Australian Open Finals Lie and Wait

The formalities have been concluded and we look ahead to the finals that start first thing Tuesday morning in Melbourne with some tantalising Australian Open betting odds.

2017 Aussie Open runner-up Rafael Nadal was the first to book his spot in this year’s quarter-finals when he beat Diego Schwartzman in a four-set thriller that saw Nadal lose his first set at this year’s tournament after winning all his previous matches in straight sets.

The world number 1 will face former US Open winner Marin Cilic after he beat Pablo Carreno Busta in a match that also went to four sets on Sunday. The sixth seed Cilic had a slightly tougher road than Nadal having lost two sets on his way to only his second Australian Open quarter-final after losing out in the 2010 semi-final to Andy Murray in another four set duel.

The second men’s singles quarter-final has been claimed by Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov after local hero Nick Kyrgios succumbed to the world number 3 in a four-set thriller in the Rod Laver Arena to extend the Australian Open local title drought further.

The number 3 seed will next face unseeded surprise, Kyle Edmund who defeated Italian Andreas Seppi. Edmund will hope to recover quickly from his latest four-setter as his road to the quarter-finals has been much tougher than that of Dimitrov, having played two five-set thrillers compared to the Bulgarian’s one in earlier rounds.

On Monday Roger Federer strolled into Australian Open quarter-finals without offering a break point when he beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in straight sets. In the process Federer became the oldest man since Ken Rosewall in 1977 to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals at age 36.

As impressive as it is that Federer is still contending for major titles in his mid-30s, he still has some way to go to match the remarkable record of legendary Australian Rosewall, who was 43 when he last made it through to the quarters Down Under 41 years ago.

The number 2 seed will on Wednesday face 19th seed Czech, Tomas Berdych, who eased past Italian Fabio Fognini in their fourth-round encounter. Berdych has reached the last eight at Melbourne Park on seven occasions over the last eight years. His last defeat in Melbourne came a year ago at the hands of Federer when they met in the third round.

Federer will start as the red-hot favourite in his quarter-final against Berdych, having won the past eight meetings between the pair dating back to 2013.

In the final men’s fourth round match of the year newcomer Hyeon Chung got the better of six-time Australian Open Champion Novak Djokovic in a match that was heralded as the match of the tournament to date. The man from South Korea dispatched his tennis idol in straight sets, in a match that lasted 3 hours and 21 minutes. Chung will next face fellow up-and-coming Tennys Sandgren for a spot in the semi-finals after the man from the USA sent fifth seed Dominic Thiem packing in a match that saw Sandgren play his first ever five-setter.

On the women’s side of the competition it was Elise Mertens, appearing for the first time in the Australian Open main draw, to book her quarter-final spot first after beating Petra Martic in straight sets on Sunday.

Mertens, who recently defended her Hobart International title prior to this year’s first grand slam event, finished last year ranked 35th, up from number 120 in 2016. She will next face world number 3 Elina Svitolina, the first woman from Ukraine to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals, who had a much tougher road to the quarters than her counterpart from Belgium, who has yet to lose a set in this year’s tournament.

Svitolina’s record in 2018 stands at 9 wins and 0 losses, which makes this match a must watch if you can.

The second women’s quarter-final will see number 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki clash with Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro after both ladies overcame their fourth round opponents on Sunday.

Wozniacki has been very convincing in this year’s tournament and looks determined to win her first grand slam title, having already gotten 2 grand slam runner-up trophies to her name. Her best performance in Australia to date came in 2011 when she made it to the semi-finals, losing to eventual runner-up Li Na from China.

The world number 2 hasn’t had too many problems on her road to the quarter-finals, losing only one set in the process. Her opponent on the other hand has lost three sets over the last week and will need to bring her A-game to the party.

Unseeded Suarez Navvaro has made a welcome return to women’s tennis after a long period in the proverbial desert over the last few seasons and it will be interesting to see how she handles the Dane since they have never faced each other before until now. – Can get rid of this to shorten the piece a bit?

Former Aussie Open semi-finalist, American Madison Keys cruised into the women’s quarter-finals with a crushing win over Caroline Garcia. Seeded 17th, Keys overpowered the French eighth seed, firing 32 winners on Rod Laver Arena on Monday.

Keys missed out on last year’s event after having wrist surgery and are relishing her opportunity. She will next clash with former Champion Angelique Kerber who had a tough encounter on Monday with Taiwanese world number 88 Hsieh Su-wei in a match that went the distance.

In the last of the women’s quarter-final spots to be booked, world number 1 Simona Halep, just two days after a gruelling, three hour and 44 minute victory over Lauren Davis, defeated Japanese powerhouse Naomi Osaka in straight sets.

Halep will next face the tough task of having to challenge Karolina Pliskova together with her ankle injury, which the Romanian has struggled with throughout the tournament after the Czech battled past compatriot Barbora Strycova on Monday evening.

Come what may on Tuesday morning Melbourne time, the stage has been set for a scintillating round of finals!

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