Australian Open 2020 Pre-Tournament Winner Predictions – Tennis Column #35

Australian Open 2020 starts on Monday, 20th January. The opening Grand Slam tournament of the season is the event where all players are rested, full of ambitions and hope. And so we, fans, are too. It becomes a tradition for us to make two different predictions every season. One is pretty hard as we try to predict all season in advance. Our Bold Tennis Predictions 2020 article was published before the season started.

The more in future the look, the more blinded view we get. And therefore we are doing also single event predictions. We start with the Australian Open and below you will find our pre-tournament predictions with all the reasoning.

Australian Open 2020 Men’s Singles draw

Australian Open 2019 winner: Djokovic
Our pre-season Australian Open 2020 Winner pick: Djokovic
Readers poll: (as of 01/13/2020) Djokovic 33%. Nadal 31%, Federer 14%

This season seems to start really quickly. Thanks to inaugural ATP CUP we saw just three ATP tournaments (one last week and two this week) and I feel like we jump into the Grand Slam without real preparation. To make a reasonable winner pick we need to split players into the few groups according to what we see in the first three weeks of the season.

Players with excellent performance

We will start with the current number one in the ranking. Rafael Nadal had a great December with the win in the Abu Dhabi exhibition. He started January very well too, but the last days of the ATP Cup showed some signs of troubles. Two losses in three days, both in two sets give us a slight hint that not everything is o.k. in Nadal’s world. Djokovic and Goffin are great players and there is no shame to lose with them. What bothers me more is the way how he lost and the fact that he was not playing the decisive doubles in the final against Serbia. What is the reason for skipping the most important match of all ATP Cup? Injury?

Novak Djokovic was very slow during December, but January shows he is better every coming day. He beat Shapovalov, Medvedev, and Nadal three days in a row and that is excellent performance for start of the season. Novak Djokovic was always master of form-timing and I believe we will see the best of him again in Melbourne.

Players with excellent performance but with some issues too

I have no doubt about two stars of the next decade. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are looking better than last season (and they were pretty good already). We are probably very close to see at least one of them winning the Grand Slam. But it will happen at the time when they will be mentally ready. And as we saw during the ATP Cup they still need time to avoid bad “bursts”.

Players we did not see at all

Roger Federer can not be excluded from any talk about the Australian Open winner. He did not play any competitive match this season so guessing his form is really just a guess. He will be definitely well rested and well prepared as every season. But will it be enough to win two weeks long tournament? A lot will depend on his draw. The first two rounds will serve as match practice for him to get rid of the rust and calibrating on the match level. Easy opponents at the start mean he can go really far in a draw and everything will be possible.

Players we need to mention

I would like to pick up two names. Roberto Bautista-Agut was unbelievable as number two in Spain team. Yes, he faced a respective number twos in every team, but his play was stellar with almost no weakness. He can go far in the Australian Open and I think we will see him in the second week of the tournament.

Andrey Rublev won the first ATP tournament in Shenzhen and I like his game very much. I guess at the end of the season he will be mentioned in the same paragraph as Tsitsipas and Medvedev.

My Winner Pick:

You probably have feeling who I will pick. I rate Novak Djokovic over Rafael Nadal and also above Tsitsipas and Medvedev. The only unknown factor is Roger Federer and his state of mind and fitness. I will risk it and stick to my pre-season prediction and pick Novak Djokovic as the winner of the Australian Open 2020.

Australian Open 2020 Ladies Singles draw

Australian Open 2019 winner: Osaka
Our pre-season Australian Open 2020 Winner pick: Pliskova Karolina
Readers poll: (as of 01/13/2020) 21% Osaka, 18% Andreescu, 18% Serena Williams

Ladies do not have team event so we saw three WTA tournaments last week with almost all interesting players.  This week another two tournaments are played with the strong field again. With all respect to guidelines we set above in the Men part, we will do the same “split into the groups” exercise.

Players with excellent performance

Karolina Pliskova and Serena Williams won their opening tournaments of the season and that makes them the biggest favorites right now. Pliskova probably faced better opponents than Serena but I would not try to depreciate Serena win in any way. However, I have a feeling that two weeks Grand Slam can be too long for 38 years old player.

I would not discount the chances of Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka. Petra and Naomi had very good moments during their matches in Brisbane and I believe, they will be even better prepared next Monday.

Players with excellent performance and with some issues too

Ashleigh Barty is reining number one and playing at home. And that can be too much to bear. The pressure on her will be immense from day one of the Australian Open. And we saw she can crack under the pressure (reference: 1st round in Brisbane).

Players we did not see at all

I did not see Simone Halep yet as she starts her season today. Hard to guess how good she is at the moment.

Players we need to mention

All winners of tournaments this season need to be mentioned here. We already put Pliskova and Williams in the most prominent group of players, so just Ekaterina Alexandrova left here at the moment. There will be another two names after this week but I would not pick them as Australian Open winners. I do believe in the importance of rest and therefore I do not think it is a good idea to play serious tournament week preceding the start of the Grand Slam tournament.

Our Winner Pick:

WTA tournaments are always hard to predict. The group of potential winners is too wide and there is always a chance for a big surprise. This time I would oppose the opinion of our readers. I would put 35% on Pliskova, 25% on Osaka, 15% Kvitova and Barty and 10% on Serena Williams. I think that Karolina Pliskova made it most clear that she will do everything (coach change every season) to win Grand Slam finally. And I pick her – Pliskova Karolina as the winner of the Australian Open 2020.

Summary

I just stick with the idea I got when writing pre-season predictions. Nothing so special happened during the first weeks of January that would force me to change my mind. I believe in Novak Djokovic and Karolina Pliskova in Melbourne.

For our daily tennis tips and predictions feel free to follow us here.

Tennis Only Tips Historical Stats Overview as of 01/13/2020

 

Posted in BLOG, Predictions, Quizzes & Predictions, Tennis Column and tagged , .

Tennis Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of TennisProGuru.com from 2015. He is an avid tennis player from age of 5, however, he never reached the pro level. Still, he likes playing tennis on different courts, with different rackets, and against different opponents. In his free time, you can find him watching all possible tennis matches he can find on the web or tv. Challenger or Grand Slam? It does not matter, just tennis matters.

He currently plays with:
Racket: Wilson Clash 100
Strings: Babolat RPM Blast
Grip: Head Xtreme Soft
Shoes: Asics Gel-Game 5 Clay (for clay courts), Lotto Court (for hard courts)
Balls: Dunlop Fort All Courts and Head Championship

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