And so it begins.......well, almost.
I've got to say, I'm delighted with the draw. The biggest bonus is that Andy and Djokovic have been drawn apart. You've got to be ready to beat anyone to win a GS, but we don't want Andy to knock himself out in a 5 set slug-fest semi ( as recent AM/ND matches have been) before facing a potentially fresher opponent in the final ( although Djokovic managed it last year !). There are other reasons to be cheerful :
Haase is a good 1st round draw as Andy knows the problems he gave him before, so he should be prepared mentally from the off.
Rounds 2,3 & 4 might throw up some 'loseable' ties, but if our man is in any kind of decent form, he should prevail against any likely opponents.
A QF against Del Potro is intriguing. They haven't met for over 3 years, and the H2H is already in Andy's favour. Given Andy's considerable improvement in that time, he would start favourite, although any GS winning opponent must be respected.
A SF against Fed will always, of course, be difficult, but the H2H and Andy's sublime performance at the Olympic final should, I think, make Andy favourite. I also wonder if the margin between the players that day was a sign of the old guy's legs starting to go (coming right after Wimbledon). It will be interesting watching Fed at the AO (and the rest of the year) with this in mind. Although we've been writing Fed off for ages now but he's still a huge threat.
The final against Djokovic ! Well, it is what it is. We know Andy can do it, Novak knows Andy can do it and, most important, Andy knows Andy can do it ! You can toss a coin - let's just hope he gets there.
Onwards and upwards !