Tuesday, January 22, 2013

AO Day 10 Preview: Already...

Hey All.

How are you all? I was listening to Bob Dylan earlier, and one of his songs was especially good -- and always worth a listen. Sloane Stephens will crack the top 20, which will be the first time three Americans (if Venus gets to twenty) make the top twenty in ages and ages. Also, Svetlana Kuznetsova comes up with our quote of the day...

Q. The last time you played Victoria was your knee so bad that you really couldn't compete? Indian Wells last year.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: "No, I played Madrid. You see, I'm something better than you."

Q. Yes, you are. (Laughter.) So the last two times, just talk about playing Victoria then.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: "The time I played in Indian Wells was totally disaster. I got my ass kicked very badly."

Clear? Yep, very clear from Sveta there.

Also, The Radwanska has been slain and I think they just finished cleaning up what's left of Makarova off the court. Maria has dropped just nine games in getting to the semi finals. I really hope Li Na has a plan because frankly I would be quaking in my boots right now if i was her. But the other section of the draw must be dealt...

Men's Singles - Quarterfinals RLA (ROD LAVER ARENA)

Jeremy Chardy (FRA) V Andy Murray (GBR) [3]

Murray's camp has been complaining about all the day matches he has had to play. However, I think with the players he has had to play, they have no grounds with their complaints. These two have met in hard court 1000 tourneys 5 times. They have always met in the round of 16 or the round of 32. Chardy won the last in an upset, but he is 4-1 down in the head to head. He has a career title, Chardy, at Stuttgart. I have been through the draw before but he has upset three seeds and is in some serious form.

Murray has played opposition of a lower level and he has looked pretty average, too. He hasn't needed to shift out of second gear and if he doesn't then Chardy may have a chance here. He hasn't really broken a sweat and he looks on course for a spanking from Roger in a semi-final clash with Federer. If Chardy wants to win this then he will have to hit to Murray's forehand every time he can. He will also have to go for Muzza's second serve like nothing else. There is 5 per cent chance of an upset here, and don't forget this is Murray. In the end Murray in four.

Men's Singles - Quarterfinals RLA

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [7] V Roger Federer (SUI) [2]

Federer leads this head to head 8-2 -- excluding the match Fed withdrew from -- and he seems to have Jo figured out. Jo has made it close recently, though. He has forced Fed to three a lot. This tournament Federer -- who has lost 198 times in his career -- has played better than he has for a long time.

Tsonga looked like he would beat Federer at the 2011 US Open and the 2010 Australian Open. At both events, Federer was barely troubled. All said and done -- as good as Tsonga has looked -- I just don't see it. Tsonga is going to have to play consistent aggressive tennis. He will have to have a very good first serve percentage. He will have to hit twice as many winners as UE and he will have to try and make Fed play the match on the Frenchman's terms. I don't think this will be an upset, though. I think Federer will triumph in three.

Women's Singles - Quarterfinals RLA

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [1] V Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) UPSET ALERT

It matters not a jot who wins this. This match only matters if there is a colossal upset in the other match. Sveta actually leads this head to head 4-3 and they have played at every slam so far except Wimbledon. Kuznetsova won 6-2 6-3 at both the French and the US, reaching the final at the US Open -- we won't talk about her performance in the final, though -- but they have never played a grass match. Azarenka won the last two meetings. She is the world number one and looks awesome.

Kuznetsova has had a difficult path here, but has excelled. She's been playing brilliant, imaginative, strong tennis throughout and dispatched several excellent players. She must take the net as much as possible -- like against Woz -- and she must attack Vika's second serve. She also has to attempt to pound Vika's forehand till it breaks down. I can actually see Kuznetsova winning this. Her game is the exact kind of game that could trouble Vika. I think though this will be a Vika victory in three sets.

Women's Singles - Quarterfinals RLA

Serena Williams (USA) [3] V Sloane Stephens (USA) [29]

Please. As good as Sloane is, I'm wasting nobody's time. Sloane is a player of the future. And Serena? I will sleep easier in my bed when she isn't on the warpath. She is a destructive force of nature. Williams in two.

Yawn. Right, bedtime me thinks. Visit WTABACKSPIN please.

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