Australian Open 2015: Day 9 Preview

On the first Sunday of the Australian Open 2015 the home crowd were given plenty to cheer about as teenage sensation Nick Kyrgios came back all the way after being two sets down to defeat the Italian Andreas Seppi who had earlier sensationally knocked out the sentimental crowd favourite Roger Federer. Kyrgios who had ended Rafael Nadal’s run at Wimbledon 2014 won the gripping five set match and now goes on to meet Scotland’s Andy Murray who ended the hopes of Bulgaria’s no 10 seed Grigor Dmitrov in a thrilling four set match. The no 6 seed made sure he did not need to go the distance as he rallied from a 1-4 deficit in the fourth set to win it 7-5. The other quarter final in the bottom half of the draw will be featuring the no 3 seed and 2009 champion Rafael Nadal of Spain and last years semi finalist Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. The Spaniard saved five break points at 5-5 in the first set that effectively ended the South African Kevin Anderson’s resistance as he caved in to loose in straight sets. The other Aussie Bernard Tomic was eliminated by the tall Czech no 7 seed in straight sets; Berdych has still to loose a set in this tournament. Andy Murray the three time runner up in 2010, 2011 & 2013 should take advantage of Kyrgios’s draining five set match while Nadal takes a 19-3 head to head record and goes in with the psychological advantage as Berdych last win came in Madrid 2006.

The match of the day between Federer’s conqueror Seppi and the Canberra native kyrgios was played on the Hisense arena and the Aussie saved a match point in the fourth before claiming the set in a tie break. He then squandered a 4-1 lead in the final set as the Italian levelled it by winning 3 straight games. Kyrgios saved a break point at 4-4 before prevailing 8-6. He is only the 14th teenager among men to reach multiple quarter finals at Grand slams and the first since Roger Federer in 2001. He had also beaten Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon 2014 after trailing by two sets before loosing to Milos Raonic of Canada in the last eight.

There was not much drama in the women’s singles as the no. 2 seed from Russia Maria Sharapova and the no 3 seed Simona Halep of Romania both won easily in straight sets. However the Canadian Eugenie Bouchard dropped the second set before coming through in three against another Romanian Irina Camelia-Begu to set up a meeting with Sharapova in the last eight. While Halep will play another Russian Ekaterina Makarova the no 10 seed in the other quarter final of the bottom half. Expect a rematch of the 2014 French open final between Sharapova and Halep which the Russian won in three close sets.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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