2021 Australian Open Draw Predictions

R1
Barty
Gavrilova
Krejcikova
Alexandrova
Kontaveit
Kr. Pliskova
Rogers
Martic
Bencic
Kuznetsova
Osuigwe
Mertens
Muchova
Barthel
Collins
Ka. Pliskova

Kenin
Kanepi
Podoroska
Y. Wang
Brady
Brengle
Sherif
Juvan
Azarenka
Aiava
Hibino
Sakkari
Putintseva
Burel
Gauff
Bouzkova

Andreescu
Pironkova
V. Williams
Errani
Vondrousova
Marino
Cirstea
Kvitova
Muguruza
Badosa Gibert
Zidansek
Kerber
Jabeur
Hibi
Garcia
Osaka

Sabalenka
Kasatkina
Cornet
Li
Potapova
Babos
Begu
S. Williams
Swiatek
Giorgi
Ferro
Rybakina
Kostyuk
Blinkova
Tomljanovic
Halep

R2
Barty
Alexandrova
Kontaveit
Rogers
Kuznetsova
Mertens
Muchova
Collins

Kenin
Podoroska
Brady
Juvan
Azarenka
Sakkari
Putintseva
Bouzkova

Pironkova
V. Williams
Vondrousova
Kvitova
Muguruza
Kerber
Jabeur
Osaka

Sabalenka
Li
Potapova
S. Williams
Swiatek
Rybakina
Kostyuk
Halep

R3
Barty
Rogers
Mertens
Collins
Kenin
Brady
Azarenka
Bouzkova

Pironkova
Kvitova
Muguruza
Osaka
Sabalenka
S. Williams
Rybakina
Halep

R4
Barty
Collins
Brady
Azarenka
Kvitova
Osaka
S. Williams
Halep

QF
Barty
Azarenka
Osaka
S. Williams

SF
Barty
Osaka

F
Osaka

Thoughts

From the top half, Barty has a favourable draw on paper. I thought she would have some rust having not played for a year but she has looked sharp. I’m convinced by her level so far, even more so after a superb win over an in-form Muguruza in the final of the Yarra Valley Classic. Barty’s point construction was absolutely sensational. I’m high on Collins who is perhaps a surprise quarter-finalist in my draw? She has history in Oz and I thought she looked great last week.

There’s always a match that I deliberate over and over with and this time it’s the potential Azarenka-Sakkari third rounder. I think the winner makes the semis. I really want to go for Sakkari because I feel she’s due a big breakthrough and where better with the support she gets in Melbs. There’s very few data points on Azarenka so far this year. If it were to happen, I think the match-up will simply favour Azarenka.

I’ve gone for Osaka as my champ. I think the tough draw is not necessarily a bad thing for Osaka. She’ll have to be on her game from the first ball and I tend to think she’ll rise to the challenge. The potential Osaka-Muguruza R4 clash was another deliberation point. I guess I still have my reservations about Muguruza’s mentality after some of her losses over the past year. Serena looked great in the Yarra Valley Classic and I think she’ll make it to latter stages. Still unsure if she can deliver the level required over the seven matches with the depth of the field right now.

I thought the short lead-up time to the AO and unknowns about preparation would be a breeding ground for upsets and general mayhem. I was surprised how the warm up tournaments panned out. I’ve been put off recently by players who win tournaments prior to Slams. This one is different, similar to the US in the fact that they’ve been playing on the same courts, conditions etc. Nothing bold about my predicted final which is Barty-Osaka. I can’t see who knocks out Barty from the top half and I think Osaka’s best over the past year has been THE best. Her mentality and composure in big matches, big moments, is unrivalled right now.

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