Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have all advanced at the Australian Open, keeping alive their hopes of winning the first major of the year. What’s more, none of them had much trouble defeating their opponents, which will certainly worry the other contenders for the tournament.
Serena Williams had perhaps the toughest task, as she went up against Maria Sharapova in her quarter-final. Williams certainly had the psychological advantage though, as she hasn’t lost to the Russian in 12 years – an impressive run considering how good Sharapova is. Sharapova never managed to find her stride in this match, as Williams cruised to a 6-4 6-1 victory. She’ll now go on to play 4th seed Radwanska in the semi-finals.
Roger Federer also continued his impressive form at the Australian Open, defeating Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-4. While Berdych put up a fight in the first set, he was unable to find anything to counter Federer in the following two. It was a welcome result for Federer, as he had lost his two previous matches against Berdych. Federer now advances to the 12th Australian Open semi-final of his career, which is a record.
Novak Djokovic also had a tough match, as he had to play the talented Japanese player Kei Nishikori. The man with five Australian Open titles under his belt already had no problems in this match though, winning in straight sets, 6-3 6-2 6-4. Djokovic was undoubtedly helped by the inconsistent play of his opponent and the fact that Nishikori seemed to be carrying a slight injury. Even a full strength Nishikori would have struggled to keep up with the world’s number one player though.
Djokovic and Federer will now go on to face each other in the semi-finals of the tournament. It is the 45th time they will play each other in a semi-final, and they have both won 22 matches each previously. Djokovic will be the favourite in this encounter, however Federer should definitely be ruled out of any match.
In other news, Jamie Murray advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s doubles event, alongside his partner Bruno Soares. They will now face the pair of Adrian Mannarino and Lucas Pouille in the next round. Their push for the Australian Open title will have been encouraged by the fact that the Bryan brothers – the number one pair in the world – have already exited the competition.