Tennis

Australian Open Quarter Finals Part Two

Now that we know the first semi final line ups, tomorrow sees the bottom halves discover who will be in the Australian Open semi finals.

 

Men

 

David Goffin vs Grigor Dimitrov

 

This match up is interesting with both players starting to finally fulfil their potential after years of living in the shadow of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

 

Goffin is currently in strong form after edging a rough first round match against Reilly Opelka. This is only his second quarter final appearance at a grand slam so the pressure is on him if he wants to progress further up the world rankings.

 

Dimitrov is a strong opponent but needs to start making strides if he is to be the new Federer. Down Under, he has been in great form but is a slow starter having already lost the first set in two of his matches. At this stage of the competition, he cannot afford to drop the first set or his rivals will gain extra confidence and become difficult to beat.

 

Both players have met once on the pro circuit at the 2014 US Open. Dimitrov won that meeting in four sets after receiving a first set bagel. That meeting however means very little given how far both have developed since.

 

Rafael Nadal vs Milos Raonic

 

Easily the best match up of all quarter finals in this year’s Australian Open.

 

Rafa breezed through the early rounds but had to muster up his experience to survive a potential third round exit before seeing off Gael Monfils to get here. With Federer or Wawrinka awaiting in the final, he will be determined to prove that the ‘Big Four’ are still a force to be reckoned with.

 

Raonic has however been in comfortable form and will be looking to claim his first grand slam title. He has dropped two sets this tournament with both being 6-3 and coming in his last two matches. 26 is the average age for a player to achieve a maiden grand slam title so the Canadian should be at his peak and ready to lift one of the majors this year.

 

Nadal has a better head to head record with six victories to Raonic’s two. Seven of their meetings have come on hard courts with  their last meeting coming in Brisbane a few weeks ago. Raonic won that meeting 4-6 6-3 6-4 so expect another tight encounter but over five sets.

 

Women:

 

Karolina Pliskova vs Mirjana Lucic Baroni

 

Pliskova breezed past her section with ease except for her third round clash, which saw a 10-8 victory in the final set. The Czech knows how to whip up bagels, having thrashed three of her opponents so far with a 6-0 set. She will be a dangerous favourite against the unseeded veteran.

 

Lucic Baroni is currently on her best run since Wimbledon 1999 and will be looking to break into the WTA top 30 players with victory over her younger opponent. She can go into this match confident of another scalp after sending third seed, Agnieszka Radwanska home in the second round.

 

These two have met on five occasions with four of those clashes being on hard courts. Their last two battles have been three setters so expect a competitive clash that will tire both out ahead of the semi finals on Thursday.

 

Johanna Konta vs Serena Williams

 

This match up is looking too close to call with both players storming through their sections to set up this clash.

 

Johanna Konta had tough opponents in her path but swept them aside with ease so will be confident of sending last year’s runner up out the door. She will need to keep up her attacking play and get Serena on the run if she’s to stand any chance of matching last year’s semi final appearance.

 

Williams has only just recently returned from a three month lay off and would of had time to watch Konta in action. Could this prove decisive in how she approaches the match?

 

This is their first meeting but Konta has a 2-1 record against Serena’s sister, Venus. This won’t count for much because both sisters now are at different levels. The most important things for both players will be to stick to their game plans and be mentally focussed at key points. May the best player win this match!!!!

 

 

 

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