Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Australian Open Draw 2017 – Federer To Face Qualifier in Round 1

Hey guys, the Australian Open Draw for 2017 has landed and from Federer's perspective it's as good as it gets. You can see his projected opponents below:

  • Round 1: Jurgen Melzer
  • Round 2: Bjorn Fratangelo / Noah Rubin
  • Round 3: Tomas Berdych
  • Round 4: Kei Nishikori
  • Quarter Final: Andy Murray
  • Semi Final: Stan Wawrinka
  • Final: Novak Djokovic

Full printable PDF Draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Aus Open Draw 2017

Pretty much as expected for Roger who's in uncharted territory with his lowest ever seeding at a Grand Slam. Most of the talk pre-draw was whether he would face Nadal in Round 3, but they're in separate halves, and instead Berdych is his likely third round opponent.

To get there though the Swiss will have to win back to back matches against Qualifiers. Qualifying is still underway, but plenty names in the hat will offer some resistance. But based on what we saw in Perth you can't see him coming unstuck in either of the first two rounds.

The first test would be against Berdych, who has to defeat a Qualifier and probably Mahut to make Round 3. Federer took him apart last year in Melbourne, but 12 months on it's unlikely to be as easy. The Czech isn't playing his best tennis of late but he is still a heavy hitter and has caused Federer plenty problems throughout the years. Should they meet, I think we'll learn plenty about Federer's game, and it could be a good barometer for the rest of the season.

I would pick Federer to win but it'd be in 4 or 5. Like we saw at the Hopman Cup Fed is gifted enough to play at a high level out the blocks, it's just a matter of how he fairs against players who can take the racquet out of your hands as he'll need match toughness to find a way through those encounters.

Round 4 seedings would see him up against Nishikori, the beaten finalist from Brisbane. Kei has made the quarter-finals for the last two years in Melbourne and would be another step up from Berdych. Again this would be a difficult match but if Fed is moving at his best then he usually has too much in the locker for Nishikori who isn't winning many freebies on serve and isn't the best when under the cosh.

After that, it's Murray, Stan and Djokovic as the projected opponents but those matches are a long way off happening. Based on the draw I'm hoping he makes the second week and going further than Round 4 would be a huge added bonus.

Predictions vs. Melzer

Now qualifying is done Federer's opponent is set and it's veteran Jurgen Melzer. An ideal opponent in round 1 really as Federer has a good record against him. There is a loss against the Austrian from 2011 at the Monte Carlo Masters. I remember that match well and Fed was well below par, it was also Melzer's best ever year on tour when he broke into the Top 8. That's 6 years ago though and Melzer is somewhat of a spent force having had a few injuries. Over the last 12 months he's been plying his trade outside the top 300 so I'm picking Fed in straights.

Elsewhere in the Draw

Elsewhere in the draw, Djokovic will face former semi-finalist Fernando Verdasco in round one. Thiem and Dimitrov are also in his quarter, so he has a tough but fairly balanced draw. Nadal has a gentle enough start but could face Alexander Zverev in the third round and then Gael Monfils in the fourth round, so it will be interesting to see how he holds up.

Murray looks like to have a clear path to the Quarters with no real stand out names in his way, so he's an early favourite to make it deep into the second week. Home hope Kyrgios could face off against Stan in the fourth round, and he has a comfortable first three rounds.

Interesting First Round Matches

  • Coric vs Dolgopolov
  • Raonic vs Brown
  • Tomic vs Bellucci
  • Djokovic vs Verdasco
  • Baghdatis vs Youzhny
  • Haas vs Paire

Anyway as for Federer I'm relatively optimistic as 17 is my favourite number 😉 and Sampras won the US Open with that seeding. But what do you guys think of his chances and the draw? And finally what courts do you think he will play on in the opening rounds? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Well, he could have had a worse draw… I think he has a fair chance to get to the QF. I can’t dare dream of more, no matter how I want to believe…

  2. Let’s be honest if we can win the title with that route – Berdych, Nishikori, Murray, Wawrinka, Djokovic – it will cement his GOAT status beyond anything we can imagine!

    Personally think to get the Quarters and put up a fight would be a fantastic result, round 4 good, round 3 ok, anything less would disappoint.

  3. Here we go 🙂 , the first GS of 2017 is here. Thanks Jonathan for your analysis. I agree completely – if nothing is hidden from the media with regard to Roger’s physical condition, Roger should progress to round 4. QF against likely Andy will be a very tough test. A good thing will be that match will be most likely to be in evening. I watched a little Andy’s final against Nole at Doha; they both played exceptionally well. Yet, the weather condition at the AO will be a factor.
    Indeed Milos vs Brown match could be interesting. I bet Milos does not like Dustin to jerk him around like what he did to Rafa at the last Wimbledon 🙂 .
    Allez Roger!

    1. Yeah don’t think there any secrets about his physical condition, looked fine in Perth.

      Brown will prob play some great points, but on this surface Raonic in 3 prob.

  4. A new period for our hero is starting up soon. Nervous? Yes I am! But win or lose we can otherwise watch our favourite tennis again. A new style of outfit – I like it for it’s cheekyness, not least the trousers on the upper Photo. But he has shaved – ah, ok with that!

  5. Will Nishikori still be fit when it comes time to meet Federer? He took a injury timeout att Brisbane and his body is fragile. Anyhow I think Fed can handle his game. Same with Berdych, but he needs to be aggressive and finish points fast against both opponents. The first 2 matches will be good for him to get in the right rhythm. Would love to see Fed make it to meet Murray. When was the last time Murray beat Fed? Back in 2013? Different story now but it seems easier than Novak right now.

  6. Couldnt ask for a better draw at no17 seed. I am hopefully he can go into 2nd week, anything after 3rd will be bonus for me. Jon, hope you lucky no 17 will come through for all of us. I heard he will be playing on monday, my bet on MCA

      1. I stand corrected, AO organisers love him so much that they can’t bear not seeing him on RLA. His matches sells tickets, period.

      2. As I said, Roger’s far too popular not to be put on RLA, even when playing a qualifier. After all, it *is* his first official match “back”.

      3. Just checked, stil plenty of tickets for night session Mon 16th. Quite a surprise, possibly because they are too expensive. 3 categories: $92, $107, $173. Too much for a first round match.

  7. Hey guys, I am calling it…. Roger to win AO 🙂 Well…. someone has to have huge faith in him right, so why not… me?? 🙂 But don’t worry, I bet Roger is taking it one game, one set, one match at the time, so…. so am I 🙂

    I am like seriously the ONLY fan Berdych has on planet Earth, so he knows not to beat the Goat 🙂
    Nishi wil win all his matches by being tired and injured, but ofcourse against Roger he will be a 100%. Still… Roger to beat him.

    Sir Andrew Barron Murray is beatable, no way Roger will want to rally with him all day long.

    Stan is also…. doable….. Rafa will be somewhere there too and… ofcourse then there is Satan… we will talk about him when the time comes…

    So… to winning AO…. with one point, game, set and match at the time 🙂 Go Goat 🙂

    1. Roger will win AO and Katyani is taking one game one set one match at a time… good point!
      Vintage Katyani! 😀

      1. Hey Ankur, I can dream right?? 🙂 Look how far Mahaveerji dreaming got Geeta&Babita 🙂 🙂

        Come on Roger, make it happen 🙂

    2. That’s one big call.
      Sure, everyone is beatable.
      Andrew-still-#1-Murray is beatable.
      Djokotronic is beatable.
      Stan-the-one-that-wins-a-slam-when-he-becomes-alien is beatable.
      Nadal-the-never-changing-coach-player is beatable.
      Berdych-the-one-who-was-never-good-enough-to-be-great-because-choker is beatable
      Nishikori-the-too-much-ninja-trying is beatable.
      Yeah, everyone is beatable.
      Even Federer-the-GOAT-tennis-player-who-has-sadly-aged is beatable…
      What else?
      Oh, Raonic-the-serve-guy-that-still-needs-to-improve-his-overall-game-to-be-a-even-more-solid-player is beatable.

      1. Oh crap, I forgot this one…

      2. Hey Vik, you are absolutely right. Everyone is beatable, even our Roger. I just thought he really looked good against Zverev. The guy is 10 years younger, has played almost all 2016 and still needed 3 TB to beat Roger who came back from a 6 or 7 month injury….. Ofcourse it won’t be easy for Roger and maybe it is not going to happen… but I really like Roger’s fighting spirit and his “I will show you all”-attitude…. So…. believing in him…. lets see how far he gets 🙂

  8. I’m not sure I dare to follow the matches live – my surroundings will suffer greatly from my mindless hysterics, so someone tells me he wins, ok? Then I calmly sit down to enjoy the repeat.

      1. Yeah!!! Full matches on repeat is like watching paint dry. (If you have already seen it on live)

      2. A good story with happy ending IS repeatable – how it came along, the process. Well I can enjoy it, never mind who else cannot.

  9. There are a lot more dark horses now. How about Dimitrov or Raonic? Fed doesn’t necessarily do better with an “easy draw”. Lets see how he goes.

    I like the old AO logo. And those are bloody awful shorts in the 1st photo. H&M like.

    Otherwise, super excited for the start of the “happy slam”.

    1. Dimitrov will either hit,miss or choke
      Raonic will probably go to QF.
      Are these shorts some kind of plan for distracting SABM and ND?

      1. No, he is not. That’s why I find it safe to bet him going to QF. If injury free, the guy can go to SF no probs.

  10. As Sue says, “easy draws” aren’t necessarily the best thing for Roger, and some qualifiers can be tricky, so I’m not going to get any hopes up until the draw is completed.

  11. A fair draw. Round 3 shouldn’t be a problem and quarters will be a bonus! My expectation is quite low, just want him to play into form. He has plenty of chance to pick up points in Feb/Mar.

    ND seems to have a very easy draw again bar the first round. Almost drew the weakest in each category. Hoping Versado and Dimi can do some damage but not holding my breath. Surprisingly, they said Murray is still the slight favourite to win AO after draw..

      1. If AO finals are Murray and Djokovic, I will not watch the final because their matches are a bit boring.
        Just reminded me of 2016 season (already gone!!!) when I watched so much matches, but I missed so much Fed’s creativity.

  12. Not the worst draw being #17 now. Hope he makes it to quarters. Too much to hope for beyond that stage. Will wait until then before starting to dream about Fed winning his 18th 🙂

  13. Gotta take it one match at a time like always these days! Also for those who doubted, Roger is getting prime time RLA night on Monday! Hoping he can make it to the quarters and give Muzz a run for his money. Some good first rounds in the mix, hope the hype lives up to the Djoker/Verdasco one.

  14. Can Jonathan or anyone shed some light on this Melzer guy? Obviously he’s given trouble to Fed before and is a tough match up? Don’t know much about him so any analysis will be appreciated.

    1. I updated my post. Fed never dropped a set before MC loss. Melzer was great in 2010 / 11. Defeated Fed, beat Djoker at French, top 8 finish.

      Nowhere near that level now though, been outside top 300, injuries etc. Doubt he has the legs. Should be a nice start for Fed.

      1. sure? he won qualifying – could have required new old strength (from when he defeated Fed way back)

      1. A good story with happy ending IS repeatable – how it came along, the process. Well I can enjoy it, never mind who else cannot.

  15. Thanks for the draw post, Jonathan. Now Jonathan’s been working hard again, regular commenters have been showed up and our Fed’s been back. It’s nice to have PT blog routine back, really 🙂

  16. Don’t know why Murray is considered the favourite. Djokovic is, in my mind. This court was made for him.

    I’ll rant now. Some of the gear is outrageous. Stan looks awful in that colour and the fit sucks. Everyone will look the same with variations of the same pattern.
    Adidas looks a little better and Nike…well have you seen Dimitrov’s shorts?

  17. Hi guys, long time no see, just been very busy and my tennis-watching appetite hasn’t been what it was with no Federer.

    As for Roger I think he should make 3rd round without too much trouble but unless I see a major improvement in form from him it seems like if he does play Berdych and Nishikori in the 3rd and 4th rounds that those are 50-50 matches, not a done deal at all. Against Murray, assuming he gets there by beating Berdych and Nishikori that means he must be playing fairly well so provided he isn’t too tired I’d give him a 50-50 chance. I won’t talk about semis or finals as that’s too far away and there’s a lot of potential for upsets the deeper we go into the draw.

    Not sure if you guys have seen this, but if you want to enter there’s still enough time to enter the 2017 fantasy tennis before the first round starts tomorrow.

  18. Fed wins AO without breaking serve or losing set.

    Australia puts him on flag and into lyrics of revamped national anthem.

    Murray unable to close mouth for 7 weeks and Novak officially adopts ripping UNIQLO shorts as new post match crowd-love attempt

    Nadal says “he best all time, to me, no??”

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