Following American Pro Tennis

Following American Pro Tennis

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Australian Open Preview

The first grand slam of the season is here! Austin Krajicek is competing in the qualifying draw, but I want to mention him by name first here because he had a big week in Noumea. Krajicek defeated Duckhee Lee and Edward Corrie to get into the 125k challenger main draw, then he upset doubles partner Tennys Sandgren and David Goffin (by retirement) to start the year with a quarterfinal run, before losing 6-0 in the 3rd against Irishman James McGee. He also teamed with Sandgren to win the doubles title in Noumea without dropping a set all week. That's a fantastic way to start 2014 for Krajicek, one of the best weeks of his career, and he's up to a career high doubles ranking of 90 and a singles ranking of 227 (career high is 210).

In singles we have the following nine players in the main:

John Isner (should be seeded 14th)
Sam Querrey
Tim Smyczek
Michael Russell
Donald Young
Bradley Klahn
Ryan Harrison
Jack Sock
Steve Johnson (WC)

Harrison and Sock just get in, they are the last two direct acceptances.

We have the following 9 players in the qualifying draw:

(4) Denis Kudla (plays Daniel Cox)
(20) Alex Kuznetsov (plays Theodoros Angelinos)
Tennys Sandgren (plays [5] Dusan Lajovic)
Bobby Reynolds (plays Miloslav Mecir)
(19) Wayne Odesnik (plays Thomas Fabbiano)
Daniel Kosakowski (plays [30] Tatsuma Ito)
(13) Rhyne Williams (plays Steven Diez)
Austin Krajicek (plays Malek Jaziri)
(15) Rajeev Ram (plays Marco Cecchinato)

With the form they've had lately I don't expect Isner or Querrey, our two "big guns", to get very deep into the tournament. Best case, I think, with a favorable draw is that Isner could see the 4th round. Querrey will win a match or two at absolute most. The dangerous floaters are Donald Young, who seems to be playing well, Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison. I could see any of those guys getting to the 3rd round with the right draw. I don't see anyone else getting past the 2nd round, at best. Unfortunately the bleak results of the recent slams will most likely not improve this soon, but I would love to be proved wrong and see one of these guys get to the 4th round.

In qualies, Kudla and Williams are set up to make a run for sure. Sandgren is playing the best tennis of the bunch but Lajovic is a brutal draw. Tough draw for Krajicek and Kosakowski as well.

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