AO 2014: Big 3 on Day 8

After a first week in Melbourne that went more or less to plan, the script is starting to unravel – to the distaste of a few pre-tournament favourites. The Women’s draw is in tatters with the exit of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to opponents who saw an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands and then some!

The Men’s draw has been a lot sedate by comparison, though Juan Martin Del Potro may not entirely agree with that. That could start changing as early as today as we start pencilling in the Quarter Finalists of the first slam in 2014. Let us take a look at the matches the Big 3 play on Day 8 of the Australian Open 2014

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori

Rafael Nadal has been thoroughly dominating in the 7 sets he has played. The tennis world was expecting a brutal match against Monfils in the 3rd round, but Nadal had other plans. He raised his game to top gear and absolutely dismantled Monfils. To get an idea of Nadal’s domination on court, just take a look at this super shot from the night before. It’s going to take something really special to stop Nadal at this tournament and Kei Nishikori will be the man who will have the unenviable task of coming up with that special performance. In all probability, Nadal will repeat the dose he delivered to Monfils, but with Michael Chang in his corner, I expect Nishikori to keep it a lot closer than Monfils did, but I am not really feeling the “special” vibes from Kei.

Prediction: Nadal to get home in 4 sets.

Andy Murray vs Stephane Robert

Andy Murray could not have hand-picked a better set of players to ease himself into the business round. Coming off from an injury could be tricky, but Murray has had a nice road back and today he faces a lucky loser in Stephane Robert. While it could be dangerous to face an opponent who has nothing to lose, I am sure Murray or any top player would gladly accept that scenario rather than facing a seeded player. Murray will gladly accept this gift and make it to the quarter-finals of a slam where he has made 3 finals and a semi-final since 2010.

Prediction: Robert in straight sets? Of Course I am not serious. Murray will breeze through to the Quarters

Roger Federer vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

This is THE match of the tournament to date. Federer and Tsonga have already given us some epic encounters like the quarter-final in Wimbledon 2011 and the quarter-final in this same arena, last year. Neither of these two supreme shot-makers has dropped a set and of course, they are both going to drop the 1st set of this tournament today. The question is who will drop less than 3? My answer is Federer. He has had early exits in his last 2 slams and he does not want to make this 3 slams in a row. To do that, Federer will have to serve well and be aggressive on the returns, in particular the 2nd serves. There are very few players who can rush Federer on a tennis court, but Tsonga is definitely one of them. Needless to say the 1st set will have lethal impact on the result of the match, so both players would like to get that all important first cut! Both of them can rain winners from all parts of the court, so the onus will be to keep the opponent under the gun. If either player breaks free, their games could resemble a freight train on full throttle. On that theme, the Federer Express will just edge this battle of run-away trains.

Prediction: Federer in 4 tough and enthralling sets.

Who have you got, folks? Enjoy Tennis and Life!

Prakash Potukuchi [ aka Roger Laver is the founder of Sportz Cosmos]

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15 thoughts on “AO 2014: Big 3 on Day 8

  1. I think Fed is in top form. I am going for a controversial straight setter prediction though lot of people seem to be betting on Tsonga. Rafa in straight sets and Murray too. Big 3 sailing comfortably. May be I am still in the happy zone from the straight setter from V 🙂

  2. Its awesome to see him in this form but I really hate to admit that beating Rafa looks Herculean. I would put Fed past Murray for sure.

  3. Rafa was a problem Roger at the best of times. Unless they play a day match, Federer will not stand much chance. I think he should get by Murray…. but remember Murray has 3 finals and a semi the last 4 years

  4. He has a back injury too and seems like Roger is in no mood to relent. Might test Murray physically and the heat could get to him both metaphorically and literally.

  5. I think Federer takes Murray based on there recent play. Federer was looking pretty bad in the first two rounds, but since then has been looking like a genius. As for Rafa, lets not forget he will play a very inspired and talented Grigor Dimitrov. I would not be surprised he Grigor pulls a big upset. He due to get a big win at some point. Hopefully not though 🙂 . I cant wait to see all the quarterfinal matches!

    My predictions are:

    Berdych over Ferrer in 4.
    Nole over Stan in 4.
    Federer over Murray in 5.
    Nadal over Dimitrov in 5.

  6. Carlos, I see your old loyalties, kicking in? Let us hope for a Grigor breakthrough, no? 😉 LOL!

    I think Fed and Nadal will get the job done in 4….. other 2 I agree. Berdych is actually going very much under the radar….

  7. I’ll pretend you didn’t suggest that lol. But if he does pull it off, then i will rout for him the rest of the way. It would be nice to see a new face from the new breed holding the trophy! BTW, I was really impressed with Fed in his match with Tsonga. He was flawless!

  8. Haha… You know I will be cheering with you in the final, should that happen…. semis… i will think about it if it does happen…!

    Federer was absolutely magical…. like Nadal was with Monfils…… a Fedal in the semis might be another epic like their previous AO encounters… so many exciting possiblities in the next few days 🙂 hope reality lives up to our expectations 🙂

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