Dimitrov and Nadal paved the way for Federer to defend his title in Melbourne

Grass to hard

Open Australia is associated with Melbourne. Before finding his home in this city, the tournament traveled to many cities, including Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. It even took place in New Zealand. Initially, the tournament was called the Australasian Championships, then the Australian Championships, and only in 1969 – the familiar Australian Open. Until 87, they played here on the grass, after which they switched to hard.

Now the Australian Open is one of the most successful tournaments in the world. Melbourne Park offers three arenas with closing roofs, it was here for the first time at the Grand Slam that the roof was used for its intended purpose – to be able to continue the match during precipitation. By the way, it is also used in extreme heat. High organization attracts thousands of fans to Melbourne. In terms of popularity and attendance, the Australian Open regularly fights for first place with the US Open.

Hip did not allow Svitolina to show her tennis

For Elina Svitolina, until this year, the Australian Open ranked fourth among the “Helmets” in terms of results – only in this tournament she could not reach the fourth round. The problem was solved in the 2018 draw: Elina even took a step forward and reached the quarterfinals. In general, before the match with Alice Mertens, Svitolina looked very convincing: she won eight games out of nine, while not giving up more than four games per set to her opponents! Only the first set with Katezhina Sinyakova turned out to be indistinct. In general, the Ukrainian approached the game with Mertens in the status of an obvious favorite, but her game did not go well at all.

The first batch was still relatively stubborn, and in the second Elina, although she tried, could not take game – 4: 6, 0: 6. “Before the start of the tournament, I had some health problems. It’s very sad that I didn’t feel well today. What are these problems? This is a right hip injury. She started to bother me after the final in Brisbane, then it got worse, then it got better and worse. Today my opponent played well, so I had to go to a new level, but I was not ready to show it ”, – Elina said after the match and added that it was very difficult for her physically. But there is some good news: the Ukrainian will return to third place in the ranking.

Nadal will miss a couple of weeks

Svitolina may even take a short break in her performances. In any case, we wish her a speedy recovery. We wish Rafael Nadal the same, but he will definitely miss about three weeks. On Wednesday, January 24, it became known that the Spaniard had an injury to the iliopsoas muscle. Only for the third time in the last eight years and for the second time on “Helmets” in his entire career, Nadal had to shoot during the match.

The game with Marina Cilic did not promise to be easy, but the first number in the world ranking, of course, was the favorite. The tennis players exchanged games, and in a stubborn and equal third set, Nadal won in a tie-break. It seemed that this was the turning point of the match. Rafael began to celebrate his success, realizing the significance of this set. Marin played number one and won a lot himself, but he also made mistakes much more often. At the right moment, the Spaniard just tried to keep the ball in play and counted on the opponent’s inaccuracies – the bet worked.

But in the fourth set, Raphael was clearly worried about something. Nothing worked out at the reception, gross uncharacteristic mistakes and almost complete lack of activity. Nadal took a long medical break and tried to continue the game in the fifth game, but refused when the score was 0: 2. Following Djokovic, Rafael Nadal also left the tournament. Now the main contender is Roger Federer.

Federer beat “client”

He beat Tomas Berdych in three sets. In person, the Swiss led 19-6, including winning the previous eight matches, but the game in Melbourne could be difficult. In the first set, Berdykh had many opportunities. He was leading 5: 2, when serving on the set, he had a set point, then another one appeared on the reception at 6: 5, but Federer played both, and in the tie-break gave only the ball. The set is very offensive for Tomas: he himself played at a good level, Roger made a lot of mistakes, but the game remained with Federer. Take the Czech that game, the game could have gone differently, but in sports there is no subjunctive mood.

In the second and third segments, the advantage of the Swiss was already more significant – 7: 6 (7: 1), 6: 4, 6: 3. For the 14th time in a row, Roger won the Australian Open quarterfinals and will play against Jung Hyun. The Korean became the main discovery of the tournament. Following Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic, he beat Tennis Sandgren. The American received a lot of attention during these two days, and it is not directly related to tennis. The fact is that the network began to actively discuss the people to whom Tennis is subscribed, his political views and some comments on social networks.

The Sandgren scandal

As a result, Sandgren deleted all his “tweets”, but screenshots remained. For example, for an article with a photo about Serena Williams, he wrote the word “Disgusting” in 2015. There was also another message: “Any day when Serena loses is a good day.” Of course, in the tennis world, the attitude towards Sandgren is very negative now. At a press conference after the defeat to Chon, he read a prepared text and asked only to ask about the match. And in the match itself, Hyun played just better and won in three sets.

Another semi-final pair was made by Cilic and Kyle Edmund. The Briton unexpectedly beat Grigor Dimitrov – 6: 4, 3: 6, 6: 3, 6: 4. Kyle’s serve and right hand worked great. Time after time he pounded right through the forehand. Grigor tried at every opportunity to transfer the ball to the opponent’s left hand, but this did not work, and the Bulgarian himself, especially in the fourth set, made unusual mistakes – the ball did not sit on the racket and just flew into huge outs. Instead of repeating the semifinals of the Australian Open-2017 Nadal – Dimitrov, we got the game Cilic – Edmund.

Halep and Wozniacki are still in the ranks

Women don’t have such sensations. The semi-finals will be played by girls who have already won 39 victories this season (we are talking only about official tournaments) and suffered only one defeat. Simone Halep, Angelique Kerber and Alice Mertens have titles, while Caroline Wozniacki reached the final in the first week. In addition, Kerber and Mertens have won a total of six Hopman Cup matches. In general, all the semi-finalists are on the move.

Halep met with Karolina Plishkova and failed the start. Pliskova even had break points for the second break at 3: 0, but the Czech woman did not use them, and Simona suddenly started playing and completely stopped making mistakes. Carolina, who does not like and does not really know how to move a lot, did not really have time to catch the balls and because of this made inaccuracies. Khalep played the second half of the meeting very competently and achieved a crushing victory – 6: 3, 6: 2.

Kerber beat Madison Keys even easier. The situation is similar: a more reliable tennis player simply keeps the ball in the court, correctly places the balls and waits for gifts from her opponent. Keys did not succeed that evening – 1: 6, 2: 6. If the three quarterfinals were easy, then in one the audience still saw the third set. It was Caroline Wozniacki who defeated Carla Suarez-Navarro – 6: 0, 6: 7 (3: 7), 6: 2. The Danish will then meet with Mertens.


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