The first Grand Slam of the new decade begins tomorrow in the Land of Oz. The Australian Open is often dubbed the Wide Open due to the uncertain level of fitness and form of players coming off a two-month hiatus and the sometimes inferno that can be early Melbourne summer. Upsets, injuries and exhaustion are frequently the result of such a combination. Defending champion and No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal, in the throes of an eight-month title drought, would like nothing better than to re-establish his dominance after an injury plagued 2009. Roger Federer, once again No. 1, looks to add No. 16 to his cache of major titles. Federer and Nadal have won 17 of the last 19 majors. No. 3 Novak Djokovic, the 2008 Aussie champion, and Juan Martin del Potro, ranked No. 4, each seek to add a second Slam to their resumes. Del Potro won last year’s U.S. Open. Following is a breakdown of the draw. In Quarter 1, Federer is pegged to play new nemesis and No. 6 seed Nikolay Davydenko in the quarterfinals. Obstacles along the way for the Swiss include Igor Andreev in the first round and a possible 4th-round matchup against Lleyton Hewitt or Marcos Baghdatis, who won Sydney yesterday. No. 15 Gilles Simon’s withdrawal due to a nagging knee injury opens the door for Hewitt and Baghdatis. Davydenko, with two wins in a row over Federer and three straight over Nadal, must get by No. 9 Fernando Verdasco to meet the Swiss Maestro. Djokovic is seeded to play No. 8 Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals of Quarter 2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 10 seed, should challenge Soderling for a Djokovic matchup. Quarter 3 on paper pits No. 7 Andy Roddick against Del Potro in its quarterfinal. Roddick could face a strong challenge from No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez or Thomas Berdych in the 4th round. Del Potro versus No. 14 Marin Cilic figures to be a hotly contested 4th-round battle as well. Nadal and No. 5 Andy Murray are projected to meet in the quarterfinals of Quarter 4. Nadal may experience some problems with crafty No. 13 Radek Stepanek in the 4th round. The only speedbump for Murray is a potential encounter with Gael Monfils, the 12th seed, prior to the quarters. My predictions for the quarterfinals: Davydenko d Federer, Djokovic d Tsonga, Cilic d Gonzalez and Murray d Nadal. In the semis its Davydenko edging Djokovic and Murray topping Cilic. In the finals it’s Davydenko over Murray. The Dragon Slayer prevails.