NOTE: "Dark Horse" selections must be seeded No. 17 or lower; "Bust" selections must be seeded No. 16 or higher.


Unlike No. 2 seed Andy Murray, the world No. 1 was saddled with a difficult quarter—he could face Ivo Karlovic, and then Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Kei Nishikori. But both the Scot and the Serb will reach the final, and we know what happens next.


It would be almost irresponsible to put your faith in anyone else right now. While there’s a chance his motivation will dip after a history-making 2015 season, Djokovic is still the best player in the world by a landslide.


He's won the title here, he's beaten Djokovic in a Slam final, and he's on the opposite side of friend and nemesis Roger Federer.

MCGROGAN: Garbine Muguruza

The 22-year-old is far away from Serena Williams—who will surely show some rust—along with a host of other dangers. If she can beat Victoria Azarenka in a blockbuster fourth-rounder, she will go on to win her first major title.

PANTIC: Serena Williams

It’s just too tough to pick anyone else right now. The fact that a new year has rolled around doesn’t mean that Williams will be any less than the best on the women’s tour.

TIGNOR: Victoria Azarenka

She's a two-time Aussie Open champ who finally appears to be healthy. Even better, she's far from Serena in the draw.

Expert Picks: 2016 Australian Open

Expert Picks: 2016 Australian Open


MCGROGAN: Borna Coric

There’s value beyond the seeded players in Coric, the 19-year-old Chennai runner-up. He has an intriguing, challenging—and winnable—second-rounder against Marin Cilic, provided both Croats win their openers.

PANTIC: Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios is always a bit of a wild card, but he’s comfortable in front of his home crowd and has found a way to get into the quarterfinals of Slams before. This time his draw is even more favorable.

TIGNOR: Jack Sock

The American can hit with anyone, and he's coming off a run to the final in Auckland. A third-round match vs. Wawrinka could be a barnburner.

MCGROGAN: Sabine Lisicki

The No. 30 seed lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova (another veritable dark horse) in Sydney, but she’s in a section of the draw that allows for a deeper run. She’s returning from a knee injury, but if her serve is clicking, that won’t matter.

PANTIC: Elina Svitolina

The young Ukrainian had a breakthrough 2015 season and she could very well carry that momentum into the Australian Open. It won’t be an easy road, but the crafty No. 18 seed can pull off a big upset.

TIGNOR: Sloane Stephens

She made the semis here in 2013, won a title last week in Auckland, and is still flying under the American-hype radar.

Expert Picks: 2016 Australian Open

Expert Picks: 2016 Australian Open

MCGROGAN: Bernard Tomic

Denis Istomin, Tomic’s first-round opponent, has played on show courts at Slams before and has troubled some of the game’s best. “Same old Jets?” Try “Same old Tomic” after yet another disappointing showing.

PANTIC: John Isner​

Though he’s risen back up to No. 10, Isner is facing a tough first-rounder against Jerzy Janowicz. He could later take on Feliciano Lopez, a player who's become more comfortable going deep at majors.

TIGNOR: Marin Cilic

The 12th seed hasn't been past the third round here since 2011, and he took an early loss to Dominic Thiem in Brisbane.

MCGROGAN: Belinda Bencic

With success comes scrutiny, and Bencic will be under the microscope all season, starting in Oz. Is the 12th-seeded teen ready to handle it? Her opener against Alison Riske isn’t easy, and she’s in a loaded quarter of the draw.

PANTIC: Petra Kvitova

Health problems set Kvitova back both last year and early in 2016. Without feeling 100 percent, odds are low that she’ll fire on all cylinders—something she needs to do to pull of her high-risk game.

TIGNOR: Timea Bacsinszky

The No. 11 seed started the year with a blowout defeat in the first round in Brisbane, and has a career 3-4 record in Melbourne.