By: Aaron Xiong
Quarter-final action at the Australian Open saw tennis greats Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic for their place in the final four. Serena Williams took on world number 2 Simona Halep in what looked to be a thrilling battle.
Halep and Williams met for the first time since their 2019 Wimbledon Championships meeting where Halep claimed the title over Serena in a dominating performance. However, it was Serena who dominated the match in dramatic fashion after serving up four aces in the match and winning 12 of the 18 total games played. The 39 year old’s Quarter-final win on Monday night sets up a blockbuster rematch of the 2018 US-Open Final against world number 3 and favorite, Naomi Osaka.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic also took to Rod Laver Arena for his Quarter-final match on Tuesday night against Germany’s Alexander Zverev. The 17 time Grand Slam champion was looking to get back into the Semi-finals in hopes for a record ninth Australian Open title.
With Zverev taking the first set in a tie breaker, Novak Djokovic looked on his heels in the match. However, Novak found his groove and took the second set with ease winning it 6-2. Despite the match leveling up at one set a peace, Zverev was able to break the Djokovic serve early in the third set to give him a 3-0 lead. In what looked to be a match swinging in favor of the German, Djokovic kicked his game into high gear to withstand Zverev.
Djokovic seemingly didn’t give up and broke the serve of Zverev. The third set seemed all but lost for the young star as he was broken yet again to lose the fourth set 6-4. With the German trailing one set to Djokovic’s two, he had his eyes on a deciding fifth set as he took yet another early break of serve from Djokovic to lead in the fourth set. To his dismay, his serving and unforced errors racked up in this set and he would eventually lose the match in a tie-breaker. Novak finished the match with 23 aces and only five double faults. He took the match [6-7(6-8), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(8-6)].
Other Quarter-final action saw an all Russian affair in the men’s bottom half of the draw with world number 4 Daniil Medvedev taking on world number 8 Andrey Rublev. Medvedev won the match with ease after winning 35 points off the Rublev serve as well as dominating with his own serve teeing up 14 aces in the match. He dispatched of Rublev [7-5, 6-3, 6-2].
Another Russian named Aslan Karatsev was on his way to the Semi-finals after upsetting 2017 Australian Open Semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov in four sets. After losing the first set badly, the Russian found another gear to push back and win the match in four sets. This year’s Australian Open is Karatsev’s first Grand Slam event and his Cinderella story will continue into the Semi-finals.
The final four on the men’s side will see Novak Djokovic taking on Aslan Karatsev and Daniil Medvedev taking on Stefanos Tsitsipas who made a remarkable comeback against Rafael Nadal after trailing two sets to none. The final four of the women’s draw sees Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams facing off while young American Jennifer Brady takes on Karolina Muchova.