medvedev really beat himself with sloppy double faults and unforced errors which is expected of an inexperienced player. About Federer, well, he has more injury related issues that have been bothering him unexpectedly. Think back, shoulder, hamstring issues that can pop out of nowhere because of old age and mileage.

Assuming Djokovic doesn't get an unexpected wrist injury or something unusual, he should like his chances. At the same time, I'm not surprised if he gets upset too. He's a human being. On paper I feel Djokovic and maybe someone like Wawrinka will reach the finals. But in reality, I think we'll see two new guys emerge, no idea who :)
 

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Which of the younger players look especially promising for this?
 

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Not at all surprised if Zverev goes out in round one to Cecchinato. Kerber on the other hand would have an easy draw for the first rounds if she could actually perform and play properly (which itself unfortunately is doubtful)...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not at all surprised if Zverev goes out in round one to Cecchinato. Kerber on the other hand would have an easy draw for the first rounds if she could actually perform and play properly (which itself unfortunately is doubtful)...
That's the beauty though in regards to grand slams. You see some of these so called "upsets" occurring to some of the over-hyped high ranked players. And at the same time there are some decent draws for players who have had some fair share of success in the past, and yet they refuse to take advantage of them and feel awful about it once they're knocked out of the tournament :D
 

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Is it really a big scandal to ask a ball person to peel a banana? I mean yes, you can do it yourself, but isn't it blown out of proportion?
 

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Roger somehow scrapes through. He was 4-8 down in tiebreak but then won 6 points in a row.

Most of the Aussie crowd in the arena seemed to be backing Roger and not their countryman :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm not surprised about the result one bit. Roger has always had mixed success in Australia in recent times, and on top of that as time goes on things will only get more difficult for him. It is what it is. My gut tells me Fucsovics should take care of Federer, maybe in 4 sets in the next round. I'm taking into account age, fatigue, but more importantly the Hungarian has kept the margins really close every time he's played Federer. So I feel this would be the opportune time to get the "upset" over Federer and I won't be surprised.

This tournament at least on the men's side of things has been really damn challenging. The top players have guys in their brackets for the most part who are familiar with their game since they've been around for such a really long time. There's truly a lot of quality 3rd round matches in this year's Australian Open.

Nadal is still safe until the 4th round where things can get a bit edgy with Kyrgios/Khachanov who are eager to flatten him out regardless whether it happens. Section 2 has a lot of veteran talent there. It will be a question of who wants it more badly. Medvedev is a guy who has that discipline in him. Having said that...a bit annoying to face a Russian Aussie in the next round, and very likely to expect Wawrinka in the 4th round if they both make the next step. I'm sure the Swiss is dying for revenge and will probably get it this time around.

Section 4 of the draw has a lot of guys with short flaring tempers except Goffin of course LOL. Sandgren will probably survive Fognini in 5 sets if we just want to make assumptions based on their history here at this tournament. Difficult to predict the Raonic/Cilic match for many reasons: Raonic is off to an excellent start and has saved up energy to go further, Cilic is unpredictable and can show up when least expected like in that Agut match, Cilic does have the better overall game, but it doesn't make Raonic a light opponent regardless. I'll go with heart over mind and say Cilic in 5.

Djokovic-Schwartzman is going to be interesting. Schartzman looks really hungry and he's saved enough energy to get to that 4th round. My gut tells me he'll pull a shocker in 5 sets. I certainly hope not, but let's see.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just wanted to add something. Why the heck didn't the "Mailman" go forehand down the line on some of those rallies? He probably would have had an opportunity to win this match and not even go the distance against Olderer. Well, Federer will be thankful haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The tournament has gotten better on the men's side. We now have matches that can go anyway for the most part. Really decent quality 4th rounders, no garbage low-tier garbage players. Nick LOL dragged Khachanov into a 5 setter with four of those tiebreakers being consecutive. He's one of the few players who can give Nadal fits if he gets his shit together. He has the kind of the shots that can flatten him out on both wings, not to mention aggressive serving. Nonetheless, he went through two back to back five setters and Nadal is feeling fresh after routing everyone without dropping a single set. I'm really skeptical. It would be nice if he can at least push Nadal to work for it before the QFs...

Thiem shouldn't have problems against Monfils. He's been a bad match-up for him and undefeated anytime they've played each other. If he gave him problems at Roland Garros, I don't see why it would get any better for Gael here then.

Medvedev-Wawrinka: The Trilogy. This time in a new venue and a different grand slam. Surely...Wawrinka will figure him out this time around? ;)

Rublev-Zverev a battle of two next gen guys. Zverev is undefeated against him though these happened at smaller tournaments. Grand slams are a different story, anything can happen regardless of h2hs. Zverev did well not to drop a single set, but things can still go wrong out of the blue with him. And the other side of the bracket we'll see what happens later tonight.
 

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Thiem shouldn't have problems against Monfils. He's been a bad match-up for him and undefeated anytime they've played each other. If he gave him problems at Roland Garros, I don't see why it would get any better for Gael here then.
dunno how relevant their previous matches are as 3 out of five were on clay and one on IW's slow HC.

they have never met on a fast outside hard court before (even if reports suggest that this year it plays slower than usual so far). and Thiem has never made it past 4R in AO before. of course he's a better player and would be a lock to win on clay... but on Aussie Open court in might be a close match.
 

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Swiatek wins first set 7-6 vs Kontaveit. Both broke each other's serve 3 times!

Very entertaining match so far with both being aggressive and taking risks and going for winners.
 
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