The top three seeds, all finalists in Australia at least 4 times, have shown imperious form in the opening rounds of the 2016 Open. Here is a breakdown of their form so far. Make sure to check out the match highlights and let us know how you think the top men are playing.
Novak Djokovic, No. 1 Seed
Round 1: Djokovic vs. Chung 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
Round 2: Djokovic vs. Halys 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(3)
Djokovic has played the opening rounds in Australia with confidence. He has not needed to stretch himself, and the most that either of his opponents can boast is a tiebreak. Strong on serve, strong from the baseline, so far the Serb’s 2016 bid for an Open Era record 6th Australian Open title is well under way. Several players have reported that the courts are playing quicker than in 2015, particularly during the day matches. While this is not an obstacle for Djokovic, he does prefer slower hard courts that allow him to elastically stretch for balls. So far, this does not seem to be troubling him in the slightest. Djokovic is poised to make more history at his favorite slam.
Andy Murray, No. 2 Seed
Round 1: Murray vs. Zverev 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
Round 2: Murray vs. Groth 6-0, 6-4, 6-1
Of the three men, Murray had what could have been the biggest task: first defeating a player many peg as a future star, and second, finding a way through one of the biggest servers tennis has ever seen. Murray breezed through his opener for the loss of only 6 games, and his next test even more easily. Australian Sam Groth is not an opponent anyone wants to see in their side of a draw since the Aussie’s big serve makes almost any contest a pressure-filled mental battle. Murray, however, read Groth’s serve well during the entire match and stayed calm every time the Aussie came to the net. Clean returns and cleaner lobs saw Murray to a comfortable victory. Murray looks in fine form without a significant challenge until Bernard Tomic in the fourth round.
Roger Federer, No. 3 Seed
Round 1: Federer vs. Basilashvili, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Federer vs. Dolgopolov, 6-3, 7-5, 6-1
Roger Federer’s 2015 Australian Open was unexpectedly cut short when he fell ignominiously in the third round to Italian journeyman, Andreas Seppi. It was the first time in over a decade that Federer failed to make the semifinals down under. This year, he has opened with two comfortable wins delivered with style. Federer was exceptional on serve in his second round match against Dolgopolov, and his baseline game seems to be firing with slightly more power than usual off of both wings. However, there are still more errors flowing from the Federer racquet than desired. He will want to clean up his performance from the back of the court going forward especially since his third round opponent is the talented Grigor Dimitrov.