vendredi 15 janvier 2016

Australian Open 2016 Draw Results: Full List of Seedings and Brackets

Australian Open 2016 Draw Results: Full List of Seedings and Brackets

Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.
Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Ahead of Friday's main draw, all 32 seeds have been announced for the men's and women's sides at the 2016 Australian Open.   
To the surprise of no one, defending Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams will be the top seeds. That duo has a lot to live up to after they both won three major titles last year, but they've been playing at a level far beyond anyone else that they will handle the pressure just fine. 
Here's the full list of seedings for this year's Australian Open that begins on Jan. 18:
2016 Australian Open Seeds Novak Djokovic 1 Serena Williams Andy Murray 2 Simona Halep Roger Federer 3 Garbine Muguruza Stan Wawrinka 4 Agnieszka Radwanska Rafael Nadal 5 Maria Sharapova Tomas Berdych 6 Petra Kvitova Kei Nishikori 7 Angelique Kerber David Ferrer 8 Venus Williams Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 9 Karolina Pliskova John Isner 10 Carla Suarez Navarro Kevin Anderson 11 Timea Bacsinszky Marin Cilic 12 Belinda Bencic Milos Raonic 13 Roberta Vinci Gilles Simon 14 Victoria Azarenka David Goffin 15 Madison Keys Bernard Tomic 16 Caroline Wozniacki Benoit Paire 17 Sara Errani Feliciano Lopez 18 Elina Svitolina Dominic Thiem 19 Jelena Jankovic Fabio Fognini 20 Ana Ivanovic Viktor Troicki 21 Ekaterina Makarova Ivo Karlovic 22 Andrea Petkovic Gael Monfils 23 Svetlana Kuznetsova Roberto Bautista Agut 24 Sloane Stephens Jack Sock 25 Samantha Stosur Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Grigor Dimitrov 27 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova Andreas Seppi 28 Kristina Mladenovic Nick Kyrgios 29 Irina-Camelia Begu Jeremy Chardy 30 Sabine Lisicki Steve Johnson 31 Lesia Tsurenko Joao Sousa 32 Caroline Garcia
Source: AusOpen.com

The 2016 Australian Open has not even started, yet there are a litany of health problems on the women's side that could greatly open up the field. 
According to Agence France-Presse (via Yahoo Sports), the list of key women's players who have been hindered leading up to tennis' first major is a murderers' row group of players who would normally be among the list of favorites. 
World number one Serena Williams is chief among the injury concerns after she pulled out of the Hopman Cup exhibition tournament with a sore knee. But the 21-time Grand Slam-winner is not alone, with only her sister Venus and Flavia Pennetta -- who has retired -- unscathed among the women's top 10. Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Sharapova have all pulled out of build-up tournaments because of injury concerns.
The report also mentioned that Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber have been fighting gastroenteritis. Lucie Safarova has withdrawn from the Australian Open with a bacterial infection. 
It's unclear how much injuries to these players were the result of actual problems and how much they felt a twinge and wanted to make sure everything would be fine by the time the biggest major arrived. 
If things do work out according to seeds, the quarterfinals will look like this, per the Australian Open:
Sharapova vs. Williams is the headliner in that group, though that's been one of the most lopsided "rivalries" in sports, with Williams holding an 18-2 edge that includes 17 straight victories. 
Williams did end last year on the shelf with injuries, withdrawing from her final two tournaments, so she will be under the microscope. The world's top-ranked player did say leading up to the event she was feeling good, per the Herald Sun (via Adam Smith of the Daily Mail).
"My body is feeling great now, obviously I had a hiccup but right now it is doing much better. I've had a few days of training so it's looking good," Williams said.
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times did include Williams in his list of winners coming out of the draw:
As long as Williams is standing, she will be the favorite to win. But there's a lot more depth on the women's side than there has been in a long time, so this could be the year for Simona Halep to get her first major victory or for Garbine Muguruza to advance to her first Australian Open final. 
Men's Draw
The never-ending question in men's tennis is, when does Roger Federer's decline start? He's going to play most of this year at age 34, which is young by normal standards but ancient in the tennis world. 
Federer has been usurped by Djokovic in the rankings, but he's also gone three full seasons without winning a major. He's come close many times, losing three finals since 2014, but the fastball has lost a couple of miles per hour. 
While no one is specifically writing Federer's tennis eulogy heading into the Australian Open, there is more of talk around him that the end is coming. 
Here's what former player Younes El Aynaoui told ATP's YouTube channel (via Gatto Luigi of Tennis World USA) about Federer's career and future.
"For the way he plays he is near to do it, he is not far away," El Aynaoui said. " I hope we will see him playing for a few more years, it's amazing the way he hits the ball."
It's certainly a compliment to have players, both past and present, praise the job you've done, but it does sound like the expectation is Federer's end will come sooner than later. 
Last year's Australian Open was Federer's worst run in a Grand Slam tournament since 2013. He was knocked out in the third round by Andreas Seppi in four sets. He responded with a quarterfinal run in the French Open and a runner-up finish at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. 
Federer is set up to make a deep run, as ESPN Tennis points out he would have the second-easiest quarterfinal matchup if seeds hold:
Unfortunately, Djokovic would be waiting for Federer in the semifinals if things work out in the quarterfinals for the higher seeds. 
Things don't look easier for Rafael Nadal in his quest for a strong comeback season, with freelance sports writer Simon Cambers noting Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray are on the bottom half of the bracket with him. 
Depth isn't a strength for men's tennis right now. Djokovic is the best in the world by far. Murray had a terrific bounce-back season in 2015, reaching the semifinals in three majors. Wawrinka, who is seeded behind Federer in this tournament, is arguably the second-best men's player in the world and was the only person to defeat Djokovic in a major last year. 
Federer has proved he can withstand almost any challenge thrown in front of him. Time is the one thing no athlete can outrun. He's going to slow down at some point, but this year's Australian Open will provide the best evidence yet of how much is left in the tank. 

In his 20th consecutive and final Australian Open appearance, Hewitt will take on fellow Australian James Duckworth.
No. 2 seed Andy Murray takes on emerging German Alexander Zverev, with David Ferrer in the Brit's quarter.
Awaiting Roger Federer in the first round is Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Rafael Nadal faces a fellow Spaniard to start his campaign, taking on Fernando Verdasco — a player he has beaten on 15 of 17 occasions.
In Nadal's quarter is Stan Wawrinka, who opens against Dmitry Tursunov.

Notable first-round matches:
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Chung Hyeon
Andy Murray (2) vs. Alexander Zverev
Roger Federer (3) vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili
Stan Wawrinka (4) vs. Dmitry Tursunov
Rafael Nadal (5) vs. Fernando Verdasco
Tomas Berdych (6) vs. Yuki Bhambri
Lleyton Hewitt vs. James Duckworth
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (9) vs. Marcos Baghdatis
Kei Nishikori (7) vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber


In his 20th consecutive and final Australian Open appearance, Hewitt will take on fellow Australian James Duckworth.
No. 2 seed Andy Murray takes on emerging German Alexander Zverev, with David Ferrer in the Brit's quarter.
Awaiting Roger Federer in the first round is Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Rafael Nadal faces a fellow Spaniard to start his campaign, taking on Fernando Verdasco — a player he has beaten on 15 of 17 occasions.
In Nadal's quarter is Stan Wawrinka, who opens against Dmitry Tursunov.

Australia was thrown a curveball as Lleyton Hewitt, playing the final tournament of his career, drew fellow Aussie James Duckworth in the first round. Hewitt is making a record-extending 20th appearance at the Australian Open and will take on his country’s Davis Cup captaincy upon his retirement.
Should Hewitt get past Duckworth, he could face eighth-seeded Ferrer.
There are two seeded Aussies in the draw with Nick Kyrgios (No.29), who opens against Pablo Carreno Busta, landing in Tomas Berdych’s section and Federer’s quarter, while 16th-seeded Bernard Tomic is a potential dangerous fourth round opponent for Murray.
Federer has a possible daunting third round in his path against No.27 seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Men’s projected quarter-finals
Top half
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) v Kei Nishikori (JPN x7)
Roger Federer (SUI x3) v Tomas Berdych (CZE x6)
Bottom half
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x4) v Rafael Nadal (ESP x5)
Andy Murray (GBR x2) v David Ferrer (ESP x8)

Women’s projected quarter-finals
Top half
Serena Williams (USA x1) v Maria Sharapova (RUS x5)
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x4) v Petra Kvitova (CZE x6)
Bottom half
Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) v Angelique Kerber (GER x7)
Simona Halep (ROU x2) v Venus Williams (USA x8)

Notable first rounds
Men’s singles
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Chung Hyeon
Andy Murray (2) vs. Alexander Zverev
Roger Federer (3) vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili
Stan Wawrinka (4) vs. Dmitry Tursunov
Rafael Nadal (5) vs. Fernando Verdasco
Tomas Berdych (6) vs. Yuki Bhambri
Kei Nishikori (7) vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (9) vs. Marcos Baghdatis
Nick Kyrgios (AUS 29) v Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
Jeremy Chardy (FRA 30) v Ernests Gulbis (LAT)
Lleyton Hewitt vs. James Duckworth

Women’s singles
Serena Williams (USA 1) v Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN 16) v Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA 28) v Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)

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