We are down to the final eight men and women left competing for the Australian Open title. The competition is heating up and it’s now time to look deeper into who the favourites are to win the first Grand Slam of 2018.
Throughout the tournament there have been an array of surprises, with big names dropping early and next generation stars shining through, causing some major upsets.
Favourite: Rafael Nadal 
Rafael Nadal has been in blistering form, only dropping a single set en route to a 10th Australian Open quarter-final. His win over Diego Schwartzman in the Round of 16 sent a message to the rest of the field and showed that last years finalist is ready to go one step further in 2018.
Projected Path: Quarter Final – Marin Cilic 
Semi Final – Grigor Dimitrov 
Final – Roger Federer 
Dark Horse: Grigor Dimitrov 
The No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov looked very impressive in the Round of 16, dispatching of the unpredictable Australian, Nick Kyrgios, in four high-quality sets. Dimitrov looks to be playing great tennis and seemed to come up with big shots in the most important moments of the match. Dimitrov made the semi-finals at last year’s Australian Open, but will have to overcome some of the worlds best to capture his maiden Grand Slam title.
Projected Path: Quarter Final – Kyle Edmund
Semi Final – Rafael Nadal 
Final – Roger Federer 
The women’s draw has been somewhat similar to previous years, with relative unknowns getting through to the late stages of the competition and the top seeds falling early.
Favourite: Simona Halep 
Simona Halep looked shaky in the opening rounds having to survive some close encounters with dangerous opponents. The Romanian barely scrapped by Lauren Davis in the Round of 32, winning 15-13 in the third set. However, her 6-3, 6-2 win over Naomi Osaka in the Round of 16 let the rest of her competition know that she was back to top form.
Projected Path: Quarter Final – Karolina Pliskova 
Semi Final – Madison Keys 
Final – Caroline Wozniacki 
Dark Horse: Angelique Kerber 
It seems unusual to call a former Australian Open champion a dark horse to win the title, however, having slipped down the rankings in 2017 Angelique Kerber is a true dark horse in the women’s draw. The 21st seed has looked very impressive, winning all of her matches this year. The German produced a gritty performance to get through Su-Wei Hsieh in the previous round and looks the goods to progress further in the tournament.
Projected Path: Quarter Final – Madison Keys 
Semi Final – Simona Halep 
Final – Caroline Wozniacki