Soderling, Murray Near Quarterfinal Australian Open Showdown; Roddick, Sharapova Out
Andy Roddick has some serious soul searching ahead. This morning the last American in singles at the Australian Open got thumped handily by a Swiss guy in a Slam. Nothing unusual there, except this Swiss guy wasn’t Roger Federer, it was Stan Wawrinka. Still, Wawrinka gave Roddick a very Federer-like drubbing beating the former No. 1 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and send him out before the semifinals for the eighth straight Major.
Most shocking, Wawrinka completely outserved Roddick blasting 24 aces to Roddick’s 9. To his credit, Roddick did try to mix things up by coming to the net, but he’s just too defensively oriented. Maybe a coaching change is in order?
“I was frustrated,” Roddick said. “Couldn’t get the rallies to go my way. I was trying to stand up in the court and, you know, I just felt when I adjusted my positioning up in the court he was opening up the lines and making it a shorter line if that makes sense. I didn’t have the ability to run back. Conditions were colder, so slice wasn’t really working. I wasn’t able to get the ball to jump much, so a lot of the shots he hit were in his pocket and I was having a hard time getting it out of that zone.”
Roddick was also joined at the exits by another former No. 1 and Grand Slam winner, Maria Sharapova, was was pounded by Andrea Petkovic. Playing like a shell of her former self, Sharapova only managed five games against the upstart German. Since her return from shoulder surgery Sharapova has simply not been a factor at a Slam.
Will Roddick and/or Sharapova ever make it back to a Grand Slam final? It doesn’t look good.
Monday, it looks like a straight forward day. I think Robin Soderling and Andy Murray will meet on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Soderling will have enough to handle the youngster Alexandr Dolgopolov. Murray owns Jurgen Melzer 4-0 and the Scot should get through, maybe in four sets.
Milos Raonic has been the break out star of the event. The 20-year-old qualifier possesses a monster serve and heavy groundstrokes but his opponent today, David Ferrer, has the perfect game to neutralize the Canadian’s power. And Ferrer’s undefeated on the season.
Ferrer’s countryman Rafael Nadal is on in the wee hours of the morning against Marin Cilic. I know Nadal’s been ill but if Cilic doesn’t have his legs after his 4-and-a-half hour win over John Isner, it won’t matter how bad Nadal’s feeling.
Cilic did beat Nadal back in 2009 at Beijing so there is some hope for you Croatian fans, but it’s hard to pick against Rafa.
MONDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena 11:00 AM Start Time
Robin Soderling (SWE) v. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) v. Andy Murray (GBR)
Rod Laver Arena 7:30 PM Start Time
Rafael Nadal (ESP) v. Marin Cilic (CRO)
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) v. Kim Clijsters (BEL)
Hisense Arena 11:00 AM Start Time
Petra Kvitova (CZE) v. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Iveta Benesova (CZE) v. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
Milos Raonic (CAN) v. David Ferrer (ESP)
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Murray Lands in Nadal Quarter; Federer v. Djokovic Possible Australian Open SF
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