The final grand slam of the season gets under way on Monday.
I’ll look at who might have a chance of progressing through the tournament. As with Wimbledon the tournament looks wide open for the women.
Karolina Pliskova heads up this section. Her potential route to the quarter finals looks comfortable for a player of her ability. Strycova could possibly give her some problems although I have a feeling Strycova may not make it past the second round match with American Jennifer Brady or Andrea Petkovic.
The other half of this section looks like being much more competitive. It looks likely that Radwanska, Vandeweghe, Safarova and Kuznetsova will make it to the third round. Not easy to pick the 4th round match ups but I’m going with Vandeweghe to beat Radwanska dna Safarova to get past Kuznetsova though that would be a great match.
Predicted quarter final: Pliskova v Vandeweghe
This section could get very interesting! The top players are Svitolina and Kerber. Svitolina’s route to the quarter finals is packed with banana skins. Bouchard in round 2 should be a decent warm up. Gavrilova won the title in New Haven this week and she probably meets Shelby Rogers in the second round. That won’t be an easy one and I have a feeling Rogers can take it. Flipkens, Vesnina, Maria and Keys have all put in respectable performances recently but I am going for Flipkens to beat Vesnina and Keys to beat Martia comfortably.
The 4th round should see Svitolina meet Keys and i give the American the edge.
The other half of this section is no less interesting. Kerber is the defending champion and as we have seen from her in the past the weight of expectation isn’t something she deals with too well.
Ostapenko has proved that she is comfortable in grand slams. She made the third round in Australia and won the title of the French Open. She backed those up with a quarter final finish at Wimbledon. I expect her to meet Pavlyuchenkova in the third round as long as Pavlyuchenkova deals with the disappointment of her meltdown in her last match in new Haven.
That would give us a 4th round meeting between Ostapenko and Kerber and if kerber gets that far I think she will struggle.
Predicted quarter final: Keys v Ostapenko
Not as many serious contenders in this section though we do have Wozniacki, Venus Williams, Kvitova and Muguruza. Those four player would be my picks to get to the 4th round though they are far from guaranteed a place. Woz faces Makarova in the second round.
I don’t see Venus having too many problems in the early rounds. Dodin and Bertens really shouldn’t put her under too much pressure on this surface.
In the other half of this section Muguruza will make it to the 4th round as long as she is healthy. Giorgi or Kristyna Pliskova could take a set from her but she has better big match mentality than both those opponents.
Kvitova has been well below par since winning the title in Birmingham. She probably faces Britain’s Heather Watson in the second round. If she gets through that one she will meet Garcia. Both those are players that she will beat easily when at the top of her game but that level has eluded her recently.
Predicted quarter final: Venus Williams v Muguruza
Another interesting section and perhaps the most open. Simona Halep reached the semis in 2015 and last year she made the quarter finals. She has played some excellent tennis recently although in the semi finals in Toronto she flopped against Svitolina winning just 2 games and in the final in Cincinnati she managed just 1 game from Muguruza. Her toughest opponent comes in the first round. Maria Sharapova is currently ranked 147th and gets a wild card entry to the tournament. She has won all 5 of her meetings with Halep although they have not met since 2015. This is clearly the match of the round and i give Halep a slight edge but it will be tight.
If Halep makes it to the 4th round her opponent is far from certain. Sevastova and Peng are likely to meet in the third round and on her form this year I give that one to Peng.
The other half of this section has Konta, Goerges, Barty and Sloane Stephens. I give Konta the edge over Goerges though if the German serves well she will make a match of it. The way Stephens has played since her return to the tour makes her strong favourite to reach the 4th round.
Predicted quarter final: Konta v Halep
If I am correct with my quarter finalists then the second week looks like being one you don’t want to miss!
Well I have had to redo parts of this due to Andy Murray withdrawing from the tournament. His hip injury is still too painful. He hasn’t played since his quarter final loss to Querrey at Wimbledon.
I’ll have a look at the contenders and see who should still be around for the second week.
This is Nadal’s section. He won the title in 2013 but didn’t play the following year due to injury. Last year he lost in the fourth round to Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a 5th set tie break. This year he has a reasonable draw. He is comfortable until the third round and as he has beaten Gasquet in their last 15 meetings he should confident in that one. Berdych seems his most likely opponent in the fourth round. Nadal won 16 of their 17 matches though Berdych’s only win came in the Australian Open in 2015. You would still have to favour the Spaniard!
Fognini is also in Nadal’s half of this section and I’d expect him to fall to Berdych in the third round.
The other half has Dimitrov and Monfils as the big names. Dimitrov has been in pretty strong recent form and will be hoping for a good tournament. He will come up against some in form opponents in Dzumhur and Rublev but I’d expect him to control those matches in the best of 5 set format.
Monfils has the ability to get through the first week but his 2017 form has been a little erratic to say the least. If he is not at his best he may struggle against Chardy or Donald Young.
Predicted quarter final: Nadal v Dimitrov
Federer is the main character in this section with a few bit players set to fight it out for the scraps. Federer and his team have managed his season almost to perfection. He won the Australian Open. Then he skipped the entire clay season including the French Open. He won Wimbledon and has only failed to reach the final in Dubai and Stuttgart. The only final he lost was in Montreal earlier this month.
Federer claims that he doesn’t look at the draw and I wouldnt be surprised if that’s true. The way he has played the slams this year will give him immense confidence that he can take a third slam title in 2017. Verdasco will be a decent warm up for him in the third round and hopefully he will play Kyrgios in the fourth round.
The other half of the section has Del Potro who will need to raise him game from the levels we have seen from him recently.Despite his erratic form I think he will scrape through the early rounds. Bautista Agut is having another great season and won the title in Winston Salem this week. He is likely to meet Del Potro in the third round.
I’m not totally convinced that Dominic Thiem will go far in this tournament. I would expect Baghdatis to give him some problems in the second round and if he gets through that one he will most likely face Karlovic.
Predicted quarter final: Federer v Del Potro
This is quite wide open. Quite a few players in this section who have shown strong form recently albeit quite short lived strong form from some of them.
Alex Zverev is at the top of the pile. His Duracell Bunny act saw him win back to back titles in Washington and Montreal where he beat Federer in the final. .
Zverev has a tough draw. Vesely in the second round could give him a few problems and if Kevin Anderson gets past Gulbis in the second round he can keep the sets tight against Zverev. It wouldn’t get any easier for the young german in the fourth round where Jack Sock or Gilles Muller would be waiting for him.
The other half of the section has Querrey and Isner who have both shown strong form on the hard courts. They would probably meet in the fourth round and I would favour Querrey to take that as he has been more consistent. Isner would have to get past the other Zverev brother Mischa in the third round.
Predicted quarter final: Querrey v A Zverev
Cilic and Tsonga are the bigger names in this section. Tsonga has potentially tricky early opponents in Canadian Shapovalov in the second round and Kyle Edmund in the third round. It doesn’t get a whole lot easier in the fourth round for the Frenchman as his likely opponent is in form Carreno Busta.
Ramos and Mahut meet in the second round. That can go either way but I would expect Carreno Busta to beat whoever gets through.
Cilic has an “OK” draw. Kokkinakis should help him get warmed up in the third round and then he will face his toughest early opponent with the winner of the Pouille v Ferrer encounter waiting for him.
Not the most exciting section of the draw though the quarter final will be entertaining (assuming I’m right!).
Predicted quarter final: Tsonga v Cilic
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