Who’ll fill the last four semifinal spots at the Australian Open. We’ll find out Tuesday in Melbourne. On a very loaded schedule, both former champions Roger Federer and Angelique Kerber return along with top threats Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Madison Keys.
Up first on Rod Laver is a battle between the big-hitting Keys against the tactical Kerber. Kerber leads 6-1 including a win at the 2013 Australian Open. The two met three times in 2016 with Kerber taking all three, but this is their first clash since. Kerber won this title in 2016 while Keys has won 10 of her last 11 matches in Grand Slam play after her US Open final.
“I know what to expect. I know she’s a hard hitter and has a great serve, and then the next few points, balls,” Kerber said of Keys.
Second on is a surprising showdown between American 26-year-old Tennys Sandgren and Korean Hyeon Chung. The two come off huge wins, with Sangren toppling Dominic Thiem and Chung shocking Novak Djokovic.
“Wow, this is hopefully real, you know. If I wake up now, I’m going to be real upset,” said Sandgren.
These two just met in Auckland with Chung winning in three sets.
Following the men, Simona Halep faces former no. 1 Karolina Pliskova. Both are seeking a first Australian Open semifinal. Halep leads 5-1 winning most recently in a 3-setter in the French Open semifinals last year.
“Pliskova is always dangerous,” Halep said. “She’s playing great these days. I’m used to her. I played in Thailand, as well.
“Is going to be new match. You never know what’s going to happen.”
In the nightcap, Roger Federer tries to keep edge over Tomas Berdych. Federer leads 19-6 having won their last eight. And he’s up 7-2 in Slams.
“I’m definitely going to go out there, try my best, try to play good tennis, and believe myself that I can do it,” said Berdych. “I did it in the past, and also, I did it on the slams, so I know how it is to beat him for the best-of-five sets.
“But obviously it’s extremely tough opponent, and, yeah, just to go out there and swing some balls.”
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