Seeds Stay Strong at Australian Open
It’s been a week of relatively few surprises at the Australian Open, with the top seeds in both the men’s and women’s draws fighting through some difficult (and some less difficult) encounters to roll into the second week.
Nadal, Federer and Djokovic all remain unbeaten so far, with Federer being the only one of the 3 to be pushed in any way at all, being taken to 5 sets by John Millman and 4 sets by Marton Fucsovics. Federer will next face Tennys Sandgren, who has made a habit of playing well in Melbourne, having reached the quarter finals in 2017 as well. Nadal will face a tough challenge from Nick Kyrgios, over whom he has a 4-3 head to head lead, while Djokovic will face a resurgent Raonic, who took out 6th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Other tournament contenders such as Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka have come through to the quarter finals, with Wawrinka knocking out Daniil Medvedev, and Thiem cruising past Monfils.
In the women’s draw, there have been a few more surprises, with all of Pliskova, Svitolina, Bertens, Bencic and most surprisingly Serena Williams all losing out. Williams was beaten by Wang Qiang amidst suggestions that Williams’ fitness has started to deteriorate. However, Ash Barty and Simona Halep are both still going strong and look to be amongst the favourites to claim the title.
There is a distinct lack of British interest in the second week of a Grand Slam once again, with Britain’s main hopes Dan Evans and Johanna Konta losing out early on. Evans was beaten in straight sets by Yoshihito Nishioka in Round 2, while Konta was taken apart by a much calmer, less erratic Ons Jabeur. It is important to note that Evans cannot be blamed too harshly for his defeat, having played a lot of tennis in the weeks leading up to the Australian Open in the ATP Cup and Adelaide. Other Britons such as Harriet Dart, Kyle Edmund, Heather Watson and Cameron Norrie all failed to make it past the second round.
Written by Emre Saridogan