2018 Australian Open Stock Watch: Monfils and Kyrgios Up, Djokovic and Wawrinka Down

A new season and a new Grand Slam is upon us, some players eagerly await their first matches in Melbourne at the 2018 Australian Open, while others are dreading that opening match given their poor run of form in recent weeks. Here is a look at the players who are red hot, and ice cold for the first slam of 2018.

2018 Australian Open Stock Watch: Monfils and Kyrgios Up, Djokovic and Wawrinka Down


5: Kevin Anderson

Anderson ended 2017 in style reaching the US Open final, and then played well in both the Abu Dhabi exo and in Pune, where he reached the final. Anderson has never made it beyond the 4th round in Melbourne, but he’s reached that stage three previous times and the draw is open enough for him to reach at least the quarters. Jack Sock, Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Lucas Pouille are among possible opposition for him in the third and fourth round. The Grigor Dimitrov/Nick Kyrgios winner looms large in the quarters.

4: Juan Martin Del Potro

A finalist in Auckland and thankfully healthy, the big hitting Del Potro showed he was here to stay to end 2017 and has started 2018 on a good foot as well. Alex De Minaur/Tomas Berdych and David Goffin/Fabio Fognini are among the opposition likely in his path to reach the quarters. If he makes it that far, he’ll have every shot to upset Roger Federer and then perhaps go as far as the final, or to become Grand Slam champion for the second time in his career (won US Open).

3: Roberto Bautista Agut

RBA won Auckland and also played well in the Abu Dhabi exo, Fernando Verdasco and Stan Wawrinka are in his path to the second week, Dominic Thiem likely awaits in the round of 16, if he wins that he would break into the Anderson/Sock section in the quarters, and he could go as far as the semis. He’s yet to make a Grand Slam quarterfinal in his career but made the round of 16 three times in Melbourne.

2: Nick Kyrgios

A quarterfinalist in 2015, Kyrgios won Brisbane and appears fit and focused. His game remains lethal, but his mind remains questionable in 2018. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga awaits in the third round, with Grigor Dimitrov coming in the 4th round, that’s a brutal set of matches back to back, but Australia’s home hopes remain fully vested in NK rising, perhaps as far as the semis or final.

1: Gael Monfils

A quarterfinalist in Melbourne in 2016, Monfils’s result this slam will rest on whether he can upset Novak Djokovic in the second round. Alexander Zverev or another young gun (Hyeon Chung/Daniil Medvedev/Thanasi Kokkinakis) lurks in the fourth round, but if he beats Djokovic, Monfils can beat almost anyone and go as far as the semis. Monfils won Doha and if he’s fit, he remains a dangerous threat.


5: John Isner

Isner lost to Hyeon Chung in Auckland and faces Alex Dolgopolov in round 2, twice into the second week in Melbourne, Isner could be packing his bags early if his serve is off by even the narrowest of margins.

4: Jack Sock

Sock was not entirely fit at the Hopman Cup and then crashed out in Auckland, his section of the draw is weak but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Sock wasn’t able to pull himself together and failed to reach the second week.

3: Milos Raonic

Returning from an injury layoff, Raonic lost his match in Brisbane and could go out to either Jordan Thompson or Sam Querrey/Feliciano Lopez in the second and third round respectively. A semifinalist last in 2016, it would be a surprise for Raonic to match that result in 2018.

2: Stan Wawrinka

It was a question as to whether Wawrinka would play in Melbourne this year, the 2014 champion will still be favored to reach round 3, but Roberto Bautista Agut at that stage, or Dominic Thiem in the fourth round will be tough for the Swiss veteran who should be rusty, even if he’s fit.

1: Novak Djokovic

Another question mark heading into the tournament, Djokovic will debut a new service motion and should be rusty even if he gets past Donald Young in the first round. Djokovic once dominated Melbourne Park, but Gael Monfils and Alexander Zverev will be gunning to knock him out before the quarterfinals and he’s in Roger Federer’s half of the draw.

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