Australian Open Preview

Written by Square in the Air

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No sooner than we’ve turned over the first page of our 2015 calendars, than the first Grand Slam of the year is upon us. There was something of a changing of the guard last year in the Slams, with Marin Cilic winning the US Open and Stan Wawrinka defeating Rafael Nadal to claim his first Slam victory. It will be difficult for the Swiss to repeat this feat, but he has been given a favourable draw, meaning a semi-final is very reachable.

It’s of little surprise that Novak Djokovic comes into the tournament as red hot favourite. The world number one has a terrific record Down Under, notching four Open wins in Aus. He’s in the same half of the draw as Wawrinka. You can’t talk about a Major without mentioning the evergreen Roger Federer, he continues to defy critics with his longevity. He secured a monumental 1000th win on ATP World Tour earlier this month, the sort of achievement that will give the Swiss confidence to claim Slam number 18. However, he hasn’t won a Major since Wimbledon 2012.

After a poor 2014 by his standards, Andy Murray will be looking to re-instate himself as one of the ‘big four’ again this year. Despite coming up short at the ATP World Tour, the Scot finished the year strongly and continued this form into 2015 with an exhibition tournament win in Doha which included the dismantling of Nadal. Murray has a tough draw which could set up potential match-ups between Federer, Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov or Tomas Berdych before even reaching the final.

After missing the final Major of last year, Nadal comes back from injury to compete for a 15th career Grand Slam. This could be something of a comeback year for the Spaniard, but so far, he hasn’t looked comfortable or shown any form since coming back from injury. Other contenders to look out for come in the form of Dimitrov, Milos Roanic and Kei Nishikori. Dimitrov has been given the same tough draw as Murray, Roanic will have a potential quarter-final with Djokovic.

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