Sunday, January 19, 2014

AO Report - Half-Way There

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

We have just hit the halfway mark in the slam and there are matches a-plenty to talk about. I have fallen by the wayside in the suicide pool. The top four seeds on the men's side continue to roll. Ferrer has flown under the radar, but Djokovic and Nadal have had plenty of attention. Funnily enough, Federer is also quietly going to work. He has Tsongs up next. Over five sets on this surface he should have too much for the Frenchman, but one never knows. Tsonga will likely take a set off the great man. The winner of that plays Murray or Robert in the quarters.

*Suicide pool watch*
Day One: Madison Keys, Jeremy Chardy [29]
Day Two: Anastasia Pavlychenkova [29], Fernando Verdasco [31]
Day Three: Ekaterina Makarova [22], Ivan Dodig [32]
Day Four: Carla Suarez Navarro [16]
Day Five: Eugenie Bouchard [30]
Day Six: Simona Halep [11]
Day Seven: Angelique Kerber [9]

Well, with Pennetta's upset of the ninth seeded German, I am finished in the suicide pool.

...This was the match that promised so much and yet delivered so little. Djokovic needed just 93 minutes to completely dismiss Fognini. He hit 40 winners in his 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 demolition win. Fognini plays a style that is tricky and can unsettle people. He hits big shots and makes it difficult. Not this time however. He his 44 errors and 7 doubles. He only had 55 points to Djokovic's 96. The Serbian has sent a message to the rest of the field. He played a near perfect match and he just looks the favourite to win this tournament. Nadal has tricky matches coming against Nishikori and Federer or Murray. Djokovic has been hitting his backhand well and that is the main reason he beats Nadal. Fognini may rise for achieving his seeding. He beat Bogomolov, Nieminen and Querrey on the way to the fourth round here. The Italian reached the French Open quarters in 2011, where he withdrew before facing Djokovic. This is his first slam fourth round since then. The Italian number one can start to move into the clay season soon and that is where he does his best work. As for Djokovic, well, he has to prepare for a Suiss quarterfinal opponent. No, not that one, the other one.
...The exciting thirteenth seeds beat the second seeds Peya/Soares in straight sets to advance. They won 7-6 [4], 6-4 in an hour and 31 minutes. The Franco pairing had 9 aces with no faults and 34 winners with just eight errors. Their opponents had 1 ace and 9 doubles. They did have 24 winners and 12 errors. The French pair played the perfect match to win, although there was just the single break between the pairs. Next up, the Frenchies have to repeat their upset feat by beating fifth seeds and US Open champs Stepanek/Paes. Llodra and Mahut reached the final of a slam last year and they are a strong pairing, so really anything is possible.
...There wasn't a long match, sadly.
...It took the Berd just under two hours to dismiss Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. Anderson had 16 aces with just a single fault and 31 winners to 30 errors, which are good stats. However, he had not a single break point. In three of his last five slams he has made the fourth round, including consecutively here. His ranking may rise after the tournament, too. Anderson will likely play the American hard court swing that is coming up, as he does well there. He has points to defend in Miami and Indian Wells, too. And Berdie? Well, he has been playing well as of late. He has gone unnoticed, too. It is four quarterfinals at the Aussie in a row now for Berdych. Out of his last 9 slams, he has reached the fourth round seven times, the quarters five times and the semifinals once at the 2012 US Open. He has to play Ferrer next, and I don't think he can beat Ferrer over five sets. Ferrer may just out-grind him. I don't know if he has the fight to get past Ferrer and get the 'Nalbandian Slam': the semifinals at all four.
...My apologies again. I am hoping normal service will soon be resumed here, too.
...The young Aussies just keep on winning. They edged past Bust and Garcia-Lopez 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and twenty minutes. They won 110 points, just one more than their opponents. The Aussies had six aces and four faults, but 46 winners and just 27 errors. The Spaniards were more conservative with stats of 4-1 and 27-14, respectively. There were just three breaks in the match. The Aussie duo will play either the ninth or eighth seeds next. They have momentum and the home crowd behind them. How far can they go?

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