We are down to 8 in each draw at the Australian Open. Today, the quarterfinals begin with star-studded line-up today.
In the afternoon on Rod Laver, Hobart champion Elise Mertens meets Brisbane winner Elina Svitolina for a spot in a first Grand Slam semifinal for either player.
“I have my plan, what my, you know, what I have to do on court and just, you know, go out there and fight until the last point and just give my best,” Svitolina said. “Then, you know, of course I will have few things. I know her game because I played against her once and I know what to expect from her.”
Svitolina beat Mertens in their only previous meeting last year in Istanbul.
To follow, Grigor Dimitrov tries to make a return to the semifinals against a Brit, but it’s not Andy Murray. Kyle Edmund is carrying the flag for England as the 23-year-old appears in his first Grand Slam QF.
“There is no place for underestimation or anything like that,” Dimitrov said looking ahead. “You have just got to go out there and play your tennis.
“The only thing I have been focusing since day one out here on the court is really looking after my side of the game and my side of the net. This is what I want to progress. I want to be better. And it doesn’t matter who I play. I just want to do better.”
Dimitrov has won both meetings with Edmund including in Brisbane earlier this month when the Brit rolled his ankle.
In the evening doubleheader, Rafael Nadal takes on Marin Cilic in a battle of US Open champions. Nadal was finally tested Sunday against Diego Schwartzman, and now he faces the much taller Croat. It’s also Rafa’s first meeting with a Top 20 player in a Slam since the French Open!
“I’m very pleased,” Cilic said of his week. “I felt that I played all four matches on a good quality. You know, today was, if looking some small details, I was a little bit up and down on some service games, and he was returning quite good. From both doing so, in that case it was a little bit more difficult.
“But overall I’m feeling good with the game. I’m hitting the ball really nicely, taking chances, playing aggressive, you know, taking the ball as early as I can.”
Nadal leads Cilic 5-1.
The day wraps up with former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki who seeks a second Australian Open semifinal against Carla Suarez Navarro who has never made a Slam final four. The Dane leads 6-2 including a 3-0 mark on hard courts.
“We’ve had a lot of tough encounters on hard courts as well,” Wozniacki said of the Spaniard. “Three-set grueling matches. I’m expecting a tough fight. Obviously I think she had a tough season last year. She also had a few injuries. Obviously she’s back playing really well.”
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