Surprises of Australian Open Heading Into Semifinals
Well the Australian Open is roaring into this weekend with both the men’s and women’s semifinal matches playing over the next two days. As for the eight matches, it appears there will be some quality tennis on the road to the finals.
On the women’s draw, first seed Serena Williams, who has had a bit of difficulty in the first set the last two rounds, will play the unseeded Madison Keys — the young 19-year-old American who took out Venus in the quarterfinals.
The other match has the awfully dominant second seed Maria Sharapova against the tenth seed Ekaterina Makarova, who has only reached her second grand slam semifinal of her career — the last being 2014’s U.S. Open.
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The obvious pick for the women’s championship match would be Williams and Sharapova, which would be the fourth time the two have met in a grand slam final — Serena currently has won 2 of the 3 and is 4-1 against Sharapova during grand slams. But both Keys and Makarova have been playing phenomenally: so though it would be a disappointment not to have a Maria and Serena match-up, at least all options have the possibility to be entertaining.
On the other side of the draw, the men’s have a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal upset between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka: Wawrinka upset the number one seed at 2014’s Australian Open and rode that victory towards his first ever grand slam title.
The other match has Tomáš Berdych against Andy Murray: the former is coming off an amazing victory against fan/tournament favorite Nadal, whom he defeated in straight sets. As for Murray, after a disappointing 2014, the superstar looks to start 2015 on the right foot with his new coach, Amélie Mauresmo, and his fourth Australian Open final appearance in the last six years.
As for the surprises of the tournament thus far, a lot has already been said: no one expected Madison Keys to win over Venus, especially after Williams’ big win over Agnieszka Radwańska. On top of this, a lot expected the young three seed Simona Halep to reach her third semifinal: instead Makarova destroyed her in straight sets 6-4, 6-0.
And on the men’s side, people expect to see both Murray and Djokovic this far, but it is odd to be missing Nadal and Roger Federer. At least Berdych, an above average player, defeated Nadal, yet Federer’s loss to Andreas Seppi in the third round might be the most shocking loss of this very young year: breaking Roger’s eleven year streak of making it to at least the Australian’s semifinals.
The men’s final will be on February 1 on ESPN at 3 am EST, with the women’s championship being on the same time the day before.
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