1. Kevin Anderson v Rafael Nadal (AO, R4)
After teetering on the brink in the second round against Tim Smyczek, Rafael Nadal sauntered through his third round match against Dudi Sela, 6-1 6-0 7-5. Sela had a pair of break points in the third set at 4-3, but couldn’t capitalise. Nadal’s fourth round opponent is Kevin Anderson. For the third consecutive year, Anderson has reached the second week at the Australian Open. In a convincing win, Anderson beat Richard Gasquet in straight sets, 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(6). Anderson had come into the match with a 1-4 head-to-head deficit. Nadal and Anderson have played each other just once on tour with Nadal winning that match, 6-2 7-6(6). Between Gasquet and Anderson, this is a much tougher match-up for Rafa who absolutely owns Reeshard. I fancy Kevin to win a set, but I question whether deep down, he has the belief to beat Rafa.
Prediction: Nadal d. Anderson in 4 sets
2. Tomas Berdych v Bernard Tomic (AO, R4)
The 2015 Australian Open has been a super one for the home talent. Bernard Tomic reached the fourth round with a straight sets victory over fellow Australian, Sam Groth, 6-4 7-6(8) 6-3. Mentally, Tomic has been on point this week, winning some tight and demanding sets. His victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber was an impressive win on paper and one match that is on a ridiculously long list of matches I want to catch up on. In the fourth round, Tomic faces Tomas Berdych. The Czech player rose to the occasion to defeat the in-form Viktor Troicki in the third round, 6-4 6-3 6-4. Berdych needed eight match points to seal the win. Over best of five set matches, Berdych is extremely tough to beat. He’s had a couple of first round losses at the Slams in recent years with some challenging draws but generally, Berdych has always been solid at Grand Slam level. Berdych and Tomic have played twice before with both matches on grass at the last two Wimbledon Championships; Berdych won in four sets. Both players have impressed during this tournament. I’ve changed my mind so many times with this match. Originally I went for Tomic, but now i’m not so sure…
Prediction: Berdych d. Tomic in 5 sets