2022 Australian Open Draw Preview

January 2022

The Djokovic Saga is finally over. This unnecessary mess completely shifted the focus of a slam event, the one that used to be known as a “happy slam”. As the final decision was made after the schedule was released, the spot of Djokovic will be filled by a Lucky Loser instead of Andrey Rublev. I had hoped Rublev to be able to fill that spot because that bracket is a cake-draw. Now Caruso has taken up the spot as the no.1 seed of the tournament. The Djokovic bracket is wide open. 
Caruso v Kecmanovic Kukuskin v Paul
Otte v Tseng <- ! Querrey v Sonego (25)
Monfils (17) v Coria Bublik v Escobedo
Delbonis v Martinez Bagnis v Garin (16)
Tseng from Taiwan has received a wild card and if he can take on this chance to at least get at least one victory, it’s already a win - financially and ranking-wise! Other than that, only speaking of “form”, only Monfils is riding on the wave? One of these 16 will make the quarter-final, what a great opportunity for all of them. But again, Caruso is the luckiest lucky loser. This will be marked in the history book as it will probably be his only appearance with the number 1 seed bracket next to his name in a slam, although contextually it is not what it is supposed to represent. Anyways, the 2022 Australian Open will go down in history as an event that had a lot of happenings.
"Berrettini" Bracket
Norrie (12) v Korda Moutet v Pouille
Griekspoor v Fognini Etcheverry v Carreno Busta (19)
Alcaraz (31) v Tabilo Fucsovics v Lajovic
Kozlov v Vesley Nakashima v Berrettini (7) <- !!
The Berrettini bracket. Nakashima v Berrettini will be one of the popcorn R1 matches, and Nakashima can take it all, but it depends. After all, it is Nakashima’s debut in AO main draw, anything can happen. Will this be the slam that Alcaraz decides to shine to the world? 
"Zverev" Bracket
Zverev (3) v Altmaier Lopez v Millman
Albot v Nishioka Vukic v Harris
Opelka (23) v Anderson Koepfer v Taberner
Rune v Kwon Djere v Shapovalov (14)
I hope Shapovalov can sustain his ATP cup energy because his game is quite beautiful if he plays amazing. And finger-cross for Nishioka to get past R1. 
"Rafa" Bracket
Hurkacz (10) v Gerasimov Duckworth v Mannarino
Milojevic v Mcdonald Munar v Karatsev (18)
Khachanov (28) v Kudla Bonzi v Gojowczyk
Hanfmann v Kokkinakis Giron v Nadal (6)
The Rafa bracket is over-loaded. R3 for a potential Hurkacz v Karatsev? I did not see Rafa’s any pre-AO match this year but he won a 250, at least he can still play. 
"Ruud" Bracket
Ruud (8) v Molcan Ivashka v Andujar
Seppi v Majchrzak Musetti v De Minaur (32) <- "! :O"
Basilashivili (21) v Murray Daniel v Barrios Vera
Johnson v Thompson Sousa v Sinner (11)
I did not realise Ruud is now seeded 8th. The last acknowledgement was that he won a series of 250s while everyone is playing the Olympics. And boom - Top 10. Anyways, I think Sinner is going to outshine, but I hope Murray can keep up. You can tell how much his level has stepped back up from the last few tournaments since last year, but his draw luck needs serious improvement this year, otherwise, his ranking won’t go up to get him out of this WC/low rank vs seed in R1’s unfortunate loop.
"Tsitsipas Bracket"
Bautista Agut (15) v Travaglia Kohlschreiber v Cecchinato
Tiafoe v Trungelliti Marterer v Fritz (30)
Dimitrov (26) v Lehecka Paire v Monteiro
Baez v Ramos-Vinolas Ymer v Tsitsipas (4)
Hard-core rooting for RBA/Tiafoe - but logically, Tsitsipas is not going to lose.
"Rublev" bracket
Rublev (5) v Mager Carballes Baena v Berankis
Skatov v Gombos Gomez v Cilic (27)
Evans (24) v Goffin Popyrin v Rinderknech
Davidovich Fokina v Bolt Ruusuvuori v Auger-Aliassime (9)
I think it is a great draw for Rublev? At least in this quarter bracket. Beyond that maybe not. Although FAA did win ATP Cup with Shapovalov earlier, the horrific match vs Medvedev reminded me of how unprepared he is mentally to switch gears if things aren’t working.
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