The exuberant first week which saw a handful of epics and thrillers in the opening three rounds laid the platform for the last 32 men and women to fight for the big trophy. On another hot day at Melbourne, top seed Serena Williams was knocked out by in-form Ana Ivanovic to make the waves around the tennis world. Ninth seed Kerber too crashed out in the fourth round. Fourth seed Li Na had no trouble in making to the last eight. On the men’s half, top seeds were hardly troubled with Djokovic leading the way with a fabulous performance over his good friend Fabio Fognini. Seventh seed Berdych outclassed the big serving Kevin Anderson.
Here are the best clashes of day.
Flavia Pennetta def. Angelique Kerber 6-1 4-6 7-5
Impressive Italian Penetta came out on the Rod Laver Arena to open the day seven play. She rose to the occasion and blasted the ninth seed Kerber 6-1 in the first set. German leftie came back to level the match by edging 6-4 in the second set and forced the decider. Both players traded breaks in the third set but flying Flavia capitalized on the errors from Angie in the crucial points. The veteran fought patiently to extract the errors from her opponent before completing the upset win with 7-5 in the final set. She faces another veteran Li Na in the quarters who dumped the Russian Makarova 6-2 6-0 in her fourth round match.
Ana Ivanovic def. Serena Williams 4-6 6-3 6-3
Former no.1 Ana Ivanovic never took a set off the five times champion Serena Williams in her four previous meetings. But the 2008 runner up put on an inspired show to beat the world no.1 in this fourth round match. She was dominant right from the beginning of the match forcing the American to save three break points in the opening game. Serb came up with some unbelievable shots to gain a break advantage in the fifth game to lead 3-2 only to surrender it back in the next game when she double faulted facing the first break point. Play went on serve to the business end of the set with Ivanovic serving at 4-5 to stay in the opener. Williams returned well in the game to put pressure on the Serb. Eventually she took the set 6-4 when Ivanovic netted a forehand on the second set point. Ana kept dominating the second set with her quality serves denying the top seed any chance of making a break through. Instead she broke Williams and raced to a 5-3 lead. Then kept Serena under enormous pressure to gain another break to level the match. With the momentum in her favor, Ivanovic broke the first service game of Williams in the final set and led 3-0 quickly. Though the American kept serving well to love holds, Ana didn’t show any nerves and captured a 5-2 lead. Serena was forced to save a match point on her serve before Ivanovic closed out the match with her service, winning the third set 6-3. She hasn’t faced a break point in the last two sets and broke Serena’s serve three times.
Eugenie Bouchard def. Casey Dellacqua 6-7(5) 6-2 6-0
Aussie favorite Dellacqua faced the upcoming teenage talent Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in the night session play. She broke the Canadian’s serve early to lead the opening set. But Genie fought her way back to push the set into a tiebreaker. Casey prevailed in the end to take the set. It looked like Aussie would walk away with another straight sets victory. But that thought didn’t last too long as the Canadian won five straight games to lead 5-1 and had chances to clinch the set with third consecutive break. Dellacqua saved set points to make Bouchard serve out the set 6-2 and even the match. The Australian couldn’t halt her younger opponent in the decider by any means. Genie overpowered Casey throughout the third set with her big ground strokes and clutch serves. She ruined the Aussie night with a bagel to complete the formality. The teenager now faces Ivanovic in her first ever major quarterfinal. It will be an exciting contest on Tuesday.
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Tommy Robredo 6-3 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
One thing that comes the mind when these two play on a tennis court is obviously those beautiful single handed backhands. The Swiss no.2 Stan dominated the first set with his classy backhand winners and big first serves. He closed out the set with one service break in thirty minutes. The second set started more positively for the eighth seed as he got the break in the very first game. Robredo had no answers to Stan’s flawless game. He did well to avoid more damage by repeatedly saving the break points on his serve. Wawrinka served for the second set at 5-4 and was a point away to take it but couldn’t quite hold on. The Spaniard grew in confidence and rushed to the net aggressively to keep Stan out of his comfort zone, eventually forcing the tiebreak to decide the set. Wawrinka had to rally from 2-0 deficit in the breaker to win seven out of next eight points to take two sets to love lead. Robredo found his rhythm in the third set and denied the Swiss on break point opportunities. Serving at 4-5, Stan found himself staring at set point but came up with wonderful first serves to stay alive. Serving efficiently, both players headed to the third set tiebreaker. After exchanging mini breaks, Wawrinka had two match points at 6-4. Spaniard saved one on his serve, but couldn’t stop the Swiss on his serve to win the match in straight sets.
David Ferrer def. Florian Mayer 6-7(5) 7-5 6-2 6-1
Third seed Ferrer overcame a slow start against the German Florian Mayer to reach quarters at the Australian Open for fourth consecutive year. The unpredictable Mayer frustrated the Spaniard in the first two sets before splitting them. Just when Mayer wilted, Ferrer was there to take command in the next two sets. The 31-year old Spaniard blitzed past the German with his grinding display on court to close the match in four sets. He faces the Czech Tomas Berdych for a place in the semifinals for the second year running.