Wimbledon Day 4 Preview: Five Must-See Matches - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 4 Preview: Five Must-See Matches

Wednesday at The Championships, we lost the fifth of the eight top seeds in the ladies’ singles draw.

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Juan Martin del Potro (zimbio.com)

With a loaded Thursday schedule, as eight singles matches were carried over from Day 3 due to rain, we very well may see more big names out of the tournament by day’s end. Major Champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Garbine Muguruza, and Simona Halep will all be heavy favorites in their second round matches on Thursday. With that in mind, let’s focus on what will likely be the more competitive contests on Day 4.

 

Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Feliciano Lopez

On Tuesday, Feliciano Lopez one-upped Roger Federer. The 36-year-old Spaniard played in his 66th-straight major singles draw, bettering Federer’s tally of 65. Lopez won in straights sets against an Argentinian on that day, but today he’s faces a much tougher opponent from Argentina. Del Potro though only has a slight 4-3 edge in their head-to-head, with all seven meetings taking place on hard courts. They haven’t played in nearly five years. Like Lopez, Del Potro also easily won his opening round in straight sets. The world number four has some nice memories on the lawns of The All England Club, but this will only be his seventh match here in the last five years. Feliciano came into The Championships with a 14-14 singles record on the year, though the lefty serve-and-volleyer is a dangerous floater in the draw with his throwback style of play, and his past success on grass. Lopez is a three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, and just last year won the title on the grass of Queen’s Club. Del Potro should be slightly favored based on recent form, in a match that could easily become a protracted encounter.

Johanna Konta vs. Dominika Cibulkova

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One year ago, Johanna Konta was riding high. The British number one reached her second Major semifinal, this time at her home Grand Slam event. This brought her to a career-high ranking of four in the world. A year later, Konta is in a completely different place in her career. Since that Wimbledon semifinal, she’s gone just 17-20 overall, and ended 2017 on a five-match losing streak. Johanna won no titles during that time, but finally reached a tournament final last month on the grass of Nottingham. Her ranking has dropped to 24th, and a loss today would drop her out of the top 40. She’ll certainly be feeling the pressure on Thursday in front of her home crowd, and she’s facing a player who can apply a lot of pressure to her opponents. Cibulkova is a tenacious competitor, and is rarely an easy out. Like Konta though, she’s struggled following her career highlight: winning the 2016 WTA Finals. In the ensuing 18 months, she’s won no titles. Her ranking has dropped to the point where was bumped out of being seeded at this tournament due to the awarding of a seed to Serena Williams. Konta leads their head-to-head 2-1, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cibulkova pull off the upset and even their head-to-head.

Alexander Zverev vs. Taylor Fritz

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Zverev has made a habit out of losing to ATP Next Gen players at Majors, and on Thursday he’ll face a 20-year-old American who currently sits in sixth place in the year-to-date Next Gen rankings. Fritz just won his first career main draw match at Wimbledon on Tuesday, but he’s already made an impression on the tour in recent years. Two years ago at Wimbledon, he played a tight four-setter against Stan Wawrinka. Last year at Indian Wells, he upset Marin Cilic. He followed that up by taking Fernando Verdasco in a third set tiebreak this year at Indian Wells. He plays a similar game to Zverev, though Sascha does everything just a little bit better than Fritz. Zverev won their only previous meeting, at Washington, DC in 2016. But as mentioned, Sascha doesn’t often play his best against opponents from his generation, as we just saw in Halle when he went out in his opening round to Borna Coric. If Zverev is going to be a factor during the second week of this fortnight, he’ll need to avoid the five-set battles he often finds himself in during the first week of Majors.

Kei Nishikori vs. Bernard Tomic

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Wimbledon is the only major where Nishikori has not advanced passed the fourth round, while this is the only Major where Bernard Tomic has reached a quarterfinal. That was seven years ago, and it’s been a wild ride for Bernard ever since. The Aussie’s controversial comments and behavior are well-documented, and he’s dropped to a ranking of 184th in the world. He had to play qualifying for the third straight Major, but has shown some signs of digging himself out of this rankings hole. After coming through qualifying in s-Hertogenbosch last month, he made it all the way to the semifinals. His style of play is well-suited for a grass court. Nishikori is also on the comeback trail, still fighting to consistently remain 100% healthy. He’s 2-1 against Tomic, including a win at SW19 in the 2012 London Olympics. It’s hard to bet on Tomic to pull off the upset based on his lack of results (and commitment) over the last few seasons, but I also wouldn’t rule it out.

Daria Kasatkina vs. Yulia Putintseva

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This will be the first meeting between French Open quarterfinalists of just a month ago. It’s also a contest between two of the more entertaining players on the WTA tour. For Putintseva, that was the second time she’s reached the quarters of Roland Garros in the last three years. She’s yet though to get farther than this stage of The Championships. Yulia can display a wide variety of emotions on court, as can Dasha. Kasatkina also has a ton of variety in her game, as we saw during her upset of Caroline Wozniacki in Paris. It’s been a breakout year for Dasha, as she also reached the final at Indian Wells. While she’s the younger player in this second round match, she’s the more accomplished. Putintzeva has not found much success at any significant tournament outside of Roland Garros. Accordingly, I expect Kasatkina to prevail in what should be a fun one to watch.

Order of play – Day Four

CENTRE COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START

1 Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 126 vs Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2] 128

2 Johanna Konta (GBR) [22] 9 vs Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 12 3

Kyle Edmund (GBR) [21] 73 vs Bradley Klahn (USA) 76

No.1 COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START

1 Marin Cilic (CRO) [3] 33 vs Guido Pella (ARG) 36 T/F 6/3 6/1 3/4

2 Simona Halep (ROU) [1] 1 vs Saisai Zheng (CHN) 3

3 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [5] 97 vs Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 99

4 Taylor Fritz (USA) 94 vs Alexander Zverev (GER) [4] 96

No.2 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Katie Boulter (GBR) 53 vs Naomi Osaka (JPN) [18] 56

2 Andreas Seppi (ITA) 30 vs Kevin Anderson (RSA) [8] 32 T/F 3/6 7/6(5) 3/6 1/1

3 Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 78 vs Novak Djokovic (SRB) [12] 80

4 Bernard Tomic (AUS) 85 vs Kei Nishikori (JPN) [24] 88

5 Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [3] 33 vs Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 35

No.3 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Ashleigh Barty (AUS) [17] 41 vs Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 44

2 Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 62 vs Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 63 T/F 7/6(7) 6/3 5/6

3 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) [15] 81 vs Robin Haase (NED) 84

4 Benoit Paire (FRA) 101 vs Denis Shapovalov (CAN) [26] 104

5 Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [12] 17 vs Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 20

COURT 12 – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Angelique Kerber (GER) [11] 49 vs Claire Liu (USA) 52

2 John Isner (USA) [9] 49 vs Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 52 T/F 6/1 6/4 6/7(6) 6/7(3) 3/4

3 Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 46 vs Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [14] 48

4 Damir Dzumhur (BIH) [27] 89 vs Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 91

COURT 18 – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START

1 Daria Gavrilova (AUS) [26] 25 vs Samantha Stosur (AUS) 28

2 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) [31] 57 vs Jared Donaldson (USA) 60 T/F 6/3 6/2 3/6 3/4

3 Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 66 vs Karen Khachanov (RUS) 68

4 Simone Bolelli (ITA) 118 vs Fabio Fognini (ITA) [19] 120

COURT 4 – 11:30 START

1 Romain Arneodo (MON) / Jamie Cerretani (USA) 53 vs Kevin Krawietz (GER) / Andreas Mies (GER) 54

2 Luke Bambridge (GBR) / Jonny O’Mara (GBR) 63 vs Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA) [2] 64 T/F 4/6 3/6 4/3

3 Sander Arends (NED) / Matwe Middelkoop (NED) 51 vs Austin Krajicek (USA) / Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 52

4 Polona Hercog (SLO) / Bernarda Pera (USA) 63 vs Andrea Sestini Hlavackova (CZE) / Barbora Strycova (CZE) [2] 64

5 Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) / Makoto Ninomiya (JPN) 11 vs Arina Rodionova (AUS) / Maryna Zanevska (BEL) 12

COURT 5 – 11:30 START

1 Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) / Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) [16] 57 vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) / Lucie Safarova (CZE) 58

2 David Marrero (ESP) / Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 3 vs Leonardo Mayer (ARG) / Joao Sousa (POR) 4

3 Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) / Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) [15] 41 vsDaria Gavrilova (AUS) / Vera Lapko (BLR) 42

4 Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) / Yifan Xu (CHN) [6] 49 vs Alison Riske (USA) / Olga Savchuk (UKR) 50 T/F 6/7(5) 6/2 2/3

OURT 6 – 11:30 START

1 Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) / Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 31 vs Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) / Robert Farah (COL) [6] 32

2 Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) / Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 35 vs Anna Blinkova (RUS) / Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 36

3 Timea Babos (HUN) / Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) [1] 1 vs Eri Hozumi (JPN) / Miyu Kato (JPN) 2

4 Raluca Olaru (ROU) / Yafan Wang (CHN) 15 vs Latisha Chan (TPE) / Shuai Peng (CHN) [5] 16

5 Irina Bara (ROU) / Alize Cornet (FRA) 47 vs Andreja Klepac (SLO) / Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) [4] 48

COURT 7 – 11:30 START

1 Ryan Harrison (USA) / Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 19 vs Philipp Petzschner (GER) / Tim Puetz (GER) 20

2 Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK) / Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) [9] 9 vs David Ferrer (ESP) / Marc Lopez (ESP) 10 T/F 7/6(3) 6/4 2/1

3 Kiki Bertens (NED) / Johanna Larsson (SWE) [9] 9 vs Monique Adamczak (AUS) / Renata Voracova (CZE) 10

4 N.Sriram Balaji (IND) / Vishnu Vardhan (IND) 21 vs Marcus Daniell (NZL) / Wesley Koolhof (NED) 22

COURT 8 – 11:30 START

1 Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 85 vs Barbora Strycova (CZE) [23] 88

2 Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) [25] 25 vs Gilles Muller (LUX) 27 T/F 7/6(6) 6/6

3 Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [27] 57 vs Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 59

4 Diego Schwartzman (ARG) [14] 113 vs Jiri Vesely (CZE) 115

COURT 9 – 11:30 START

1 Petra Martic (CRO) / Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 45 vs Lesley Kerkhove (NED) / Lidziya Marozava (BLR) 46

2 Raquel Atawo (USA) / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) [11] 25 vs Xenia Knoll (SUI) / Anna Smith (GBR) 26 T/F

3 Chen Liang (CHN) / Shuai Zhang (CHN) 27 vs Tatjana Maria (GER) / Heather Watson (GBR) 28

4 Mike Bryan (USA) / Jack Sock (USA) [7] 49 vs Daniele Bracciali (ITA) / Andreas Seppi (ITA) 50

5 Elise Mertens (BEL) / Demi Schuurs (NED) [8] 33 vs Sorana Cirstea (ROU) / Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 34 T/F 4/4

COURT 10 – 11:30 START

1 Divij Sharan (IND) / Artem Sitak (NZL) 59 vs Radu Albot (MDA) / Malek Jaziri (TUN) 60

2 Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) / Irina Khromacheva (RUS) 55 vs Vania King (USA) / Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) [17] 56

3 Eva Hrdinova (CZE) / Giuliana Olmos (MEX) 13 vs Alicja Rosolska (POL) / Abigail Spears (USA) 14

4 Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) [12] 25 vs Alex De Minaur (AUS) / John Millman (AUS) 26

5 Max Mirnyi (BLR) / Philipp Oswald (AUT) [16] 57 vs Julio Peralta (CHI) / Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 58 T/F 1/6 3/2

COURT 11 – 11:30 START

1 Nicholas Monroe (USA) / John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 23 vs Ben McLachlan (JPN) / Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) [14] 24

2 Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) / Bibiane Schoofs (NED) 31 vs Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) / Zhaoxuan Yang (CHN) [7] 32 T/F 4/3

3 Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) / Katerina Siniakova (CZE) [3] 17 vs Alexa Guarachi (CHI) / Erin Routliffe (NZL) 18

4 Marius Copil (ROU) / Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 43 vs Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) 44

5 Mandy Minella (LUX) / Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 37 vs Georgina Garcia Perez (ESP) / Fanny Stollar (HUN) 38

COURT 14 – 11:30 START

1 Alex De Minaur (AUS) 122 vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 123

2 Stephane Robert (FRA) 110 vs Matthew Ebden (AUS) 111

3 Jennifer Brady (USA) 37 vs Anett Kontaveit (EST) [28] 40

4 Jay Clarke (GBR) / Cameron Norrie (GBR) 5 vs Marcelo Arevalo (ESA) / Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) 6T/F 3/2

COURT 15 – 11:30 START

1 Julien Benneteau (FRA) 69 vs Frances Tiafoe (USA) 71

2 Sachia Vickery (USA) 14 vs Elise Mertens (BEL) [15] 16

3 Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) / Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 21 vs Danielle Collins (USA) / Jessica Moore (AUS) 22 T/F 0/1

4 Julien Benneteau (FRA) / Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 27 vs Frederik Nielsen (DEN) / Joe Salisbury (GBR) 28

5 Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) / Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 47 vs Henri Kontinen (FIN) / John Peers (AUS) [3] 48

COURT 16 – 11:30 START

1 Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 114 vs Ons Jabeur (TUN) 116

2 Alison Riske (USA) 61 vs Belinda Bencic (SUI) 63

3 Taylor Townsend (USA) 30 vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 31

4 Belinda Bencic (SUI) / Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 19 vs Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) / Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 20 T/F 3/6 0/3

5 Nikola Mektic (CRO) / Alexander Peya (AUT) [8] 33 vs Jurgen Melzer (AUT) / Daniel Nestor (CAN) 34

COURT 17 – 11:30 START

1 Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 106 vs Gilles Simon (FRA) 107

2 Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6 vs Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 7

3 Sofia Kenin (USA) 21 vs Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 23

4 Alex Bolt (AUS) / Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 7 vs Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL) [13] 8 T/F 5/7 2/6 6/3 1/4

MATCHES TO BE ARRANGED

NOT BEFORE 17.00

1 Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) / Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 61 vs Harriet Dart (GBR) / Katy Dunne (GBR) 62

2 Oliver Marach (AUT) / Mate Pavic (CRO) [1] 1 vs Federico Delbonis (ARG) / Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) 2

NOT BEFORE 18.00

3 Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) / Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 15 vs Jamie Murray (GBR) / Bruno Soares (BRA) [5] 16

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Dominic Thiem Ousts Rafael Nadal For Maiden Australian Open Semi-Final

Dominic Thiem edged out world number one Rafael Nadal in four sets to reach his first Australian Open semi-final.

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Dominic Thiem (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

Dominic Thiem edged out Rafael Nadal 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(6) to reach the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time. 

 

In a stunning performance, Thiem eventually held his nerve to win all three tiebreaks in the match and secure a place in the last four.

The result means Nadal will lose his world number one if Novak Djokovic can win an eighth Australian Open title in Melbourne.

As for the Austrian, he will meet Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals on Friday.

In a rematch of the Roland Garros final, it was Thiem who had the more aggressive start to the match as he was red-lining the ball across the court and created break point opportunities.

Nadal’s clutch serving remained crucial though to survive the Austrian’s early surge. This was important as Nadal would soon show why he has won 20 grand slam titles as he played his best tennis when it mattered.

A good mix of pace and variety troubled Thiem as the Spaniard earned the first break of the match for a 5-3 lead in the opening set.

Despite the early setback, the Austrian continued to raise his level especially on the backhand side, producing a lot of winners. A forehand return winner sealed the break back immediately on his third opportunity.

Both men would continue to cancel each other out with insane cross-court angles as the opening set went to a tiebreak.

Dominating from the baseline, the 5th seed took control and wrapped up the opening set 7-6(3) in 68 gruelling minutes.

In the second set, Nadal continued to be the aggressor especially on the forehand as he realised how crucial the set was going to be.

An increased amount in unforced errors for Thiem proved costly as the world number one opened up a 4-2 lead in the second set.

But once again, Thiem struck back as a loose and nervy game from the Spaniard saw the Austrian level up at 4-4 in a tense point in the match.

Another tiebreak loomed as Thiem failed to take his chances after Nadal’s uncharacteristic unforced errors. However he didn’t make the same mistakes in the tiebreak as a net cord-forehand combination secured three consecutive points and a two set lead.

A two set advantage was a comfortable lead for Thiem but it doesn’t guarantee victory especially against one of the best competitors tennis has ever seen.

A cleaner set was produced from Nadal as he dug in deep to hold his service games and create some opportunities to break especially off the forehand.

Eventually those opportunities came as a tentative Thiem service game saw Nadal create two set points. A netted baseline shot from the world number 5 saw the Spaniard grab the third set as he roared in delight to the packed Rod Laver Arena crowd.

The momentum was now firmly with Nadal, who had better intensity as the forehand was firing against Thiem’s defensive skills.

However the Austrian’s mental strength has improved and he managed to overcome the Nadal storm by saving two break points as well as gaining the immediate break advantage.

There was trouble for the world number one now as Thiem’s serve was improving as he continued to outsmart and outpower the Spaniard.

Threats of a double break were quickly snuffed out by the 2009 champion and that would soon cost Thiem as he couldn’t serve out the match. The world number one took advantage of the Austrian’s nerves to break for 5-5.

Both men held their nerve afterwards to force a fourth set tiebreak, the third of the day. Yet again it would be Thiem who would win the tie-break as he booked his place in a maiden Australian Open semi-final.

After the match, Thiem declared his delight at one of the biggest victories of his career, “All the match was on a very good level, we both were in great form, that’s what can happen with two players in that form,” the Austrian said in his post-match interview.

I felt I was lucky in the right situations. It’s necessary as he’s one of the greatest of all times, one of the biggest legends in this sport, so you need a little luck to beat him.”

It was a stunning performance which now sees him meet good friend Alexander Zverev for a place in the final. As for Nadal his search for a second Australian Open title continues and could still lose his world number one ranking should Novak Djokovic win his eighth title in Melbourne.

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Australian Open Day 10 Preview: The Quarter-Finals Conclude

Wednesday is highlighted by a rematch of the French Open final from the last two years.

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Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

By Matthew Marolf 

 

Rafael Nadal is one win away from securing his world No.1 ranking, though I’m sure he’s much more concerned with being three wins away from winning his record-tying 20th Major title. But standing in his way today is an opponent who has beaten him many times before. The other men’s quarter-final features the 2014 champion and a Next Gen standout who has excelled on the ATP tour, but is yet to make a deep run at a Major. On the women’s side, we have a pair of two-time Major champions against two women looking to reach their first Slam semi-final.

Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Dominic Thiem (5)

This is a marquee quarterfinal between two top five seeds. Nadal leads their head-to-head 9-4, with all but one of those matches taking place on clay. Their only hard court meeting was certainly a memorable one. In the 2018 US Open quarterfinals, they played for almost five hours, and past 2:00am, in a match decided by a fifth-set tiebreak.  Thiem should take a lot of positives from that encounter despite the loss, and he’s only improved his hard court game since that time.

Dominic has won four hard court titles in the past 16 months, including the Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells. And just two months ago, he reached the championship match at the ATP Finals, with wins over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. This is his first time advancing to the quarters in Australia, but this run is not surprising based on his recent hard court resume. The slower courts in Melbourne this year work to Dominic’s favour, though Rafa will like that temperatures are forecast to rise over the next few days. But with this being a night match, it’ll get rather cool as this match goes on. Nadal has looked good through four rounds here, and passed a stern test supplied by Nick Kyrgios two days ago. However, I think this may be Thiem’s time to shine. He was oh-so-close to beating Nadal in their last hard court match, and he’s a much-improved player since hiring Nicolas Massu as his coach. In what will surely be a highly-competitive affair, I’m tipping Thiem to pull off the upset.

Sascha Zverev (7) vs. Stan Wawrinka (15)

Alexander Zverev (@usopen)

Can this be true? Zverev, who has historically become entangled in long matches during the first week of Majors, has won four rounds here without dropping a set. It’s even more startling when you consider he went 0-3 at the ATP Cup to start the year, where he had terrible troubles with his serve. In his post-match interview on Monday, he spoke of how finding peace in his personal life has lead to good results on court. The 22-year-old has reached his third Slam quarterfinal, and his first off clay. He’ll certainly be the fresher player today, as Stan not only battled an illness last week, but has already played two five-setters.

That includes his comeback victory over Daniil Medvedev two days ago. And Zverev is 2-0 against Wawrinka, with both victories coming on hard courts. But this is a case where experience at this stage of a Major will be crucial, and Stan has plenty of that. This is his fifth quarter-final in Melbourne, and his 18th at all four Majors. Wawrinka has proven himself to be a big-match player, and excels in the best-of-five format. As improved as Zverev’s serve has been this fortnight, Wawrinka remains the bolder and more aggressive player, which is usually critical in matches like this. With that in mind, I like Stan’s chances to return to the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time in three years.

Simona Halep (4) vs. Anett Kontaveit (30)

Simona Halep (@AustralianOpen – Twitter)

The 24-year-old Kontaveit has been a rising WTA star for a few years now, but she appears ready for her big breakthrough. This run has literally come out of nowhere, as an illness forced her to withdraw from the US Open and miss the rest of the 2019 season. Her coach, Nigel Sears, told the media that she was hospitalized for a week and had to undergo surgery. This resulted in a substantial weight loss, and a lack of activity for three or four months. But here she is into her first Major quarter-final, thanks to some impressive play. She dropped just one game to the sixth seed, Belinda Bencic, and came back from a set down to claim a tight match over a talented teenager, Iga Swiatek.

But today Kontaveit runs into an in-form Halep, who has reunited with Darren Cahill and is yet to drop a set at this event. These two players have similar, all-around games, though Halep is a bit more consistent, and a bit more skilled defensively. And Simona is 2-0 against Anett, having comfortably won the four sets they’ve played.  Halep should be favoured to reach her second semi-final in Melbourne.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (30) vs. Garbine Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza (@WeAreTennis – Twitter)

Speaking of Roland Garros and Wimbledon champions in good form, Garbine Muguruza is back. She seems to be rejuvenated with Conchita Martinez back as her coach. When her former coach, Sam Sumyk, missed Wimbledon a few years ago to undergo a medical procedure, Conchita filled in, and coached Muguruza to the title. Garbine split with Sumyk during the offseason, and is playing her best tennis in a few years with Martinez as a full-time coach.

But guess who Sumyk coaches now? That would be Pavlyuchenkova.  This union has also paid immediate dividends, though the 28-year-old Russian has been playing great tennis since the fall. Pavlyuchenkova outplayed a game Angelique Kerber on Monday, extending her record in the fourth round of Majors to 6-1. The problem is she’s 0-5 in Slam quarter-finals. And she’s 1-4 against Muguruza, with the only win coming via a Garbine retirement. Muguruza just has a bit more game than Pavlyuchenkova, and she’s been on fire since overcoming an illness last week. Garbine took out two top 10 seeds in the last two rounds, via scores of 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, and 6-3. While Sumyk will certainly have some sage advance for how to play against Muguruza, I don’t see it being enough considering Garbine’s current level.

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(VIDEO) Roger Federer Pulls Off Houdini Act To Set 50th Djokovic Meeting

Ubitennis is joined by Rene Stauffer to discuss Roger Federer’s miraculous win over Tennys Sandgren at the Australian Open.

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Roger Federer (@atptour - Twitter)

It was another dramatic day at the Australian Open as Roger Federer pulled off a miraculous comeback to edge out Tennys Sandgren 6-3 2-6 2-6 7-6(8) 6-3 to reach the Australian Open semi-finals. The Swiss saved 7 match points as he survived the three and a half hour clash to set up a 50th meeting with Novak Djokovic. Below Ubaldo Scanagatta and Rene Stauffer discuss Federer’s miraculous win against Sandgren. 

 

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