The main draw for the Australian Open 2005 will be available in a little under three hours time, so let's get this show on the road! Here's hoping for a successful defence of Roger's title at Melbourne Park
Last year, there was certainly some consternation in this forum when the draw was released and we saw his then three nemeses (Hewitt, Henman and Nalbandian) lurking in Roger's quarter. So, what are your hopes and fears for the draw this time around? Who would you like to see him play and who would it be better to avoid?
Here's my picks.
First and second round: a nice and gentle couple of matches would be appreciated. No teenagers please (Nadal, Berdych or Monfils!), no Australians (ok, so Todd Reid wasn't that bad last year after the first 5 games).
Third round: choice of Davydenko/Chela/Srichaphan/Ancic/Dent/Johansson(T)/Melzer/Ferrero
Hmm. Tough one. Normally I'd want him to steer well clear of Ferrero and Ancic. Chela, maybe, but look at him go this week. There's no easy choice here!
Fourth round: choice of Robredo/Grosjean/Youzhny/Haas
Robredo, please. What's the betting Roddick will get him? Just keep away from Haas, we've seen that at the AO before. Painful.
Quarter-final: choice of Moya/Coria/Henman/Agassi (or Nalbandian if Agassi withdraws in time)
The Spaniard would be my preference, but he's playing very well and has reached the final here before. I'd feel nervous if it were Agassi or Nalbandian for Roger's qf match-up again - too dangerous.
Semi-final: choice of Hewitt/Safin
On the basis of TMC and Safin's better record here, then I'd have to choose Hewitt. But look at it this way: whichever one he avoids, Roddick gets