Image Credit. World Tennis Magazine
June brought with it ‘Wicked Wednesday’ on the green grass of Wimbledon. In similar fashion the spirits were out to play today causing more upset in the world of tennis, this time on the clear blue hard courts in Melbourne, Australia.
Australian Open quarter-final day. The line up teasing us with some spectacular tennis performances. 3 nail biting matches with shock results.
Djokovic vs Wawrinka:
As the reigning Men’s Singles champion, Djokovic was the clear favourite to win. At 15-2 in the head to head this should have been a walk through for Novak. This wasn’t the case today. I must admit, I only managed to catch the match in the final set. But from highlights and commentaries I have seen it was clear Stan was the worthy winner. In the 30 minutes I saw them play in the 5th set Stan was maintaining a high level of tennis, driving the ball forward, hitting the corners forcing Djokovic to try and defend. Novak, being one of the greatest defenders in the game, seemed lost for ideas at times hitting a number of unforced errors that he really shouldn’t have. And so lead to the demise of the defending (in all sense of the word) champion. Meaning this year a new champion will be crowned.
Azarenka vs Radwanska:
In similar fashion the reigning Women’s Singles champion was in play, facing the world number 5, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska. This was to be an exhibition of top-class tennis with some points of pure wonder. However, this level of playing was only present from one half of the court. Whether she wasn’t fairing in the heat or had picked up a niggle somewhere, it was clear that Azarenka was not in her element. Expressions of pain and discomfort adorned her face in a number of moments throughout the match, making it clear that the world number 2 wasn’t happy. With the show Radwanska was putting on, I’m not surprised in the slightest. At times Vika had Radwanska running between either ends of the court along the baseline, trying to exhaust her opponent. It didn’t work. Agnieszka was managing to squeeze her points through at every moment possible, hitting some of the most unbelievable winners I have ever seen in my life. Azarenka didn’t go down without a fight, pushing the match to 3 sets, but it was just not meant to be for the Belarusian.
Federer vs Murray:
This for me wasn’t the most surprising of results. Both men not at the top of their game at the end of 2013; Federer slipping down to 7th in the world, his lowest ranking in years, being knocked out in the early stages of Grand Slams by unseeded players. Murray wasn’t having the best time himself, having not played a full tournament in 4 months after having serious back surgery for a long withstanding injury. But despite that, these two men gave us a match of pure entertainment. Murray himself had no expectations of getting this far in to the tournament, and yet didn’t blame his defeat on any form of unfitness. He was gracious in his demise, praising Roger for proving the press wrong, the Swiss gentleman is going nowhere.
My Predictions (winner):
Women’s Final: Agnieszka Radwanska vs Eugenie Bouchard
Men’s Final: Rafael Nadal vs Stanislas Wawrinka
With the first Grand Slam of 2014 finishing in mere days, only time will tell if today’s results have any bearing of the end of the year rankings. I for one think there will be a lot of ‘shuffling’ to be done.