Photo: Ben Solomon
I've broken out my reading glasses, and after analyzing the draw for about an hour, here are my predictions for the Men:
First let's look at the top half of the draw where we find Rafael Nadal, Robin Soderling, Andy Murray and David Ferrer.
1. Rafa: He has a fairly easy cruise to the semi-finals as long as he can make it past a potential third round match with fellow countryman Feliciano Lopez or John Isner. He could also potentially meet Ferrer, Nalbandian or Llodra in the quarter-finals. I anticipate that he will win all of these matches, but it will be tough, and then he will meet either Soderling or Murray in the semi-finals.
2. Soderling: I anticipate he will also make it to the semi-finals, but he will have to get past Tsonga in the 4th round which should be a great match, and then Murray in the quarter-finals.
3. Murray: Unfortunately for Murray, I think his road will end when he meets Soderling in the quarter-finals. His road up till that point should be smooth sailing. Potential bumps: a run-in with either Melzer or Baghdatis in the 4th round.
4. Ferrer: I think he will make it to the 3rd round safely were he will have his first test against the winner of the Nalbandian/Hewitt match in the 1st round. (Ouch) In the 4th round will have to battle the winner of Llodra/Youzhny, and then if he makes it to the quarter-finals, he will play Rafa.
My predictions: Rafa vs Ferrer and Soderling vs Murray in the quarter-finals with Rafa and Soderling progressing and Soderling going all the wall to the finals.
Now, let's take a peek at the bottom half of the draw, where we have Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick.
1. Federer: To get the the semi-finals he has to overcome 2 fairly large American roadblocks, Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick He would meet Fish in the 4th round and Roddick in the quarter-finals. I think there is definitely a potential for upset if he meets an in-form Fish, and if he makes it past Fish, then he will have a tough match against either Roddick, Monfils or Wawrinka in the quater-finals. His potential semi-final match up would be Novak Djokovic.
2. Djokovic: I think he has the easiest route to the semi-finals. Road blocks? Nicolas Almagro in the 4th round, and in the quarter-finals he could meet Gasquet, Davydenko, Berdych or Verdasco. His potential semi-final match-up would be Federer.
3. Berdych: I honestly have no idea how Berdych will factor in his 1/2 of the draw. His 2nd round match-up would be with Kohlschreiber, 3rd round against Gasquet, and 4th found against Davydenko. If he can make it past them, he will fall to Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
4. Roddick: I really want Roddick to make a run at least to the quater-finals. His first test will be against Juan Monaco in the 3rd round, then he will have a monster match against either Gael Monfils or Stanislas Wawrinka in the 4th round. He will then meet Federer in the quarter-finals. I would LOVE for Roddick to beat Federer, but if history tells us anything, this is where his AO bid will fail.
My predictions: Davydenko vs Djokovic and Roddick vs Roger in the quarter-finals, with Djokovic and Roger progressing and Djokovic making it to the finals.
So there you have it: Novak Djokovic vs Robin Soderling in the finals with Soderling living up to his name "Giant Killer" and winning his first Slam. What do you think?