The danger will lie in wait for Roger Federer (No. 3) in the third round at the Australian Open, which begins this Monday in Melbourne. In all likelihood, the Bâlois will face one of the men on the Circuit: Hubert Hurkacz (no 31).
Roger in Novak Djokovic’s painting
Hubert Hurkacz, still in contention this week in Auckland, won three singles out of three in the recent ATP Cup against Diego Schwartzman, Borna Coric and Dominic Thiem. Roger Federer, who still does not have a single official match in his legs, will therefore have to quickly ramp up.
He will have the leisure during his first round against the American Steve Johnson (ATP 81) whom he has already beaten twice in the past without conceding a single set, and in the second against the Serb Filip Krajinovic (ATP 41) or a qualified who will not be Henri Laaksonen (ATP 102), pitifully eliminated from entry by the… 734th world, the Australian Rink Hijikata.
After having passed the course of this sixteenth final which will be a real trap if he opposes Hubert Hurkacz, Roger Federer can then think about the second week of this Open.
He appears in the table of Novak Djokovic (no 2) whom he is called upon to meet in the semi-final after, theoretically, a quarter against an Italian, Matteo Berrettini (no 8) or Fabio Fognini (no 12).
The defending champion opens the ball against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff (ATP 37), an opponent who can be dangerous from time to time.
Revenge for Stan Wawrinka
For Stan Wawrinka (no 15), the first round will be under the sign of revenge. The Vaudois will find, in fact, the Bosnian Damir Dzumhur (ATP 92) who had eliminated him last spring from the start of the Geneva Open.
The Vaudois route will then go through a second round against undoubtedly the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic (ATP 53), semi-finalist like him last week in Doha, and by a third against John Isner before the big challenge against Daniil Medvedev (no 4).
The Russian will be the favorite at the top of the table with of course Rafael Nadal. The world No. 1 could find Nick Kyrgios (No. 23) in the round of 16 in a shock that will salivate all of Australia.
A mined painting for Belinda Bencic
Seed no 6, Belinda Bencic will start, like Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, his tournament smoothly. The St. Welshman will face Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova WTA 202), who returns to competition after being injured for six months.
The rest will be more full-bodied with a second round probably against the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (WTA 45) and a round of 16 against the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (no 11) who has just inflicted a correction on the Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep at Adelaide.
Read also : Conny Perrin and Henri Laaksonen eliminated in the 1st round
Jil Teichmann (WTA 67) will have a difficult task against the Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova (no 25) who has just won the tournament in Shenzhen.
As for Viktorija Golubic (WTA 78), she will meet the Chinese Lin Zhui (WTA 71). Stefanie Vögele (WTA 117) is one win away from joining Belinda Bencic, Jil Teichmann and Viktorija Golubic in the main draw.
The Argovian, in fact, rose to the third and last of the qualifications where the Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova (WTA 144) will wait for her.