With one day left until the weekend and first grand slam finals of the year, things are really heating up at Melbourne Park. The finalists for the women’s match have already been decided, so it leaves just the mens’ semis.
The finalists for Sunday’s men’s final will be decided when Novak Djokovic plays David Ferrer on Thursday night, and when Andy Murray takes on Roger Federer Friday night.
David Ferrer v Novak Djokovic
David Ferrer (Spain)
0 Grand Slams
8 Hard Court titles
Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
5 Grand Slams
26 Hard Court titles
Ferrer enters the semi-finals after a tough five setter against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Alamgro. Alamgro began the match on top, winning the first two sets and serving for the match in the third before Ferrer really woke up.
The fourth seed won the third 7-5, took the fourth to a tie-breaker, winning 7-4, and won the fifth 6-2 with a double break.
Ferrer plays world number one Novak Djokovic for a place in the final. The Serbian defeated Tomas Berdych in four sets in the quarter finals.
After winning the first set with an impressive 6-1, Djokovic struggled against the big Czech’s serve in the second, losing 4-6. Novak came back strong in the third and fourth, winning 6-1, 6-4.
While this is David Ferrer’s second semi-final at the Australian Open, Djokovic has won the event three times and is the clear favourite to progress.
The Spaniard plays very good aggressive tennis, but it is Djokovic’s ability to switch from defensive to aggressive tennis that has made him such a dominant player on the tour in recent years.
Prediction: Djokovic in three
Andy Murray v Roger Federer
Andy Murray (Scotland)
1 Grand Slam
21 Hard Court titles
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
17 Grand Slams
52 Hard Court titles
Murray enters his fourth consecutive semi-final at Melbourne Park with an impressive three set victory over the Del Potro-destroying Jeremy Chardy. Murray is in great form, the only player in the men’s draw yet to drop a set.
Both players served well in the first set, which Federer won 7-4 in the tie-breaker. Tsonga broke Federer once in the second to take it 6-4. Roger won the second again in a tie-breaker, before losing the fourth 3-6.
It was a close match, but Roger came out on top, winning the deciding set 6-3.
Jo-Wilfried may have to go back to school with Roger Rasheed, but both player and coach should be relatively proud of not only making the quarter-finals but of playing five quality sets against Federer.
After winning last year’s Olympic gold medal and his first grand slam, Murray’s career is as strong as ever. With no grand slam wins in 2011 and only the one in 2012, it would appear that Federer’s incredible career is beginning to slow down.
That being said, the match will not be easy for Murray whose defensive ability will be tested to the extremes. If Murray can get past Federer, I believe he will win this year’s Australian Open.
Prediction: Murray in four
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