Round 4 kicks off on Sunday, and there are some mouthwatering encounters on the line in both Men and Women, despite the depleted side of Ladies Draw with that many upsets…
Nisihikori has won 5 of the 7 head to head meetings and they haven’t met since their 5 setter in Roland Garros last June where Jo pleased the home crowd. Also worth to mention is that only 2 meetings between these two the bookies’ favourite won.
Both players lost 1 set each going through the first 3 rounds and Kei was experiencing a wrist problem in his last match against Guillermo Garcia Lopez.
“It was little bit sore in the beginning, but after the treatment it was fine. I’m sure it’s going to be okay,” he said.
“It was a really tough match. There were many long rallies. I have to give a lot of credit to him, because he was hitting really hard. I thought he was going to hit more spin, but he was hitting a lot of flat balls and it was going in. It was tough to play.”
About his next opponent Nishikori added:
“We played last year in French and I almost came back, but he raised his level in the fifth,” recalled the former US Open finalist.
“It was really tough loss for me, so I hope I can revenge here. You know, I have been playing good and a lot of confidence coming up, so it’s gonna be a good match.”
This is only the 2nd time for Tsonga in Aus Open appearances that he is priced between 2.00-2.99 and he lost the first one to Federer last year. Overall he is only 20-22 in his career in that range and has lost 5 in a row..
“It’s gonna be a really tough match, we’ve played a few times and it’s always tight,” – Tsonga said
The match is scheduled first on Hisense Arena tomorrow morning.
Already played 5 times – 4 official matches, but this will be their first meeting on Grand Slam level.
Wawrinka is officially undefeated against the Canadian, but they met in Abu Dhabi in exhibition match and Raonic scored a 7-5, 7-5 win as a 2.40 odds underdog.
They come here undefeated in tournaments that matter as Raonic won Brisbane and Wawrinka – Chennai for a hat-trick of titles in India.
After acquiring Carlos Moya to work with him, the Canadian seems to be a bit more patient in the rallies and has improved his defense to offence while continuing to bombard his way with a barrage of Aces.
Wawrinka on other hand, shared some thoughts about improved forehand under Coach Magnus Norman:
“For sure it’s been a key for those big matches that I won. In the past I was struggling on the important points with my forehand,”
“Now I don’t anymore. Now I trust my forehand, that’s for sure.
“So, yes, I been improving a lot my forehand. But I think my backhand is also improved.”
Wawrinka’s stunning — when it’s working, and it usually is — one-handed backhand regularly has onlookers drooling. As his coach, Magnus Norman, told CNN, “he can wake up in the middle of the night but still play an amazing backhand.”
Stan also added about the upcoming blockbuster that it ‘’ depends a lot of my game’’ and that he always find some solution to break Milos’ serve, even if is really tough.
This match can somehow answer the question that has spread around the media that, if the Canadian is ready to make a big step with his development and show the world he once again belongs in the latter stages of a Slam. Losing in the 3rd round in Wimbledon and US Open in 2015 put a bit on hold his climbing forward and indeed it will require massive effort to get through Stan here,but is not impossible.
Despite her lapse in concentration and making far too many errors vs Davis in the 2nd set, Maria regrouped and put a bagel next to Lauren’s name. This was a milestone win as she now has 600 on professional level to her credit.
She now faces teen sensation Belinda Bencic in what could become a really big test for the Russian on the road for a match vs Serena Williams in the next round.
The Match will kick start the program on Rod Laver Arena tomorrow morning.
“An impressive player,” Sharapova said of 18-year-old Bencic after her win over Lauren Davis on Friday. “A newer generation that’s already established herself in the past season, beaten a lot of top players. It’s a tough fourth round. We haven’t played against each other before, but I’m sure we’ll be playing many times. It’s great that we can start here.”
Maria has 2 losses priced between 1.20-1.499 in Australian Open – to Na Li in 2013 and Dominika Cibulkova in 2014. Belinda loves the underdog role as he has 8-7 record in her career in similar situation being just over 3.00..
After retiring in Sydney’s final vs Puig last week due to food poisoning, Belinda cruised in her first 2 matches in Melbourne claiming victories over Riske and Babos. She had to play really well in order to come from behind and oust inspired Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko .
Belinda was broken 3 times by Kateryna, after her first 2 matches she was able to contain that from happening, and Maria was broken 2 times each in her last 2 bouts in Melbourne.
Is Belinda ready to make the next step and inch closer to top 10 while taking a major scalp, or the Russian will have the last laugh in the end?
After helping her country, alongside Nick Kyrgios to claim the Hopman Cup in the first week of the year, Daria is now making headlines with progressing to Aus Open’s 4-th round.
She was forced to dig deep against Mladenovic, but with an 11-9 win in the 3rd she made sure eliminating 6-th seed Petra Kvitova in the 2nd round will be properly backed up.
Daria, who was given citizenship by end of last year and made the switch from Russian, to represent the Aussie flag is looking to become the first player since Jelena Dokic to make it to the QF stage in Melbourne Park.
“I think it’s not a bad match-up for me,” Gavrilova said, while being asked about Carla Suarez Navarro.
“She’s not a big server, so I think we’ll have long rallies and I don’t mind it at all. I’ll have a bit more time. She’s completely different to all opponents I played against just in this Oz Open. I don’t feel any pressure, but I really want to keep going and keep winning.”
After a very successful first part of the season in 2015 on both American’s Hard courts and European Clay, Carla felt flat along the way. At one point she even dropped 7 consecutive matches in 1st round.
She has been to her level this year, with a SF appearance in Brisbane, but also she hasn’t faced a player inside top 100 yet in Melbourne. After her QF here in 2009, this is the first time she has been through the 3rd round on the first calendar Slam.
She boost a remarkable 14-2 record in her career when she is between 1.50-1.99 in price range in Grand Slams and win here will increase her chances to be back in top 10.
The Spaniard won their only meeting,2 years ago in Tokyo, when Daria was 365-th in the rankings.
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