Its a funny old game. Heres me sneaking downstairs at 2am to watch the match of the round Federer vs Wawrinka and its as one sided as a first round game. Not only that but Tomas Berdych also suffered a similar fate against Novak, as he succumbed tamely in 3 straight. It was only a few days ago that we where singing the praises of these two guys, how they had moved effortlessly through the draws and made good players look very ordinary. In their current form surely they should have made more of a match of it. But no, but were flat, overcome with nerves and shadows of the hard hitting fearless street fighters we have come to enjoy this past week in Melbourne.
It has led me to the following conclusion. Such first week bolters obviously look incredibly good in front of lesser opposition ( I say lesser knowing that I wouldnt take a point of any of them if they played with their bad hands) but when push comes to shove, when grandslams are at stake, the cream always comes to the top. In the remaining two mens quarter finals I fully expect Nadal to mince Ferrer and Murray to overcome Doglopov.
In the Battle of Switzerland Game, it was almost like ok Stan , you know the drill, I am the number one in Switzerland, you have played well but this is your last stop buddy. I can see the same manifestation in today’s match between the two Spaniards. The whole world knows that Nadal is a better player than Ferrer and 9 times out of 10 I would expect him to win easily. There is almost an acceptance amongst those in the know, that Ferrer will not be able to beat Nadal and after an initial resistance both will go through the motions to delay the inevitable. Does Ferrer like Stan really have the fire in his belly to beat his friend, countryman and Davis Cup teammate? I suspect not.
Murray also faces an unknown quantity in Ukrainian Alex Doglopolov. Both players are in the form of their lives but Murray can lift his game a few more gears to negotiate his opponent. He also has plenty grandslam experience which could prove decisive. Wouldnt it be interesting if the more onesided quarter finals actually ended up being the more competitive of the quarter finals? I still cant see anything else that a Murray and Nadal straight sets victory, 4 at worst.
The match of the day was without doubt the Wozniacki Schiavone game. At one stage the veteran Italian led by a set and break against her younger opponent. She moved Wozza around and attacked at every opportunity making her look very very average. But Caro showed us why she is so highly regarded in the womens game, she changed up her tactics and eventually prevailed. It was a fantastically engaging match, and the feisty Italian earned herself a raft of new followers with her never say die attitude. Perhaps Miss Wozniacki could learn about charisma from Francesca!? In the other womens quarter final, Li Na made it through to yet another GS semi. The two face off in the first of the ladies semi finals on Thursday.
In the remaining ladies match, Kim Clijsters faces nearly woman Aggie Radwanska, who has come back from match points in her earlier rounds. Kim didnt look as polished in the 4r as she has done, but she will be a big favourite here. Like the mens game, the real world class players are able to up their games when they need to. Aggie must be running on fumes at this stage as she didnt have any preseason due to a foot operation. Hopefully she can hold it together and at least make Kim work for her place in the semi. My player of the tournament thus far Petra Kvitova faces another one of my favourite players Vera Zvonareva. These two last met in the Wimbledon semi finals and the Russian emerged victorious, whomever wins this match I will be happy, as a match up I think Petra will be able to hit through Zvonny and win in 3!