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Australian Open 2011 Update

Australian Open

Source: australianopen.com

We have had 7 days of some exciting, scintillating tennis action at the first Grand Slam of the year and we head into the second week which can be called the business end of the tournament. While there has been some solid, dominating performances from the seeds, there has been a few upsets down the line as well. Let us have a look as to what has happened thus far:

Men’s Singles

The Men’s draw has seen few major upsets as the top seeds have played some solid tennis and showed nerves of steel in crunch situations to stay afloat in the tournament. The defending champion and No 2 seed Roger Federer has safely advanced to the Quarter finals after a 4 set victory (6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2) against Spaniard Tommy Robredo in Round 4. Federer had earlier survived a scare in Round 2 against Frenchman Simon in a 5 set battle. Federer would face fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka (19) who destroyed 8th seed Andy Roddick in straight sets. In the same half of the draw, No 3 seed Novak Djokovic and No 6 seed set up their quarter final meeting after beating Almagro (14) and Verdasco (9) comfortably.

World no 1 Rafael Nadal would try and seal his place in the last 8 tomorrow as he faces 15th seed Marin Cilic. Nadal hasn’t dropped a set yet and has looked formidable. Having said that, he hasn’t faced a tough test till now and Cilic may prove a bigger challenge for him. Trying their best to join Nadal in quarters would be Robin Soderling (4), Andy Murray (5) and David Ferrer (7).

So, Andy Roddick has been the only real casualty till now in the Men’s draw.

Womens’ Singles

In the Womens’ draw, Caroline Wozniacki, the World no 1 has made it to the quarter finals with a comfortable win over unseeded Sevastova in straight sets. She would face 6th seed Schiavone, whose match with Svetlana Kuznetsova was the longest Women’s Singles match in Australian Open history. Schiavone eventually won 4-6, 6-1, 16-14 in a thrilling match lasting 4 hours and 4 minutes. Interestingly, Kuznetsova won more points in total than Schiavone, but the latter won the match.

Also, no 30 seed Petkovic pulled off an upset beating 14th seed Maria Sharapova in straight sets and would face Chinese Li Na, the no 9th seed in the quarters. Li Na beat 8th seed Azarenka 6-3, 6-3.

Tomorrow, the No 2 and No 3 seeds, Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters would try and make it to the last 8 as they play their Round 4 matches.

Hence, only 3 of the top 8 seeds remain in contention for the title in the Women’s draw.

Indian Challenge

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have made it to Round 3 and so have the other Indo-Pak pairing of Rohan Bopanna  and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. If they win their Round 3 matches, they would face off in the Quarter finals.

In the Men’s Singles, India’s only player in the draw Somdev Devvarman went down in straight sets to Robredo in Round 1. In Women’s Singles, Sania Mirza lost in Round 1 to 11th seed Justin Henin in 3 sets, after winning the first set. Sania Mirza also lost in Round 1 in Womens’ Doubles to end her challenge at the Australian Open.

In the Mixed Doubles, Leander Paes and Cara Black have made it to Round 2, i.e the pre-quarters. But Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna lost in Round 1 of their repective Mixed Doubles matches.

As the second week commences tomorrow, there would be no easy matches from now on. And apart from the skills and talent, handling the pressure, playing well on big points, holding the nerves would become even more important. Thus, we can expect more of tension, drama and emotions as the first Grand Slam of the year reaches its climax.

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