The Make Up of the Men’s Semis

Jan 26, 2011

Some things have been pretty much as expected in the quarter finals of this Australian Open event. For example, Federer has plodded along in his typical fearsome but ever regal presence to the semi-finals on the back of very convincing wins. He beat Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets, and spent little time brushing aside his fellow Swiss player. This, though, is not a Federer that has yet to prove he is unbeatable. He has dropped three sets in the last four rounds and, for Federer, that is uncharacteristically wobbly. He wants his 17th Grand Slam, and this is probably the first time I have personally thought that he may have to wait a while.

After all, there are other sharks circling the title. One of them, however, would not be Rafael Nadal. Yes, I know, there were tears all round when this blogger heard the news. My local tennis club have announced that they will be holding (in what sounded like all seriousness) a minute’s silence in his honour. The Spaniard fell foul to a leg injury, and Ferrer put him out of his misery with a surprisingly quick 6-4 6-2 6-2. David Ferrer is now heading to his first semi-final at the Australian Open, where he will meet Andy Murray.

Now, Andy Murray. There are strange echoes about last year to his trajectory through the tournament. He starts off well, shrugs off the challenges, has an epic battle that tests his current form and then…well, last year he made it to the finals. He beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in four sets in these quarter finals, and that is no easy feat as Mr Dolgopolov unseated fourth seed Robin Soderling in the round before. Dolgopolov initially unsettled his game with his unusual style and flair (and his unusual hair), but Murray clawed his way back into the game. Murray could be heading for another Federer-final if he stays on the same course as he did last year. Will he learn from the encounter? Can you ever learn from previous experiences, if the player at the other end still has his old tricks that just refuse to let you in?

And then, of course, there is Novak Djokovic. He is my star in this year’s draw. I have spouted the virtues of Djokovic’s game in the past, but he has always fallen short of the biggest chances. He really has got to keep his head in gear and combine it with his form, because his form is unstoppable at the moment. He goes into the semi-final with to meet Federer having played some of the best tennis of his career; thumping forehands, quick changes of pace. Despite a minor contact-lens malfunction, he clinically put away a very difficult player, Tomas Berdych, in his quarter final match. Now there is a history between Roger Federer and the Serb; although Federer comes out better in the general head to heads, there are other statistics. Half of the matches that they have played in Grand Slam semi-finals have gone to Djokovic. Ok, so that’s still half to Federer, but it is proof that Djokovic can unsettle Federer even in the later stages of the tournament. He just has to keep his head clear of the negativity that sometime swamps him whole.

Djokovic and Federer will be the first to face off in the semi-finals, so now would be a good time to check that you will be able to watch/listen/get updates throughout tomorrow so that you will be fully prepared to watch the dynamic of the final begin to fold.

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

Add Your Comments

You must Sign In to post a comment.

« Back