Ugh, made a long thesis about my thoughts about Stan's draw, but then it disappeared, argh!
Anyway, let's see the draw (bold are those who I think have the best chance of meeting him):
R1: vs. Tursunov
(H2H 1-1) - Back after injury I think he currently is the easiest first round among top seeds.
R2: vs. [Qualifier]
- Not seen the qualies so I can't say who is a potential threat, but again he faces a non-Top 100 player I think.
R3: vs. Sock
(H2H 0-0) or Rosol - Here is where it gets interesting -- we start the Draw of Doom with Stan facing an Auckland finalist (and potentially winner) but I think he is able to handle it. Rosol lost in Chennai against Paire. Both are dangerous if are in form but I feel Stan could be consistent against them. Hope for a good shotmaking contest!
R4: vs. Raonic
(H2H 4-0) or Troicki (H2H 4-0) - Raonic won Brisbane against Fed so has the confidence I think to want to get back into the Top 10. Of course the question is if he's fully healthy as he had some injury issues last year and in off-season. Meanwhile Troicki is a Sydney finalist that pushed Stan close in Paris. Honorable mention to Robredo who may sneak in if Raonic (who he has a bad record against) may be upsetted.
QF: vs. Nadal
(H2H 3-14) or vs. Anderson (H2H 4-4) - I know Nadal was dominated by Djokovic but the matchup still is a struggle for Stan at times and really needed to focus fully to get the wins. Nadal surely wants to avenge his AO 2014 Final loss but he seems to be struggling a bit in the early rounds of Doha. Stan has to be in tip top shape IMO and hopefully that is enough for a non-5 Setter win. Anderson meanwhile as we know troubles Wawrinka's game but is said to be injured so I wonder again if he's going to be healthy -- I actually think he has a chance to win against Nadal.
SF: vs. Murray
(H2H 7-8) - Andy is so consistent that I think he's a great favorite for the SF. Stan had not lost a Set against Andy since 2013, but some are saying that external factors lead to his easy wins (e.g. back surgery, Davis Cup) so I hope he proves them wrong again. That being said I hope that whoever wins here won't exhaust themselves. Must be prepared against Djokovic!
F: vs. Djokovic
or vs. Federer - As we know Djokovic is the man to beat, but of course we know Stan is capable of doing. He won in Doha, and did it in a dominant fashion (except one hiccup in the QF). He seems to be facing Fed earlier than usual but he has proven his resilience on Slams against him. I think Fed though has better chances of beating Djokovic in a semifinal than a final and I actually think Fed would be more of a bother against Stan than Djokovic will.