Week 1 review
The first week of the Australian Open ended on Saturday evening with the fourth round line-ups now complete in both the men’s and women’s events.
There have been a couple of surprises so far, most notably the third round exit of world No. 2 Roger Federer, who was beaten in four sets by 30-year-old Italian Andrew Seppi. Federer’s exit will be a boost to those players in the bottom half of the draw including Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov.
In the women’s draw, No. 12 and 13 seeds Flavia Pennetta and Andrea Petkovic both went home early after first round defeats along with former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who lost to Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky; and 9th-ranked Angelique Kerber, who lost to 24-year-old Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.
However, the biggest surprise of the women’s first round was the exit of world No. 5 Ana Ivanovic who was stunned by 142-ranked qualifier Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic. World No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki also departed after a straight-sets defeat in the second round to two-time champion Victoria Azarenka.
Men’s fourth round
Our top pick, Novak Djokovic has had a comfortable ride so far and will face Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in round four. Muller has already played 29 games more than the Serbian in this years tournament. Whoever progresses will face either Feliciano Lopez (12) or Milos Raonic (8) in the quarter-finals. Raonic has the advantage of having played 3 sets less than his Spanish opponent.
Our value bet and reigning champion, Stan Wawrinka (4) has also had an impressive start to this year’s event and will take on Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the last 16. Both players have played less than 90 games in the tournament so far but Lopez has recorded just 47 unforced errors compared to Wawrinka’s tally of 108. The winner will go on to face either Kei Nishikori (5) or our wild card pick David Ferrer (9) in the last eight. The stats suggest that it will be a close contest between the young Japanese player and the veteran Spaniard.
In the bottom half of the draw, Andrew Seppi, the man who defeated Federer, will face the confident Aussie youngster Nick Kyrgios in what should be a very even contest. The winner can expect a tough quarter-final match against either Andy Murray (6) or Grigor Dimitrov (10). Murray has eased through the tournament so far and should have enough to edge past the Bulgarian.
Meanwhile, another bright young Australian hope, Bernard Tomic will battle it out with Tomas Berdych (7) for a chance to play Rafa Nadal (3) or Kevin Anderson (14) in the last eight. Berdych had been in great form and will provide a massive test for the Australian who will be hoping to give the home fans something to cheer about. Nadal seems to be working his way back to form but there are still some fitness doubts surrounding the Spaniard. The match against Anderson will be the biggest test of his comeback so far.
Women’s fourth round
Before the tournament began, we picked out Maria Sharapova as both the top pick and the best value bet in the women’s draw and so far the Russian has been nothing short of convincing. She must now overcome No. 21 seed Shuai Peng of China to set up a quarter-final showdown with either Eugenie Bouchard (7) or Irina-Camelia Begu.
No. 3 seed Simona Halep has also had an impressive start to the tournament and has yet to lose a set. Her next opponent will be Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium with the winner heading into a quarter-final meeting with either Julia Goerges of Germany or No.

10th seed Ekaterina Makarova
The most intriguing clash in the women’s fourth round comes in the top half of the draw where top seed Serena Williams will take on our wild card pick, Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Williams is well aware of the danger posed by her opponent as she was defeated by the 21-year-old at last year’s French Open Championships. The victor will progress to the last eight where they will face either Dominika Cibulkova (11) or former two-time champ Victoria Azarenka.
Un-seeded Americans, Madison Keys and Madison Brengle, will go head-to-head in round four and the winner will be rewarded with a quarter-final encounter against either Venus Williams (18) or Agnieszka Radwanska (6). Radwanska has only played 46 games in the tournament so far; that’s 12 less than Serena Williams and 14 less than Sharapova.

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