Thursday marks the start of the Semifinals in Melbourne and with some thrilling matches on the horizon, it will indeed be memorable to witness them
For the 45-th time Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will go toe for toe for this one helluva semifinal
“It’s part of the reason why I guess I’m still playing,” Federer said of facing Novak. “I feel like I’m competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on Tour. It’s nice now that in the last three slams I’ve been as consistent as I have been. I’m playing good tennis, fun tennis for me anyway. I really enjoy being able to come to the net more like back in the day. So I’m very pleased. It would mean a lot to me, no doubt about it.”
Roger backed up the straight forward victory over Goffin with another solid display of power and tactics against Berdych. Although he got broken 2 times in this straight sets win match, he managed to make 5 of his own and didn’t let the Czech get away with a lead for long.
‘’I played well overall. You know, wished maybe I didn’t get a break here or there. At the same time Tomas was pushing for it, he was looking for it, so clearly it can happen. He’s got a lot of power. He knows how to do it. So I was happy that on both occasions, first and third, I was able to react quickly. The second set, when I did have the break, I was able to roll with it.
The first set was tough. It was the one that took the longest, had the most importance of all the sets. It was definitely key to the rest of the match because I think it maybe might’ve taken some energy out of Tomas. Who knows? If not physical, also mental. It’s always tough to lose the first set in best-of-five in a breaker.”
After Gilles Simon forced The World Number 1 to play 5 sets, and in a night to forgive, as he made 100 unforced errors, he breezed through Kei Nishikori quite easily in just over 2 hours of play. He seemed to play better, but overall Nishikori was far from his usual self.
“I was missing too much, especially in the first couple of sets,” Nishikori said. “I lost many easy games. I couldn’t make him work hard today. He played good. But I couldn’t play good tennis today. I had some chances in the third set, but couldn’t keep up my level. Really disappointed for my game. But he played good tennis.”
“I tried to weather the storm, hang in there,” said Djokovic for his match vs the Japanese.
“He came up and played the first couple games very fast, very quick. Took the ball early, being very aggressive from both corners. I expected that.
“I was solid. I was determined, focused. In important points and moments I managed to stay composed and make him play an extra shot. Overall it was a very solid performance.
“At this level you’re always asking a lot from yourself. I have to be satisfied. I’ve reached the semi-finals. I won against a Top 10 player in straight sets. Compared to the fourth-round match, this was much better. That makes me confident and encourages me for the next one.”
Djokovic is on a 7 game winning streak when he is priced between 1.20-1.49 on Grand Slam level by the bookmakers, and he last lost in this range to Murray in US Open 2012. Novak has won the last 3 Major meetings with Federer.
“Roger is playing really terrific tennis in the past two years,” said Djokovic. “We played two Grand Slam finals last year. I know very well how good he plays, especially in the later stages of a major event.
“He always makes you play your best. My best is what is going to be necessary to win against him. Hopefully I’ll be able to deliver.”
Milos Raonic became the second Canadian to see his name in the last 4 in Melbourne. Just 2 years ago Eugenie Bouchard became the first.”
Amazing feeling,” Raonic said. “Tennis is growing, and growing quickly, in Canada. To be a part of it is a big honor.”
Milos defeated Gael Monfils in 4 sets and is back in the SF for the first time since Wimbledon 2014,a straight set loss to Roger Federer.
“You know, I did the things well,” Raonic said. “Even in that second set before I got broken I created some opportunities. He came up with some big serves. I don’t know if it was two or three opportunities that I had. I had another opportunity later in that set.
“I was creating a bunch of chances for myself. I made good use of a few of them. I then continued to make the most of those little leads.”
“It’s a great challenge ahead of me,” Raonic said about facing Murray next. “A challenge I believe I have the solution to. Just going to try to make the most of my opportunities.”
With Carlos Moya next to his corner, the Canadian looks as determined as ever. Undefeated in 2016,a win over the Brit will get him back to the top 10
In a high quality baseline battle, Andy steered away a tough challenge in face of David Ferrer.
The match started with the roof opened, but due to potential lightning threat the beginning of the 3rd set had a delay so the match could continue Indoors.
“You know, when the roof closed, I was obviously up a break in the third and was feeling good,” Murray said. “That first game after the delay was a very important. I saved a couple of break points, but then actually played a good game. So it was nice to get through that game.
“Then I felt like started to play better as the match went on.”
“Obviously last few days have been tough and maybe hadn’t played my best tennis and managed to get through,” Murray said. “Today I felt like at the end of the match I was playing some good stuff, moving well. Few things I could still do better for sure, but not easy circumstances today either with the changing of the conditions and warm-up for the match indoors then start the match outdoors and then changing back to indoors.”
With the lone exception in 2014, Murray has been particularly clinic in Australia making it to at least a SF or better since 2010. He however has lot 2 finals in Melbourne o Novak Djokovic and will be trying to have a 3rd shot at the title on Sunday.
The h2h is even 4 apiece and this will be their first meeting in best of 5 since US Open 2012, a straight set Andy win.
If we discard Hopman Cup which is an ITF event and a team exhibition, Serena Williams has never lost to Radwanska. The Perth held event in the beginning of every year still remains as the only win the Polish player has in their mutual meetings so far and it happened in 2015.
Maria Sharapova was competitive for a set but eventual felt down again to the mighty American. That was Serena’s 18-th win in a row against the Russian and hasn’t lost against her from 12 years.
“It was super intense,” said Williams. “She’s an incredibly intense and focused player who was world number one.
“When you’re playing someone so great you have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity.”
Despite Serena took injury time out she discard there is something serious and it was due to a food poisoning.
“I told myself that I’m here to have fun now. I’ve done everything that I didn’t want to do, you know. I didn’t think I would have done as well as I have,” she told reporters.
“Everything from here on out, every match, is a bonus for me.
“I don’t have to win this tournament or any other tournament for as long as I live. I really want to enjoy being a professional tennis player and playing on grand slam courts, moments like this.”
Radwanska booked her meeting with the American with a straight set win over Carla Suarez Navarro. She wasn’t troubled throughout the match, and despite she conceded 2 break, she made 6 of her own and took advantage of some sloppy play from the Spaniard who made 45 unforced errors.
“Right now, I have nothing to lose,” she said, adding that she hoped she would play her best. “Otherwise I’ll be in big trouble,” she said.
The Pole has been priced 6.00+ just 8 times in her career and has lost all of them, winning only 2 sets.
One of the Australian Open favourites by many for the title Viktoria Azarenka, was the victim of yet another splendid performance from Kerber.
The German had to save MP in the first round but now finds herself in the Semifinals of a Grand Slam for the 3rd time in her career and first since Wimbledon 2012. This is also the first time she has gotten so deep in Melbourne as well.
“I can’t actually describe it in words,” said Kerber. “I was 0-6 before I came on court and I was just saying to myself, ‘Just play like you play in practice, just go for it and believe you can beat her,'” she said afterwards. “I’m so happy I beat her for the first time.”
She credited Steffi Graf for the brief time spent with her
“I was able to practice with her for a few days just before Indian Wells last year. But she taught me actually that I’m on a good way and to try to believe in myself.
I was trying to do it in the last few months. I was going out there today with a lot of confidence and trying to believe really in myself and just going for my shots, trying to play good tennis.’’
“I’m happy about my game, how I’m playing today.”
She now faces Johanna Konta who ended the fairy tale run of Zhang Shuai in the QF while still continuing her own history writing.
She played superb with controlled aggression an didn’t gave the Chinese any chances
“I didn’t put anything on this match,” said Konta, according to the BBC. “I just wanted to come out and play the best level that I could, and give the best entertainment I could.”
“To be honest, I was taking it a match at a time. She definitely didn’t make it easy for me,” Konta said.
“When I was a little girl, I dreamt of winning grand slams and being number one in the world,” she added. “That dream stays the same, I think, as long as you’re doing the career that you’re on.”
“It is a fairy tale. The impossible dream has happened” – Christine Truman Janes, 1959 French champion, on Konta win
Although Kerber has already been here, this will mark history as we are going to have a first time finalist in Grand Slams among those two.
The rise of Konta has been sensational, as she was a frequent player to the ITF circuit just a year ago and now is top 30 with possibility to be very close to the 20 mark if she wins this match.
Konta is 10-10 in her career when priced between 3.00-5.99 with a +35.0% ROI
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