Results of some matches on 8th and 9th day of Australian Open threw up some intriguing tales, expected victories and a few upsets. On Monday, Andy Murray almost didn’t play his fourth round match against Australia’s Bernard Tomic because his father-in-law was hospitalized and he also awaited news from his heavily pregnant wife Kim. But the Scot managed, won his match and reached the quarterfinal to set up a clash with Spain’s David Ferrer. In Monday’s other stories, Canada’s Milos Raonic defeated no. 4 seed Swiss Stan Wawrinka in five sets while Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka won their fourth round matches in style to set up another clash after their Brisbane International final. On Tuesday, two women and two men sealed their places in the singles semifinals. Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova once again while Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska disposed of Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Among men, Roger Federer powered past Czech Tomas Berdych to set up a mouth-watering clash with no.1 seed Novak Djokovic. The Serb, who was taken to five sets by Frenchman Gilles Simon on Sunday, had an easy outing against Japan’s Kei Nishikori. India’s Sania Mirza and Swiss Martina Hingis entered the semifinal of women’s doubles while both Sania and Hingis also made it to the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles playing with different partners.
Andy Murray was in all manners of off court troubles on Monday. He had his fourth-round match scheduled against Australia’s Bernard Tomic but the Scot wasn’t quite sure whether he would play. Murray’s father-in-law, Nigel Sears, who also coaches Ana Ivanovic had been hospitalized and Murray was at his bedside. Sears suffered a collapse at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday during a match and had to be taken away. For two days, Murray was spending quite a lot of time at the hospital. To add more woes to Murray’s family issues was his wife Kim Sears’ advanced stage of motherhood. Murray would have taken the first flight home, if Kim had gone into labor. But Murray managed to play against Tomic as scheduled. The Briton had never lost to an Australian in 16 previous matches and on Monday he made it for the 17th time. The Scot began by breaking Tomic and the tone of match was set though Tomic didn’t yield easily and made Murray work for his points. In first set, Murray’s distraction was evident but he recovered and scored a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 victory over the Australian. Murray’s quarterfinal opponent will be Spain’s 8th seeded David Ferrer, who beat USA’s big-serving John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
Canadian Milos Raonic ended Stan Wawrinka’s Australian Open campaign by defeating the Swiss in five sets. Wawrinka lost the first two sets but bounced back to level set scores. However, Raonic raised his game in the decider and won at 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3. Victoria Azarenka proved her first three victories at Melbourne were no flukes as she steamrolled Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4 without much fuss. In the quarterfinal, Vika will have a rematch of her Brisbane International final by taking on Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who was equally devastating in outplaying compatriot Annika Beck 6-4, 6-0.
An eagerly awaited quarterfinal match between women’s defending champion Serena Williams and no.5 seed Maria Sharapova turned out to be a tame affair in the end. After some first set heroics from the Russian, the 92-minute match went in Serena’s favor 6-4, 6-1. Now Poland’s Radwanska stands in Serena’s way for a place in the final. On her part, Radwanska defeated Spain’s 10th seed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3 to enter the semifinal.
Roger Federer played brilliantly against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych after some concern in the first set. Once Federer took that on tiebreak, he controlled the second and third to eke out a 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 win. Federer now takes on no.1 seed Novak Djokovic, who played authoritatively against the seventh seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori and won at 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. It was a great relief for the Serb after his 5-set draining game against Frenchman Gilles Simon two days ago. Australian Open also has a final but the Federer-Djokovic showdown is expected to be the match of the tournament.
For Indian fans, the last two days have brought very good news. Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis are now just two matches away from clinching another Grand Slam. On Tuesday, the Indo-Swiss pair lost a set but came through 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 against the German-American combo of Anna-Lena Gronfeld/Coco Vandeweghe. For a place in the final on Wednesday, Sania/Hingis will have to beat Germany’s Julia Georges/Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova. Georges/Pliskova reached the semifinals after beating USA’s Vania King/Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2, 6-4. Sania also progressed to the mixed doubles quarterfinals with Ivan Dodig of Croatia. Sania/Dodig defeated Kazakh Yaroslava Svedova/Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 7-5, 6-2. In another mixed doubles match, defending champions Martina Hingis/Leander Paes also reached the quarterfinal by beating USA’s Sloane Stephens/Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer 6-1, 6-2. At least one Indian is assured of a semifinal berth in mixed doubles since Sania/Dodig take on Hingis/Paes next.
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