Andy Murray v David Ferrer, Milos Raonic v Gael Monfils; Who’ll Make It To The Australian Open SFs?
by Sean Randall | January 26th, 2016, 4:51 pm
  • 46 Comments

Things went according to form on the first day of the Australian Open quarterfinals. Will that continue Wednesday? Well, that depends on what you consider form.

First, to yesterday. Tomas Berdych did what he does best, and that’s being content losing to the Big 4. Berdych hung tough early, forced a breaker but that was about it. He did manage an early break in the third but the match was effectively over by then. Federer looked great from just about everywhere and in every department.

Last year it was Berdych stunning Nadal. No such luck for the Czech on Tuesday.

Novak Djokovic also took care of Kei Nishikori quite swiftly in straight sets. Kei didn’t rise up to the bar he set back at the 2014 US Open when he stunned the Serb. And while Djokovic wasn’t at his very best, Kei fell flat and Novak rolled him real good.

So the mega-blockbuster semifinal is set for Thursday night between Djokovic and Federer who will meet for a ninth time since the start of last year.

As for today’s matches…

Andy Murray v David Ferrer
If you are tired and emotionally fatigued, David Ferrer is probably not the guy you want to play. And that’s Andy Murray’s next opponent Wednesday.

Murray commented after beating Bernard Tomic Monday night that he was drained from all the off court distractions ongoing in his life (Nigel Sears’s health, Kim’s pregnancy). And really, who can blame him? However, if he’s being truthful, then that’s a serious issue especially when playing Ferrer. And Ferrer been on fire.

The 33-year-old quietly hasn’t lost a set or even come close to losing a set in Melbourne with wins over John Isner, Steve Johnson and Lleyton Hewitt. It’s not murderer’s row, but with that new babolat David’s playing awfully well. Going up against Andy, though, is a different animal.

“With Andy, it’s going to be tough,” Ferrer said. “He’s playing really good. The last year he finish No. 2 of the world. He improve his game I think so. He’s playing more aggressive. He improve his forehand. So I need have a good day, play aggressive. Well, if is possible, will be a long match.”

Murray leads 12-6 winning their last five including a win in four sets last year at the French. So Murray’s the favorite, but if his head is somewhere else then he’s going to be in trouble.

That said, I’ll bank that’s not the case and take Murray. He’s better than Ferrer in almost every department and he’s done so well at the Australian on that court. In a close one…
The Pick: Murray in 4

Milos Raonic v Gael Monfils
I’ve long touted Gael Monfils as the next superstar of tennis, but the Frenchman prefers to be an entertainer rather than a champion. That’s his choice, his life. And he probably has a good one.

Meanwhile, Milos Raonic is the exact opposite. Watching his matches are exercises in sheer boredom. But unlike Monfils, he’s totally driven to be the best and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there. Just recently he snatched Carlos Moya and the results have improved. He won Brisbane beating Federer and he just beat Stan Wawrinka in 5-sets the other day. And I think he’ll beat Monfils as well.

“He’s playing well,” Raonic said of the Frenchman. “He’s very entertaining and he’s very difficult to play. He can give you complete ends of the spectrum within one game. So it’s very much of an internal match for me. I just have to take the game to him. I have to make him feel uncomfortable. Not let him get into his sort of playing comfort. If I can sort of keep up with the efficiency moving forward, I’ll have definitely some opportunities.”

Raonic didn’t say it, but the only reason Gael’s made it this far is the draw. And unless Raonic has a major brain cramp, the Canadian will advance.

With Raonic’s serve and Monfils dug in well behind the baseline, I expect Raonic to dominate from the net where he continues to improve.

Monfils will also be pleased to be playing under the lights where he’ll showcase his full array of foolishness. For him, that’s good enough. So everybody wins. Sort of.
The Pick: Raonic in 3

In the women’s draw, you have to like Victoria Azarenka, though I expect Angelique Kerber to give her a tussle. And I think Johanna Konta continues her incredible run beating qualifier Zhang.

Tennis Channel and ESPN will have live coverage once again.


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46 Comments for Andy Murray v David Ferrer, Milos Raonic v Gael Monfils; Who’ll Make It To The Australian Open SFs?

Wog Boy Says:

“But unlike Monfils, he’s totally driven to be the best and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there. ”

You couldn’t say it better, Milos is completely dedicated to tennis and improving himself constantly , and one has to respect that regardless of liking or not liking his tennis.


Ben Pronin Says:

“So the mega-blockbuster semifinal is set for Thursday night between Djokovic and Nadal who will meet for a ninth time since the start of last year.”

Hmmm, Freudian slip?


chrisford1 Says:

I believe Monfils is totally driven to be the best entertainer in tennis.
It is worth millions a year in exos and endorsements to “La Monf”. Famous, cheered for the world over by a nice sized fan base. An A-lister at top nightclubs globally, GFs on 5 continents plus some from the WTA. Acclaimed in France as an authentic “artiste”.
He was projected by French Olympic officials as their top 100, 200M prospect plus possibilities as he matured in long jump, 110 and 400M hurdles. Had he gone that route, he would have been far less famous and made squat compared to tennis, even if he had medalled.
He lives life large and will likely be doing some well-paying “Wow!” exo events 20 years from now.
To me it is a pity he didn’t focus on winning, just for a few big events Masters 1000 and above, get a trophy or two. Just to show he could do it if inclined to do so.
But


Humble Rafa Says:

If you want to throw the Hair man, Mr. Canadia off his game, just steal his hair gel. He is done.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

You think Milos Raonic leaves his hair gel out in the open??

If we DID get a Milos/ Fed final, we could have an over/under on total hairs out of place.


cheat nadal Says:

Anyway, champion except Nadal is great thing.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy, honestly the courts are not playing that fast at all. This is day time and the Murray vs Ferrer match is so slow. There is no way this plays as fast as the U.S. Open. The slower the better for Nole.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

I didn’t say it is as fast as USO, USO is classified as fast and AO as medium fast. It is just that few players said that court plays little but faster than three years ago, but main difference between USO and AO is the bounce due to different surfaces, AO is higher and that suits Nole more. I don’t think Nole had problem with the speed of the courts anywhere, but due to his style, higher bounce better for him.


Dave Says:

So than how do you even think Federer stands a chance? The U.S. Open suits Federer more than in Australian Open. So how if the court is slower, are you even worried about this so much? If this suits Nole more, Federer will never hit through him consistently on a slower surface and higher bounce to the Fed backhand.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,
I like that you are persistent:) Federer and his game doesn’t worry me, it is Nole that worries me. As I’ve said, I’ve seen plenty of Federer in Brisbane and Sydney, he plays great, probably best ever, but we know that is not good enough if Nole is on top of his game. So far Nole isn’t playing his best tennis, maybe he got carried away with Doha;)


Wog Boy Says:

^^ Melbourne and not Sydney


Dave Says:

I just can’t believe how down we can get on Nole. According to some, Nole is going to self destruct and lose it himself. I won’t predict anything. Maybe Federer is going to win in 3. Who knows anymore. haha. I guess we just wait and see and stop speculating. I really want to find out what you thought of peaceful warrior. I am actually going to watch it before the match, just to get into the right frame of mind.


Wog Boy Says:

I checked the trailer on YouTube and I liked it. I need to sit and watch it when I get few hours spare time.


FedExpress Says:

haha ferrer. what a weaponless clown.


Michael Says:

Yeah, I have to go with Sean picks. May be, Monfils will take it down to the wire against Raonic but yet may fall short.


Wog Boy Says:

I liked Jim Courier comment when Murray after netting sitter grabbed his hamstring and the other two commentators got worried that Andy is injured, Courier just said:” Don’t worry people, Andy is right..I’ve been there and have seen that movie”:)


Wog Boy Says:

Andy’s serve down the T works great today, got him out of trouble few times, particularly on BPs..


Wog Boy Says:

Well, Daveed deserved this set, it is a good match to watch 1:1.


Travis Bickle Says:

These two guys are gonna waste each other in this match. Two hours already played and they ran about 2 miles each.
And the score is only 1-1!

If it goes five, the winner will be useless for the next rounds…


Sarah Says:

Yep, David deserved it, but he has to work to much for his points….he will not resist phisically


Sarah Says:

Andy will take the 2 next sets


FedExpress Says:

ferrer done and dusted


van orten Says:

Why are some people totally obsessed with the notion that Federer has no chance vs Djokovic at all. It has zero outcome to the match but you still torture most of us with some pseudo facts about match ups and old results. Every match is a new chance for anybody and nothing is written in stone that fed will never win again vs djoker on gs level basis as long as fed keeps dancing around in the top 3 ..so what is your point in making our life tough having to read your pseudo science opinions ..it’s not even funny because they don’t have any sense of humor when it comes down to their favourite player.
Let me tell Ya ….the end of the world for some is near hahahahhahahahhahahahahhahahhahahahahhagahhahaghahahaha


Sarah Says:

well, he has some chance…but not so much as Nole


danica Says:

Van Orten,
I believe you missed the thread ;), but I do agree. H2H and other statistics can be an indication but by all means are nothing for the next match. And I don’t think Roger has no chances. C’mon. I am very scared from that match tomorrow because Nole may very well lose it.


Sarah Says:

Danica, hi! Watching now Milos. Took the day off :). Wih him good luck!


Margot Says:

Commented on this match on obviously the completely wrong thread. Duh!
Anyway C’mon Andy, Jo and Jamie!


Sarah Says:

Van Orten, nice to “see” you :)


van orten Says:

Danica t I didn’t think of you as one if the scientists at all ;) but I guess you get my point ..maybe I wasn’t ironic or funny enough though


van orten Says:

Yeah I didn’t wanna show up till tomorrow Sarah ..but gotta watch me monf now


Sarah Says:

Interresting match, 2 completely different styles


Sarah Says:

Milos looks good so far


FedExpress Says:

yep van orten, lookt at kerber who thought that he could beat azarenka with the 1dim h2h2

every match is a new match


FedExpress Says:

*she


Gypsy Gal Says:

Fedexpress your posts sometimes make no sense,on one hand your saying every match is new and anything could happen,and on the other your saying Serena couldnt have had it and easier with Konta,Kerber,Radwanska left and a sarcastic hahaha at the end,at the USO you said how easy she had it and how everyone was a choker then Vinci beat her,but then again who knew? and im not even a Serena Williams fan so WTF….


FedExpress Says:

williams is something else in wta tennis.


Sarah Says:

Congrats Milos!!


Gypsy Gal Says:

Was pulling for Gael,but Milos was too good and really impressed me with how hes rounded out his game,i think this is going to be a tough match for Murray,and if Milos comes through i think he could be a dark horse for this title….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Still cannot see past Novak on the mens side,and Serena on the womens side,but im yearning for a new champion on both sides….


Gordon Says:

Well, you don’t see anyone saying Raonic is just another Karlovic anymore.

He gains 180 points by reaching the semis. Unless he reaches the final Milos will only move up 1 position to 13th place. If he takes out Murray he could move up as high as 10th.

His chance to move up the rankings is the clay season. Last year he was injured for most of it, so any points at Rome or Roland Garros will be gains.

Should be an interesting year for the Canadian.


Daniel Says:

Gordnon,

He gains 360 pts,semis worth 720.
He will go to 2630 pts, back at #11 a few points away from Tsonga.

He can get back to #10 with good results Rotterdam or Dubai (don’t know each one) and by clay, as you mention, he can get back to top 8


Tennisfan Says:

Still not too sure about Raonic. Same thing happened with Kei in 2014 where he played outstanding for a few months and then couldn’t keep that up in the long-run. Hopefully Milos shows more consistency.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Konta is a very smart player, i like the way she hesitates for a few seconds,seeing where her opponents running then hitting the ball the other way….

Also i love the way she relishes taking on these top players….

Well done Jo,love you girl ;))….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Serena will probably go on to win this title,but the stars of this tournament have been Konta for her amazing run,Zhang for the way she beat Halep,and Azarenka who almost back to where she was when she won this title,i would also give Kerber huge props for way she took it to Vika given their lopsided H2H,its been an interesting tournament on the womens side….


Gordon Says:

Tennisfan – thanks for that.


RZ Says:

@Gordon and Tennisfan – I think people forget that Raonic was injured for much of last year. He gets called inconsistent, but really it was a lack of match play. He was doing really well until the foot injury. Of “generation next” he seems to have the most will and calm and effort toward improvement.

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