Australian Open 2017 – Britwatch Predictions Challenge Cup!

By Britwatch Team

  • The Britwatch Tennis team fight for their tennis honour
  • Special Guests: Giulio Gasparin, Victoria Chiesa, Lee Stanley, Chris Oddo
  • Who will win the ultimate Britwatch bragging rights?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The timezones are at war as the Britwatch Tennis Team and some of our most revered tennis writing chums battle it out for the Britwatch Predictions Challenge Cup!

 

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ATP WTA
Champion Dark Horse Shocker Champions Dark Horse Shocker Brits

Ros (3)

Murray Zverev Nadal Pliskova Kasatkina Halep Murray: W

Edmund: 3

Evans: 2

Bedene: 2

Konta: QF

Watson: 2

Broady: 1

Giulio (1)

Murray Zverev Monfils Pliskova Svitolina Serena Murray: W

Edmund: 3

Evans: 2

Bedene: 2

Konta: SF

Watson: 1

Broady: 1

Victoria (2)

Murray Sock Raonic Serena Svitolina Halep Murray: W

Edmund: 3

Evans: 2

Bedene: 2

Konta: QF

Watson: 3

Broady: 1

Lee

Murray Evans Raonic Serena Rogers Konta Murray: W

Edmund: 3

Evans: QF

Bedene: 2

Konta: 2

Watson: 1

Broady: 3

Chris (2)

Djokovic Zverev Monfils Radwanska Cirstea Cibulkova Murray: F

Edmund: 3

Evans: 2

Bedene: 1

Konta: SF

Watson: 3

Broady: 1

Britwatch Tennis Team

Jake (3)

Djokovic Kyrgios Ferrer Pliskova Svitolina Suárez Navarro Murray: F

Edmund: 3

Evans: 2

Bedene: 2

Konta: 2

Watson: 2

Broady: 1

Ros Satar – Co-Founder & Chief Tennis Scribe, Britwatch Sports

ATP

It surely has to be Andy Murray’s moment. The momentum has been solid with the knighted one since the back end of the year. Oh but he lost in Doha, I hear you cry – he did but he made the defending champion Novak Djokovic work for it. I see Alexander Zverev knocking Rafael Nadal’s comeback in its tracks (and as he is ranked higher than Roger Federer he was my pick for shock exit.

 

WTA

As much as I would love to see either Serena Williams get Slam #23 or Angelique Kerber get her first Slam defence under her belt – I would not be surprised to see Karolina Pliskova lift the crown. As much as Simona Halep has talked the talk, she is also a little undercooked for me as well as Serena and I think she will leave early for the beach. Let’s just see what Daria Kasatkina can really do.

 

Brits

Murray goes without saying, but I think if Serena survives the Belinda Bencic opener, she will be the one to halt Johanna Konta at the quarter-final stage.

 

Giulio Gasparin – Tennis Writer, SportFace.it

ATP

As it is often the case with ATP, it feels like there is little difference when you predict who is going to do deep in slams time after time. It feels very hard to predict any final that won’t feature the world’s best two, so I won’t do it, but despite their last meeting, I give the edge to the world number one. My pick for early loss would have been Nadal, but I play for points, so I picked Zverev as my dark horse (seed on the way of the Spaniard) and took Gael Monfils for the early loss, as his draw is far from easy and the high seed would require him to reach at least the QF.

 

WTA

With a couple big names out for various and different reasons, and many top names looking far from their best days, it feels like a free for all slam on the women’s side. The only one who looked very strong and has a very favourable draw is Karolina Pliskova. The Czech has already played a competitive first slam final and this time her arm won’t shake if there will be a chance to grab the title. Another girl in good shape looks to be Elina Svitolina and the Ukrainian could go deep if she keeps her consistency up and serves a high percentage of first serves. My shock exit would be a shocker, but Serena’s draw isn’t easy from first to last round and every girl wants to beat her and many know to stand a chance.

 

Brits

It looks like it could be a very good fortnight for Team GB and not only thanks to Murray and Konta (who are big favourites to go deep and even contend for the title). On the men’s side, all the Brits have winnable first rounds and Edmunds could even go one step further and dream of a night session against the World No. 2.

 

Victoria Chiesa – The Tennis Island

ATP

It’s going to take a big effort for anyone who isn’t Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic to stop the world’s two best players from making the final at what is each’s most successful major. While that might be a strange sentence to read about Murray — yes, the five-time runner-up Murray — he’s never has much difficulty in going deep here. His new status as the world’s best, however, might just be the extra little something he needs to get himself over the line in Melbourne.

 

WTA

I’m pretty excited about this WTA draw as its one of the most wide-opened and balanced ones we’ve had at a major in quite a while. Nonetheless, I think we’ll be singing a familiar song by the end of the fortnight — one that involves Serena Williams winning it all. The thing about the World No. 2 is this: the tougher the early draw, the better she plays. Her opponents in the first two rounds will force her to be dialled in right from first ball, which will only help her later in the tournament. When that happens, she’s usually the one lifting the trophy.

 

Brits

Not only have the Brits been in banner form of late, they gotten some help from the draw gods this fortnight. Outside of Murray and Konta, the entire squad has to like their chances of winning a match — or more. While Heather Watson might be 0-2 against Aussie favourite Samantha Stosur (No. 18 seed), the greatest equaliser in this matchup is the name at the back of the court. Stosur’s never had the best success in her home slam, having last made the fourth round in 2010, so Watson could spring the on-paper upset and fill Stosur’s projected third round.

 

Chris Oddo – Tennis Writer, Tennis Now

ATP

If there was ever a place for Novak Djokovic to take the power back from Andy Murray it would have to be Melbourne, Novak’s home away from home, the courts where he does his most diabolical work against all comers. This is by no means an easy pick to make. Things could turn out very strangely in Melbourne this year. But I felt that Novak has claimed enough confidence with his title in Doha to parlay it into one more title at the Australian Open. I do believe that this will be the last chance for either Novak or Andy to win multiple majors in a season and I think Novak gets the leg up—like he always seems to do—in Melbourne in two week’s time.

 

WTA

Gosh darnit Agnieszka Radwanska is good enough! And if there’s one theme I’ve sensed since the season began it is that it really feels like there is no longer a dominant force in women’s tennis anymore. That could very well change if Karolina Pliskova emerges as a consistent power broker on tour or if Garbiñe Muguruza re-emerges as a dominant force that can also be consistent with that domination. Serena Williams can be a dominant force as well, but not for much longer as gravity will take its toll on her like it does on all great champions.

 

So why not Aga in Melbourne? There are a million reasons, just like there were a million reasons why Marion Bartoli would never get another chance at Wimbledon after she lost to Venus and another million reasons why the best Francesca Schiavone would ever do at a major is make the second week—until 2010 happened. My point? Stuff happens people! And my pick is a pick for stuff happening to Agnieszka Radwanska.

 

Lee Stanley – UKTennisTV

ATP

The 2017 Australian Open is all about Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic, and nothing else really matters on the men’s draw. Unless Djokovic’s inevitable midweek wobble is big enough to lose himself a match, I expect to see both in the final, where Murray just edges a much overdue win.

 

WTA

The women’s draw is less predictable and therefore more exciting. My gut instinct is Serena Williams, because no matter which Serena turns up on any given day, she’s still Serena. But don’t rule out any of the top 16 making the final; it’s a very competitive field.

 

Brits

Johanna Konta probably has the toughest draw of the top 16 and she may be fatigued from Sydney. She’s at least got some rest unlike Evans who has just a day between his final in Sydney and first match in Melbourne. Will Dan meet Wawrinka again, and get past him this time? Kyle Edmund’s path surely ends at Djokovic’s door. Naomi Broady is playing well but not quite at second week slam level, and sadly I think Heather Watson’s tennis is past its peak now. It’s a shame Laura Robson didn’t make it through qualifying.

 

The Australian Open takes place between 16 – 29 January.

 

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