After acrostics explained the first week goings on it is back to basics today – which sums up the results from this halfway-point in the opening slam of 2015 – where the top seeds justified their hype.
There wasn’t an easy match for anyone on paper – but Andy Murray and Ekaterina Makarova had the biggest asks in the in-form Grigor Dimitrov and resurgent Julia Goerges respectively.
Murray in particular was spectacular in overcoming his demons and his Wimbledon conqueror last summer – some points were the best of the tournament (including that 6th point in the second set breaker).
Staying with the men and the day’s other star has to be the home-grown sensation Nick Kyrgios; the nineteen year old proving his Wimbledon heroics last year were no fluke after reaching the quarter finals. Admittedly the big server avoided FedEx but can nevertheless be confident of causing the resplendent Murray some considerable headaches next up.
One Aussie marches on, but the slightly unexpected run for bad boy Tomic fizzled out today, at the hands of the darkest of horses Berdych. The Czech who continues to prove frustratingly close to greatness will next meet a Rafa Nadal who has just clicked into top gear.
Nadal may well take this title now, such was his quality against big serving South African Kevin Anderson. Djokovic and Wawrinka may not be ready for the returning Rafa on top form.
As mentioned above, Julia Goerges – for many years languishing in the top 100 unable to find any consistency has had a blinder of a tournament. Ultimately the Berdych-esque quiet Makarova proved too strong, and the Russian will next prove the biggest test yet for Simona Halep. The Romanian 3rd seed was able to navigate herself past the volatile and very tricky Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets and can easily play her way to the final in a week’s time.
At the bottom of the draw it is another ‘battle of the babes’ as Genie Bouchard takes on Maria Sharapova after both posted wins of differing ease. The Canadian’s 2014 was so good that a slight slump this year would be forgivable (and still may happen of course) but she is so obviously the Real Deal that I expect her to prevail against a Sharapova whose form has ebbed and flowed this year – only that dreadful screech remains constant.