Scaling tennis mountain

Jan 21, 2012

Day 6 means we’re tantalisingly close to the end, but still just too far. Enjoyable for us, barely maintained torture for the players baking out on the Melbourne courts every day. Here’s a quick roundup of everything that has happened in these last few days:

Novak Djokovic barely stopped for breath whilst beating Nicholas Mahut, losing only 2 games, and looks as good as he did this time last year when he went on to win the Australian Open. Poor Mahut didn’t have much of a chance with a strapped up leg and Novak in a good mood, and it took only an hour and 14 minutes before was dispatched from the tournament. He was a hit with the crowd, though. After all, it was Mahut who narrowly lost to John Isner in the fifth set that went to 7-68 at Wimbledon 2010.

Michael Llodra couldn’t stop the force of Andy Murray. He was beaten 6-4 6-2 6-0 by Murray, not able to put up much of a fight. Murray’s sparkling form has had little to test it, so it will be interesting to see what happens to him over the next few days.

From the looks of things, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are on course to clash in the semi finals. Fans are rubbing their hands in glee. Roger is reaching his 1000th match on the Tour, and does he look like he’s slowing down? Does he heck. Having twins didn’t slow him down, turning 30 didn’t slow him down, so what will? Maybe Rafa, if only temporarily.

Then again, Roger’s game is an effective speed bump for Rafa’s form too. He dispatched the dangerous Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes. He’s not number one anymore, but there are few who would put Federer to the back of their minds when looking for a winner…

Bernard Tomic caused a stir when he beat Alexandr Dolgopolov. He was undoubtedly the crowd favourite – Australia, young, good looking – but Dolgopolov had won his fair share of battles, so there was a great deal of back and forth as to who should be backed to win. By beating Alexandr 4-6 7-6 7-6 2-6 6-3 in a dramatic match, Tomic has set up an even more dramatic fourth round. The 19 year old will play his hero: Roger Federer. So it looks like Federer’s not just got Nadal to worry about.

In the women’s game, Petra Kvitova is continuing to look strong. Maria Kirlenko, her third round opponent, had to retire after seven games with a leg injury. Her next opponent is Ana Ivanovic, the former number one. Maria Sharapova is also continuing with strong form, beating Angelique Kerber ; a semi finalist at last year’s US Open.

Serena Williams went through with similar ease, beating Greta Arn 6-1 6-1. But her first serve rate was appalling, and she’ll need to do better than that with Kvitova waiting in the wings.

-          SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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