Roger Federer is the only Big 4 player at the Brisbane International, but he is tennis’ Rock Star, the Bjorn Borg of this millennium and that has ensured that Brisbane will be one of the most eagerly followed tournaments this week. He will be joined by Asia’s own tennis rock star Kei Nishikori, Gilles Simon and Kevin Anderson.
Federer opens his 2014 campaign against the talented Finn Jarkko Nieminen, one of the many lefties who hasn’t been able to exploit the lefty forehand to Roger’s weaker backhand wing theme. Should Roger get through against that tricky match he will have his work cut out against either of the four players in the other section of this quarter. That section has Matosevic, Bennetau, Querrey and Tursunov. In a toss-up I will go with Matosevic here.
Semi-finalist: Roger Federer. Nieminen being the dark-horse.
Kevin Anderson leads this quarter which has a few big servers including Nicolas Mahut, Sam Groth and Igor Sijsling. I will pick Anderson to make it to the quarters against the talented Jermy Chardy.
Semi-finalist: Jeremy Chardy. Kevin Anderson is my dark horse here.
Tricky quarter with Feliciano Lopez, Lleyton Hewitt and Gilles Simon. This is going to be a fun quarter to watch and I will pick Hewitt to get the better of Lopez and set up a brutal quarterfinal with Simon.
Semi-finalist: Lleyton Hewitt. Simon being the dark-horse.
Quarter of Death! Asia’s biggest men’s tennis player Nishikori will be displaying the new grit that Michael Chang will most likely have instilled in him. Ditto for Grigor Dimitrov with Roger Rasheed. This quarter has Robin Haase, Marin Cilic as well as the talented Aussie youngster, Nick Kyrgios. I back Nishikori to come out of this brutal section, but Dimitrov might just want to have something to say about that.
Semi-finalist: Nishikori. Dimitrov being the dark-horse.
Semi-finals and Finals
Semi-finals: Federer over Chardy in 3 sets and Nishikori over Hewitt in 3 sets.
Winner: Kei Nishikori over Roger Federer in 3 sets.
Photo Courtesy: RM