What a breath-taking day of tennis that was! Absolutely smoking tennis from Ana Ivanovic to usher out the greatest active player in Women’s Tennis. The tennis that Ana brought to the court was sizzling, but her attitude was what got her over the line.
Let us take a look at the Big Matches that are lined up for the day.
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)  vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS) 
As Ana Ivanovic completed her win over Serena Williams, a number of players in the Women’s draw must have breathed a sigh of relief. One can argue that the loudest of the sighs came from Maria Sharapova. Sharapova must be seeing a big opportunity to land her 5th slam, but she would do well to not look beyond this hard-hitting Slovakian dame – Cibulkova. In a glamorous battle of the blondes, I will take Maria to get the job done.
Prediction: Maria in a 3 setter
Sloane Stephens (USA)  vs. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 
Match of the Day on the women’s side. This is going to be a match with a lot of needle between these two shot-making talented women. Azarenka and THAT time-out of hers in last year’s Australian Open match between these two is still very fresh in the minds of the tennis fans and I am thinking the players are very aware of it too. The pressure will be on Azarenka to prove that she did not need the MTO to seal the deal. Add to it, she is now the player to beat with the exit of Serena Williams. I think Stephens will push Vika in both sets, but I expect Azarenka to triumph again – no time outs, I am guessing.
Prediction: Azarenka in a tight 3 setter.
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)  vs. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Another great contest on the cards on the women’s side! Muguruza has been a revelation in this tournament and definitely the surprise story on the women’s side. However, the super talented Radwanska should be able to find a way to end Muguruza’s run.
Prediction: Radwanska in 2 tough sets.
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)  vs. Simona Halep (Rou) 
This should be another keenly contested women’s 4th round match. Halep is coming off a great year in 2013 where she won 6 titles and though she did not farewell in the AO warm up matches, she has made up for that with some convincing wins early on in the tournament. Jankovic has yet to be tested and she has been quite dominant thus far, but this will be a real battle for sure. I will go with Jankovic and her experience over the in-form Halep.
Prediction: Jankovic in 3 sets.
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)  vs Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
This is Dimitrov’s 1st match in the business week of a Grand Slam and many would say it took a long time coming! He faces the upset man of this year’s AO on the men’s side – Roberto Bautista Agut. Agut knocked out the 2009 USO Champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the 2nd round and just for good measure took out Benoit Paire in straight sets. This match is going to be closer than Dimitrov would like it and I am not entirely convinced Dimitrov has turned the corner. He did repay my faith in the last round against Raonic and I will back him one more time….
Prediction: Dimitrov in 4 tough sets
I will post my predictions for the Nadal, Murray and Federer matches shortly.
–Prakash Potukuchi [ aka Roger Laver is the founder of Sportz Cosmos]
28 thoughts on “AO 2014: Day 8 Preview”
Roger in 4
Murray in 3
Nadal in 4
Azarenka in 2. 1 tight.
Sharapova in 3 even though she is down as I post this
I am confident Maria will pull this out as well….. she is my finalist pick on that half 😀 she better pull it out….
Pretty much agree with your picks for the Big 4…. 🙂
All of the commies are leaning towards tsonga, I’m not seeing it. Roger beat Delpo twice last fall and Took sets from djoker during his streak.
Me neither…… Fed is due for an off-day though 😀 so maybe they are banking on that…
Sharapova is 2 breaks down…. 😀
Jinx: Since I said maria is doing well on double faults, she went 5 double faults in set 3! @#$#@
“One can argue that the loudest of the sighs came from Maria Sharapova.” Of course, since the loudest grunts come from Sharapova as well!
Wow totally bummed she is out
Kimberley, are you a Sharapova fan as well?
Maria has to do something about that serve. approaching Dementieva league 😦
The question now is whether Sloane Stephens can take inspiration from Ivanovic and Cibulkova and show Azarenka the door …
Dementieva’s serve was almost demented. By that token, Sharapova’s serve should be sharp 😛
TOTAL epic that comment on the serves, Rajk! LOL!
Absolute carnage in the women’s draw….
I am just holding my breath for her to finish in 2 sets.
5-4 2nd set was where the drama happened last year 😉
Yeah Aus open has mandated Obamacare. So it aint gonna happen this time.
LOL Ranjit! Talking about Obama Care, Azarenka has got the “Insurance” break….
Lol RL…Thats a good one…She knows her energy is “premium” and I hope she makes this her “policy” till finals…
Premium indeed! She is looking good!
While looking at the matches, I was wondering …Where are all the American tennis champs?
Who do the Americans cheer for Prakash? Roger?
Good start from Nishikori. Nadal broken for the first time this tournament.
Not a great time for American tennis, D.
Roger mostly, D and the other members of BIG4…
There’s a new wave of young players like Jack sock, who may make some noise. On the women’s side it is much more promising…
Is Rafa in a zone now…Scores seem to suggest he is…End of road for Kei?
Kei wasted too many chances… Will be a miracle of elephantine proportions if he wins this set…. 😉
That was a wonderful match. Hats off to both players for the terrific tennis.
Lucky break for Roger and he makes it count. A superb match from both ends so far….