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ATP Matches of the Day - AO, Day 8

Australian Open
by pottiella (U7028587) 23 January 2011
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A daily update on the key matchups to look out for in the upcoming day of play at the Australian Open.

**Matches will be ordered by approximate timing of play rather than appearance by court. Therefore there may be some overlap of matches on different courts.

****NEW TO 2011 ATP MOTD THREAD - PREDICT THE WINNERS****
_______________________________________________________________

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Australian Open 2011 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUSTRALIAN OPEN, Melbourne R4 - The first four quarter finalists have now been decided, mostly predictable, but with a twist as Roddick is the highest seed so far to fall.

Today though, it is for Nadal's half of the draw to stake their claim for a place in the quarter finals, yet not without a fight.

The matchups are nothing short of explosive today. With two players today in R4 of a GS for the first time, including the youngest left in the tournament, 20yr old qualifier Raonic. It's less that they are the underdogs, but more that they are proving to be formidable rising challenges to encounter.

It's not so much how impressive the lineup is, but that each matchup formed is tantalizingly balanced with minimal favour in one player's direction, which can only mean that there is every scope for an upset or two. No wonder that three of the four matches have been scheduled in succession on Rod Laver Arena.

Best be prepared for four relentless battles today.

00:00(GMT)
Rod Laver Arena - Robin Soderling vs Alexandr Dolgopolov
Soderling has been largely untroubled so far here, yet has appeared off-kilter on occasion, which could be a factor when facing someone with more tenacity such as Dolgopolov. They have never played each other, so there's little to compare with. The only clearcut difference is their level of experience and that Soderling has a much sharper, consistent game than Dolgopolov does - quite representatively of their ranking difference. Dolgopolov has spirit, but he'll need to cut down on his persistent UEs if he is to overcome Soderling. Soderling to come through an early tussle but win comfortably in straights.

Followed by
Rod Laver Arena - Andy Murray vs Jurgen Melzer
Possibly the most uncertain match of the day to a learned tennis observer. They have quite a memorable GS matchup history, but on both occasions it appears Murray's greater mental strength and Melzer's lack of belief has resulted in Murray winning. Since RG '10, Melzer is a different player psychologically, though Murray has been comfortable at AO until now. In a much more level playing field mentally, it is tough to call, but Melzer's greater belief may just force Murray to raise his own that bit further to win in another epic 5 sets.

Not Before 02:30(GMT)
Hisense Arena - David Ferrer vs Milos Raonic
Ferrer has been quietly coming through the draw, and should be expected to make the quarters given his opponent. Yet, he faces a young qualifier with little pressure, a tournament record in Aces, and a number of scalps to his name already. His game should match up well with Ferrer's, and his biggest test to date will be to sustain Ferrer's relentless firepower. There will be heroics, but Ferrer to come through in 4.

Not Before 08:30(GMT)
Rod Laver Arena - Rafael Nadal vs Marin Cilic
This is an intriguing matchup for their respective status on hardcourts - not taking account of Nadal's GS record. Their only meeting and on harcourt, Cilic won, yet not at a GS event. Cilic may be tired from his last round 5-setter, but Nadal has showed vulnerabilities that will give Cilic belief. Not without a fight - Nadal in 4.

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Nadal's Quarter, R4NADAL[1] v CILIC[15]
FERRER[7] v RAONIC[Q]
[Semifinal]
Djokovic's Quarter, R4BERDYCH[6] bt VERDSACO[9]
DJOKOVIC[3] bt ALMAGRO[14]
[Semifinal]
Soderling's Quarter, R4SODERLING[4] v DOLGOPOLOV
MURRAY[5] v MELZER[11]
Federer's Quarter, R4WAWRINKA[19] bt RODDICK[8]
FEDERER[2] bt ROBREDO
Full Schedule of Play: www.australianopen.com/en_AU...
Women's Matches of the Day Thread:

Latest 10 comments

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comment by Tenez (U1653885)

posted Jan 24, 2011

Actually let me take this back. Cilic today did not have a FH nor a BH.

He played really poorly.

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posted Jan 24, 2011

Yah, you'll get over it. smiley

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posted Jan 24, 2011

We are well into the third set of the Rafa/Cilic match, and I have to say I've not seen a more lame performance from a professional tennis player.
I cannot wait for Andy Murray to show Cilic how to play against Rafa.
.....It's going to be very ugly.
Brace yourselves, Rafa fans.
smiley

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comment by banana (U14369314)

posted Jan 24, 2011

and match point just sums it up.

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comment by Tenez (U1653885)

posted Jan 24, 2011

The serve was not great but that's not the reason he lost. Had he broken Nadal a couple of times, we may have argued about the serve but he simply did not have the basic grounds shots to worry Nadal who himself wasn;t serving great.


It's important to note that it seems bloody difficult to pull winners at night session.

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posted Jan 24, 2011

Gotta be said, that was a boring match. Neither player was great, I expected a bit more from Cilic.

Bit of a shock in the post-match interview with Jim though - apparently Rafa is going to try his best against Ferrer. winkeye

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comment by Tenez (U1653885)

posted Jan 24, 2011

Gotta be said, that was a boring match. Neither player was great, I expected a bit more from Cilic.
--------------------------

Like the FO10 final, Wimbledon 10 final and unfortunately the USO final when we realised that Djoko wasn't going to be ready physically.

That is the problem with slowing conds down to ridiculous proportion. We now have a moonballer able to retrieve all risky shots so we have attacking players not bothering taking the risk anymore as it doesn;t pay off. So they tamely surrender to the physically superior player!

Ridiculous!

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posted Jan 24, 2011

Poor Tenez. I feel your pain.

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posted Jan 24, 2011

Murray probably the pick of the men so far with Wawrinka, Berdych and Djokovic also looking in fine form. Nadal and Federer will always be front runners and Dolgopolov provides a great story for this event.

All in all this looks like a potentially amazing finale for the first slam of the year.

ok

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