Originally Posted by DyronNix
I've been keeping an eye out for this thread. By the way, what happened to kb?
Until otherwise prove, Djokovic is still the player to beat in 2012, although I do look for him to hit the wall at some point this season. I do not expect that he can duplicate the success of 2011. That would be a lot to ask of anyone. My pick is Djokovic.
Breaking it down into the remainder of the Top 4 (Nadal, Federer, and Murray) versus the Field, I gotta stick with the winner coming from the this group assuming Djoker doesn't win.
I also think that someone unexpected will make a splash during the AO, but I am not sure who that person will be. Others have suggested the Del Potro or Berdych may make some noise, but I'll have to see it to believe it. Tsonga and Monfils? Some are picking Isner to have a strong slam.
Nothing ground breaking here because I just don't think the tennis royalty of the past 4-5 years is going to change during the AO.
I'm still alive and kicking. I just haven't been around that much lately.
My pick is also Djokovic. I know, I know. KidB isn't picking Nadal. Stop the presses. Nadal is just too banged up right now*.
As far as somebody unexpected making a splash, I guess it would be how do you define "unexpected". I think there are six guys who are capable of winning this tournament:
1) Djokovic: this is obvious. He is at the top of his game and appears to be completely over his back issue.
2) Federer: had a great finish to the season by winning the Tour Championships event**, and might be able to carry that momentum into the Aussie and get yet another one. He is on the same side of the draw as Nadal, so he might have to beat both Nadal and Djoker in consecutive matches. But I'm not sure if I saw the draw playing out that cleanly this year.
3) Nadal: he is banged up, and so I don't love his chances, but you can never count him out.
4) Murray: at some point he is going to win one, rigth?
5) DelPo: if he DelPo is at top form, he might be the second best hard court player in the game, behind Djokovic. And he always has a puncher's chance to beat anyone because of unprecedented-aly hard forehand. No hyperbole in that last sentence. It is the hardest groundstroke in the history of the game.
6) Tsonga: he has really stepped up his game, and become more consistent, but I still wonder if he has the mental game to win 6 in a row (or is it 7?).
My two possible dark horse candidates:
-Bernard Tomic: I'm not sure if he's ready to win a big one yet, but this guy has game. And you never know when a guy with game will have a breakthrough tournament.
-Marcos Baghdatis: mostly just because I like Bags.
-Isner: I like Isner a lot. I've seen him play several times and he's got a lot of game and a lot of moxie with that serve. But I don't think he'll ever win a grand slam. His height places a ceiling on his game because he just can't move like the super-elites move (Fed, Nadal, Djoker...and Pete Sampras before them, among many others I could mention). Agility is just such a big deal in tennis, and he'll never have it.
-Monfils: this is guy hits the most beautiful strokes and is crazy athletic. The player he reminds me of the most is Marat Safin, who was also a taller guy who had beautiful strokes and overall crazy talent. Safin won a couple majors, but Safin also didn't play -- for lack of a better descriptor -- like a damn pussy. And Monfils plays like a damn pussy. Being a great defensive player is one thing (see: Nadal, Rafa), but absolutely refusing to ever take the initiative and try to attack your opponent is quite another. Monfils is infuriating.
-Berdych/Soderling: not buying either one.
-David Ferrer: I respect David Ferrer quite a bit. He has willed himself to becoming a top player. But he'll never win a major.
*And it's his inability to get completely rid of physical ailments that exacerbate his frustration with the tour schedule and davis cup scheduling, and it is because of that frustration that he makes the remarks about Fed. But, as I mentioned in an above post, I think Fed should "take one for the team" even if he doesn't feel as strongly about the tour scheduling issue as others. He is still the face of the game, and if change is to be effected, it becomes a real uphill battle without the face of the game speaking on the issue.
**The one in London that is indoors where it is a round robin between the top 8 players. Y'all know what I'm talking about, I just forget the name and am too lazy to look it up this very second.