Monday, January 25, 2016

2016 AUS OPEN: Men's Quarterfinals Preview

The women's quarterfinals are now set at the 2016 Australian Open. Last year, I predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals correctly and 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals correctly. I have also written a preview the 2016 Australian Open women's quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] vs  Kei Nishikori (JPN) [7]Djokovic had a bad day at the office with 100(!) unforced errors during a 5-set win over Gilles Simon the round before while his opponent Kei Nishikori dismissed 2008 Aussie finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets. Although Djokovic has a 5-2 head-to-head lead over Nishikori, although the Japanese player won the first time the two met in a major was the 2014 US Open semifinal, which is the last time the World #1 failed to reach a major final. Djokovic has to be happy that despite not playing his best tennis against a dangerous opponent he is still in the tournament and is playing in his 27th consecutive major quarterfinal (just 9 away from Federer's record of 36). I had picked Nishikori to go out early but I am pleased that it looks like he has managed to end his slide in the rankings and is playing excellent tennis but I would be shocked to see him eliminate Djokovic in two consecutive meetings in a major, especially a hard-court slam. Mad Professah's pick: Djokovic in 5 sets.

Roger Federer (SUI) [3]  vs Tomas Berdych (CZE) [6]. Tomas Berdych has two consecutive wins at a major over Roger Federer, even though Federer leads their overall head-to-head 15-6 with a lot of those wins coming in 3-set matches. Both players are coming off strong performances in their 3rd round wins (Berdych had a 5-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut and Federer demolished David Goffin in straight sets). Berdych had an incredible win over Rafael Nadal here last year and when he's playing his best he can beat anyone. Federer should win this match but I fear he might have peaked too early in his win over Goffin. However, I am sure that Federer is looking forward to a 3rd consecutive major meeting with World #1 Djokovic in the semifinals and will fight hard to get that opportunity. Mad Professah's Pick: Federer in 4 sets.

Rafael Nadal (ESP) [5] Gael Monfils (FRA) [23] vs Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [4] Milos Raonic (CAN) [13]. This was expected to be a blockbuster quarterfinal reprise of the 2014 Australian Open men's final but after Nadal was upset in the first round this year by fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco Wawrinka was expected to have a fairly easy path to the semifinals. However, he ran into an energetic Milos Raonic who served and volleyed his way to a 2-0 set advantage and then somehow managed to gut out the win when the Stanimal mounted an incredible come back to force a fifth set. Monfils has an excellent chance to reach his first major quarterfinal in Melbourne, since he has played Raonic twice before and never lost to the Canadian. However, the two have not played since 2013 and Raonic is a much better player now, and believes he can become the first of Generation Next to win a major. To do so, he is going to have to show that he can come back from a 5-set battle and be competitive the next round. For Monfils, he is playing in his 7th major quarterfinal and is only 1-5 so far.   Raonic is playing in his 4th quarterfinal, and his record is 1-2. That being said, I really want to see Monfils reach a major final. He has the game to do it, but he needs to be much more aggressive and use all his athletic prowess to get past Raonic. Either way, one of these players will reach their second ever career major semifinal. Mad Professah's pick: Monfils in 5 sets.

Andy Murray (GBR) [2] vs David Ferrer (ESP) [8].  Murray's tournament is being overshadowed by what is happening off the court. His wife is back home, ready to give birth to their first child any day now and Murray has said that he will fly home in order to be there with his family if that happens. Then his weekend's his father-in-law (Nigel Sears, Ana Ivanovic's coach and his wife's dad) collapsed on the court and things did not look good. However, Sears has stabilized and he is being flown back to Britain for treatment. All this drama off the court had not had an effect on Murray's play on court, and he has very good chances to reach his 5th final here in Melbourne (0-4 so far). The first obstacle is David Ferrer who ended American John Isner's hopes and is the only player in the men's singles draw who has yet to lose a set. This streak will almost certainly end during this match since Murray has an advantageous 12-6 head-to-head record against Ferrer. Mad Professah's pick: Murray in 4 sets.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin