All the qualifying is now complete so now I can post my thoughts on this years Australian Open draw. The first major shock was that Roger and Nadal have been drawn in the same half which hasn't happened for some time.
You can view the draw here: http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/ms/index.html
And view Mondays Schedule here: http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/
All the top 4 have relatively good draws, with Murray's looking the toughest pre tournament. Nadal has it easy and it looks like Berdych is the only one who could cause an upset, however I'm unsure about Nadal's form I think he could potentially lose early.
Djokovic also has a good draw and I believe he will make the final with ease. Many are saying Milos Raonic could be a test, but I disagree, Raonic has a big serve, but Djokovic has way too much on the return and will win 90% of rallies that go over 2/3 shots.
Roger's draw is also very favorable, and I don't think his tournament gets interesting until the 4th round where he will likely play either Dolgopolov, Tomic or Verdasco.
Murray has been drawn against the American hype player Ryan Harrison in the first round – he's meant to have talent but from what I've seen he's just a typical college jock type player. He also may have to get past Monfils and Tsonga. Tsonga is probably going to be the real tester for Murray. We're yet to see if Lendl and Murray make a good team but I have my doubts on it.
The most interesting 1st round match, and probably most anticipated is Verdasco against Tomic. I actually think Verdasco will pull that one out of the bag, but it'll definitely be close and I can see him losing a set 6-0 or something stupid then hitting back.
I am 100 percent again and convinced that I can win this tournament. Five days ago it was different
The good news is that Roger's back problem seems to be out of the way, there still might be a little niggle lingering, but the first few matches look like he can take it relatively easy and manage his body pretty well. I hope it stays that way throughout the tournament, as to take down Djokovic I think Roger must be able to serve at 100% without fear of getting injured.
Roger's 1st round match is on Monday at 19.00 local time, which is at 8.00am my time I think. peRFect time! He's been drawn against a Russian Qualifier – Alexander Kudryavtsev who's ranked at a lowly 172 in the world. A very nice matchup and I expect nothing less than straight sets. 6-2 6-4 6-2.
In terms of overall tournament predictions, I find it hard to look past Djokovic – he's coming into the tournament fresh and will clearly be very motivated. A slow hard court will favour him big time. I believe Murray will flop, Nadal will also struggle and as for Roger I think he will come in slightly under the radar.
My prediction is this: Djokovic will be in the final and if Roger doesn't make the final, then it will be somebody outside the Top 4.