Australian Open – Day 9 + 10 (QF)
(2)Roger Federer d. (19)Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 (1:47 h)
After impressive wins over Gael Monfils and Andy Roddick on Rod Laver Arena, Wawrinka disappointed totally on the same court playing against his compatriot Federer in the first all-Swiss quarterfinal at a major in the Open era. Perhaps Wawrinka was affected by the sun, because his two previous matches had played in night session and the average speed of his 1st serve had been distinctively higher (200 kph with Roddick, 16 kph slower with Federer). The only moment of the match when the final outcome was open, occurred in the middle of the 2nd set as Wawrinka had a break point leading 3:2, Federer won seven straight games since then… “I think it was a good match for me really. I started off well. Was able to serve and return really well… I expected him during today[‘s match] to even serve bigger because the ball travels faster through the air. For some reason I was able to return him well.” says Federer, who was playing in his record-tying 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal! Wawrinka’s first loss this year after 9 consecutive wins.
(3)Novak Djokovic d. (6)Tomas Berdych 6-1, 7-6(5), 6-1 (2:32 h)
It was an equal match (played indoors) with high level of play from both sides only in the 2nd set. Berdych was very tense at the beginning of the encounter, he was missing a lot especially from his forehand side. In the 2nd set he had his opportunities to level at one set apiece but every time at the most important stages (4:1*, 30-all; 5:4* 30/15 & 5:5* in the tie-break), Djokovic was more patient and able to force his rival to make a mistake. After very long, 78-minute set, Berdych couldn’t regroup and lost the 3rd set as quick as the 1st set (less than 40 minutes). “Pretty much I can be disappointed with the second set,” says Berdych. “I took over a little bit and was playing well, aggressive enough, and somehow he starts to make at least a couple of mistakes that give me a chance to have a break”.
(5)Andy Murray d. Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 (3:06 h)
Dolgopolov was behind his opponent all the time, but left better aesthetic impression leaving the court… Murray began the match like the previous ones – in an impressive style – led 4:1* (deuce) but the Ukrainian managed to erase one break of serve and was close to get the tie-break after saving a couple set points – finally Murray hit the line with his backhand return. In the 3rd set Murray led 3:1, then had three mini-match points – Dolgopolov saved them all with very good serves and risky play. The set cost Dolgopolov too much energy and experienced Brit jumped quickly into a *4:0 lead in the 4th set. Dolgopolov caught up a bit but there was too late to dream about the third consecutive 5-setter. “It was very tough, every point was different, he hits, just different,” says Murray. “He came back at me well in the third set, but I did well in the end. I had to go for my shots a little bit more, I was a little bit tentative in the tiebreak, so went for my shots a bit more and that settled me down. It was a tough match, and a good one to get through.“
(7)David Ferrer d. (1)Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 (2:33 h)
Generally speaking this year’s tournament was extremely predictable until the last quarterfinal. Nadal who was aiming to become the first winner of four consecutive majors since Rod Laver in 1969, had on the other side of the net his long-time rival, friend and compatriot – David “Pics” Ferrer, whom had beaten in the previous seven encounters, and each time without any serious troubles. The beginning of the match was crazy, in the 2nd game they both played their best tennis and Ferrer took an early break after 8 ‘deuces’, he lost his serve immediately but everyone would expect that this time Nadal is facing a tough test. And then, happened something strange, Nadal disappeared from the court and came back a few minutes later screwed up. He took a medical-time twice in the set but a grimace on his face didn’t change to the end. The older Spaniard was controlling all longer rallies and finished the match with a winning forehand after two and a half hours of play, ending Nadal’s streak of 25 successive matches won in Grand Slam tournaments. “In general, I had a virus. When you have a virus, your body goes down and you have more risk of everything,” he explained. “That’s probably what happened. That’s the simple thing.” Here is a list of the longest Grand Slam streaks (matches won in a row) in the Open era:
29 – Rod Laver (1969-1970)
27 – Roger Federer – twice: (2005-2006) & (2006-2007)
25 – Jimmy Connors (1974-1975), Pete Sampras (1993-1994) & Rafael Nadal (2010-2011)
* In all cases, the players won at least three consecutive majors (Laver won 4).
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