This week’s tennis action at Sydney and Auckland is now down to the semi-final stage and it’s good to see two of my outright selections Medvedev (28/1) at Sydney and Ferrer (16/1) at Auckland lining up for a shot at the final and title on Saturday. By the time you read this article hopefully Medvedev and/or Ferrer will be through to their respective finals which will guarantee a nice profit on the week and year so far.
The draw for the first Grand Slam of the 2018 season the Australian Open is now out and top-seed Rafa Nadal will be pleased, as in addition to not facing Federer until the final at least, he’s also avoided a lot of the current big names and dangers. For example, fourth seed Alexander Zverev, fifth seed Thiem, seventh seed Goffin, (advised 66/1), ninth seed Wawrinka 12th seed Del Potro and 14th seed Djokovic all reside in the bottom half of the draw along with defending champion and second seed Roger Federer. The defending champion will have what on paper looks like a tough draw, especially if Djokovic and Wawrinka are back to anywhere near their best after long injury lay-offs.
This won’t phase Federer though as he is playing better than ever and warmed up well for this week by winning the Hopman Cup with Switzerland. The only doubt for me is how his body will cope with having had less time to rest, recover and prepare for this year’s tournament compared to last year when he had taken 6 months off. There are doubts surrounding the fitness of Nadal, Djokovic, Goffin, Wawrinka, Raonic and Sock leading in to this year’s tournament and while most of them have played some or a lot of warm-up exhibitions and/or ATP tournaments the last fortnight, there preparations have still been hampered. For, Djokovic, Wawrinka and Raonic it will would be an epic achievement if they managed to reach the latter stages of the second week after the injury problems they’ve endured over the last 12-months. From a neutral perspective it would be great to see them overcome their injuries and get back to winning way’s this fortnight as it will make for a more exciting and entertaining event and it will be better for the men’s game as a whole.
Don’t forget to tune in on Sunday when my Australian Open preview should be available and don’t forget matches commence this Sunday from midnight GMT time.