Australian Open 2016: Quarter Final review and Semi Final Preview

As this looks increasingly to be the first Australian Open in nearly 15 years in which I haven’t been able to watch a single live point – I think it is to my credit to continue writing about what seems to have been a great tournament.

A demanding job, lack of holiday days left and terrible wi-fi have contributed to this FYI.

So, suddenly we’re at the Semi-Final stage and it is a case of the usual suspects stepping into the fray.

For the men, true you would have expected maybe Wawrinka to conquer Raonic and for Berdych to maybe cause FedEx more trouble than he did – but overall we have the usual suspects present and correct. Nadal of course remained the glaring omission of the second week (and round!). The French have had a fine tournament with some good wins and deep journeys into the tournament, of them – although he didn’t travel the furthest – perhaps Gilles Simon can be the happiest as he proved himself still relevant by pushing Novak to the edge in round 4.

For the women, Johanna Konta remains this year’s tournament talking point although away from British shores surely Shuai Zhang remains equally memorable after her giant-killing run to the Quarter’s.

But there have been other stories emerging too towards this stage – the quietly confident and business-like progress of Angelique Kerberand former double champ Vika Azarenka has been impressive and the German now holds the keys to more success against what must be an unfancied Konta – but who knows!

The headlines here belonged to the Quarter Final clash between old foes Serena and Maria, the former once more proving a class above. Even Sharapova’s iron will and self-belief must now be completely destroyed when facing the World Number 1 – forever more.

My prediction of Radwanska winning this tournament now sees its biggest test with the Semi Final against Serena, I doubt I’ll be proved right and at this rate, won’t get to see the match anyways.

Grumble over, let us reflect on a superb tournament for the Brits so far, and for the tennis stars of today continuing to do their talking on court amidst so much controversy off it.

Semi Final Predictions

Serena William vs Agnieska Radwanska

It has been an impressively fuss-free tournament from Serena, whose failure last year to complete the Serena Slam must still sting somewhat. But for all of the American’s gusto in yet again defeating Sharapova the round previous – I just have a feeling that Radwanska is due her break. The delicate Pole has proved herself before.

Radwanska in 3

Angelique Kerber vs Johanna Konta

The stratospheric rise of the Australian turned Brit has been a real joy, and who would begrudge her to go even one or two steps further? Truly the stuff of dreams. As much as I like Kerber and she looks mightily impressive – having to go with my heart on this one.

Konta in 3

Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer

I still maintain that Andy Murray will win the Open this year, and will beat whoever triumphs in this match. Alas, I fear a case of déjà vu with this one; Federer proving as ageless as any sports person truly can right up until he faces the Serb who all too often has his older rivals’ number when it matters most. Djokovic? He has had his customary blip and recent history suggests he will be ultra-focused in every match from here on in. Still fancy a certain Scot come the final curtain however.

Novak in 3

Andy Murray vs Milos Raonic

Sorry Milos, but this is Andy’s year – I feel it in my ever ageing bones and that is that. Those looking for expert analysis can go elsewhere I suppose.

Andy in 3

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