The lord of the draw did top seed Rafael Nadal no favours this year as the tour’s hottest player will have to work his way through a “loaded top half” to reach the finals. With heavyweights Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray and Roger Federer and others dotting the top bracket landscape, Rafa will have earned the finals if he can survive.
He’ll start with homegrown Bernard Tomic, the rockstar of a number of emerging Australian men and women tennis phenoms. After having surpassed expectations and reaching the finals in Sydney last week, the Australian is on his home turf and is certainly not the first round slouch top seeds normally face. Tomic will also have a raucous crowd supporting him. The match has been a social media buzz since the draw was released.
Bernard has been ranked as high as 27 on the tour. He reached the 4th round in 2012 and has won 72 tour matches. He has a big game and is extremely athletic.
With 663 tour wins and 13 Grand Slam Championships under his belt, Nadal is the tournament favourite because of his tenacious style and near perfect execution. However, with Nadal, who has only one Australian Open on his resume, health is always an issue. Tomic will be looking to keep last year’s runnerup on the court as long as possible.
Look for an exciting Day Two night match with Nadal overcoming the hometown favourite in a tough contest.