As we enter the second week of the Australian Open; we will take a look at the story so far and what’s to come in Melbourne.
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Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem
Nadal eventually prevailed in a difficult 4th-round match against Nick Kyrgios, and now he has to contend with world number five Dominic Thiem. Thiem has a few victories under his belt against Nadal, but never in a slam. He’s well-rested and if he plays his best; he can make the match close or even take it. Nadal obviously starts as the favourite, and he should expect another difficult match on his weakest surface. If he makes the final, he’ll be praying that it’s not against his hard court nemesis - Novak Djokovic.
STS tip: Thiem to win at odds of 23/10.
Stanislas Wawrinka vs Alexander Zverev
Wawrinka rolled back the years by defeating world number four Daniil Medvedev in a 5-set thriller. He seems to find his best form for the slams whereas his quarter-final opponent is famous for struggling in them. Zverev has breezed through so far without dropping a set, and his freshness may tip the result in his favour. Both will be hoping for an upset win for Dominic Thiem as their records against Nadal are poor.
STS tip: Wawrinka to win the first set and the match at 13/8.
Tenys Sandgren vs Roger Federer
These two have never played each other before, but Federer starts as the firm favourite in this match. Sandgren has been the typical journeyman for much of his career although Australia appears to be his favourite stomping ground as he made the quarter-finals in 2018 too. The winner of this one will face the winner of Djokovic vs Raonic.
STS tip: Sandgren to win over 13 games at 5/6.
Milos Raonic vs Novak Djokovic
Raonic has never beaten Djokovic in nine attempts, and he will have to be at his serving best to finally defeat him. Djokovic’s biggest asset is his return game which nullifies the big serving of Raonic. Raonic has produced a much more impressive run compared to Djokovic so far with wins over world number six Tsitsipas and former US Open champion Marin Cilic. A Federer vs Djokovic semi-final is the most likely outcome from this side of the draw.
STS tip: Djokovic to win in four sets at 23/10.
Ashleigh Barty vs Petra Kvitova
Without doubt the highest-profile match of the quarters. Barty is the home player and has won the last three meetings which makes her the slight favourite. Barty is a defensive player and has the capabilities of frustrating Kvitova. If Kvitova plays her best tennis like in last year’s quarter-final between the two, then Barty will lose fairly easily again.
STS tip: Kvitova to win in straight sets at 12/5.
Sofia Kenin vs Ons Jabeur
Both relatively unknown players before the tournament began although Kenin has quietly crept her way up the rankings and is number 14 in the world. If Jabeur can keep up the excellent form of her previous matches, she’ll see no reason why she can’t make the semis. The player who does prevail will be the underdog in a semi-final match against Kvitova or Barty.
STS tip: Kenin to win in three sets at 9/4.
Anett Kontaveit vs Simona Halep
Halep is the overwhelming favourite for this one. She won both of her previous matches against Kontaveit with ease and should have no problems with dispatching her again here. Kontaveit is a better player now and will make it more difficult than in their last two matches.
STS tip: Halep to win in straight sets at 21/20.
Garbine Muguruza vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Pavlyuchenkova has come out of seemingly nowhere to defeat Pliskova and Kerber in the previous rounds. She did make the quarters last year, but her draw was kinder. Muguruza appears to be back to her best after a dreadful 2019. Her Grand Slam pedigree makes her the favourite here. The most difficult one to call as anything can happen in this match.
STS tip: Muguruza to win in three sets at 9/4.
STS and the Australian Open
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