World no. 1 Djokovic is in this quarter, and his stiffest competition till the final 8 will be Verdasco in round 3. He could face Isner after that. In the second half of his quarter, there’s Lopez, Del Potro returning after an injury (faces Jerzy in the first round), Hewitt and Monfils. But the favorite to face Djokovic in the semis will be Milos Raonic, who narrowly lost the Brisbane final to Federer.
Prediction: Djokovic v/s Raonic
Defending champ Wawrinka is favorite to go through without stiff competition. Ferrer and Nishikori are likely to battle it out in the fourth round, with the Japanese superstar starting as favorite in the searing Melbourne heat.
Prediction: Wawrinka v/s Nishikori
Tomas Berdych, the everyday man, is likely to go through without much rust or fuss. He may face Ernest Gulbis in the fourth round, his only real competition. Rafael Nadal is the big name here, and could face Berdych in the quarters if he manages to get through his first tough match against Russian Youzhny. Funnily enough, both his conquerors Kavcic and Rosol could await him before the quarters. It will be a stern test for his body.
Prediction: Berdych v/s Nadal
Andy Murray’s only big contest before the quarters will be Dimitrov in the 4th round, who is yet to prove himself on the big stage. Federer could face tougher opponents like Karlovic, Coric, Monaco and Robredo before the quarters. The Swiss legend has arguably the toughest draw. He will be required to beat Murray, Nadal and Djokovic in a row to win the title.
Prediction: Murray v/s Federer
Semis predictions: Djokovic v/s Wawrinka, Berdych v/s Federer