Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Well, well, well! In the first day of the 2014 Australian Open quarterfinals much to my surprise the lower ranked person was able to defeat their higher ranked opponent. In the rematch of Stanislas Wawrinka and 4-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, Wawrinka was finally able to win a tough 5-set match against the former #1 to reach his second consecutive major semifinal. Djokovic was also on an incredible 28-match winning streak, including 25 consecutive wins at the Australian Open. He lost this match 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7 in a bizarrely complementary fashion to last year's showdown in the 4th round. This time Djokovic lost the last two points of the match from 30-all in his must-hold service game by committing very bad errors (failing to handle a mishit service return and then completely blowing a duck volley on match point). The win improves Wawrinka's record to 3-15 against Djokovic and means that Djokovic's run of 14 consecutive major semifinals is ended. (Roger Federer still has the all-time record at 23). Djokovic now has a streak of 23 consecutive major quarterfinals, 13 behind Federer's record of 36.
In a smaller surprise, Tomas Berdych reached his first major semifinal in Australia by defeating World #3 David Ferrer 6-1 6-4 2-6 6-4.
This means that for the first time since Wimbledon 2010 Men's final between Nadal and Berdych (which I saw in person) someone other than one of the Top 4 of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Andy Murray will be playing in a grand slam final. Wawrinka and Murray will face off in one of the semifinals for the 2014 Australian Open final slot. Wawrinka actually leads that head-to-head 8-5.
Today's men's quarterfinals feature Federer versus Murray and Nadal versus Gregor Dimitrov. I predict another Nadal-Berdych final! (Although I would LOVE to see an all-Swiss one!)