Australian Open 2018: Federer flies flag for favourites as Kerber looks unstoppable on Day 10. Plus a look at the semi-finals.

TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN STOCK
Stock photograph of an Australian Open Tennis Ball. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING

Before I predict the semi-finals (not a glittering start to my Nostradamus 2018 campaign), let’s look at those last quarter finals.

Kerber so impressive against Keyes

Madison Keyes has been echoing her U.S Open form from last year all fortnight, round after round the talented and likeable American would power through with minimal fuss. But Angie Kerber has completely rediscovered her 2016 mojo and is looking ominously good here once again. The German was too solid today and just couldn’t miss. Keyes visibly had no answer in her 6-1, 6-2 loss.

Chung too good for tired Tennys

Roger should seriously watch out, Hyeon Chung is showing no signs of slowing down his captivating charge. Today the South Korean had far too much for Tennys Sangdren who looked weary after his own heroics this week. The American still showed touches of brilliance and one hopes can now reach a consistent ranking his talent justifies. But Chung is the future of the sport surely! All done and dusted 6-4, 7-6, 6-3

Pliskova left deflated by Halep

After a slow start, Simona Halep and her head to head record proved far too much for Karolina Pliskova who won hopes can add some sparkle to her game to match those fine outfits. The Czech has a poor record against Halep, and that seemed to eat into her psyche as the match quickly became a forgone conclusion. Pliskova was so mentally tough in 2016, she needs to regain that. A perfect 6-3, 6-2 tonic before that Kerber test next.

Roger’s shadow subdues poor Tomas

Not what I expected, Federer had looked a little blasé, a little off-key – certainly not good enough against a man who was swatting away winners and opponents with a gusto that has come and gone over the years.  A slow start almost proved me right as Berdych raced to a 3-1 lead and then held a set point at 5-3. But did the Swiss get into Tomas’ mind? Did last year’s drubbing interfere with his game-plan? Federer woke up and showed his class, reeling his Czech victim in and quickly turning the screw in an efficient- if still not world-beating – display 7-6, 6-3, 6-4.

SEMI FINAL PREDICTIONS

Cilic vs Edmund
Head ruling the heart here – I’d love to see Kyle Edmund ‘do a Leicester City’ and take the title. But just how good was Cilic against Rafa? Far too good I’m afraid. Winner: Cilic

Federer vs Chung
Again, i’m going to bet against my idol here. Chung has surprised everyone and lord knows Roger is susceptible to underestimating an opponent sometimes. This tournament has room for a few more shocks yet. Winner: Chung

Halep vs Kerber
Again, I’m betting against my new fave; Halep deserves a major title as much as anyone, but not only does she choke at these stages, she is up against the best player of the women’s tournament bar none. Winner: Angie

Wozniacki vs Mertens
Caroline Wozniacki has rivalled Kerber for the player of the tournament, and deserves a major title more than even Simona. She will have another chance and has too much for the bright free-playing Belgian. Winner: Wozza

 

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