There were no surprises overnight on Sunday with Maria Sharapova, Eugenie Bouchard and Ekaterina Makarova all progressing to the quarter-finals. Sharapova v Bouchard should be great. The women’s matches for day 8 are pretty awesome, but i’m gutted all the matches are either early or late so I won’t get to watch any of the matches on Monday. I feel like we are still waiting for a really great women’s match at this tournament…
Fantasy Tennis Updates: I’m delighted to say that mootennis is leading the Moo’s Tennis Blog league for Racquet Rally! Grand Slammers still leads the TFF DreamTeam with SabineTennis and PauLyearley_GameSetMatchWTA close behind.
1. Venus Williams v Agnieszka Radwanska (AO, R4)
Photo by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
Venus Williams won her third round match at the Australian Open on Saturday to progress into the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2011. The win will also see Venus go up to at least number 12 in the rankings. Venus came through a brutal and hard-hitting match against Camila Giorgi, demonstrating bucket loads of tenacity to come back from a set and a break down. Giorgi had 0-40 on the Venus serve at 6-4 4-2* up and also served for the match at 6-4 *5-4. Venus battled back to seal a superb win, 4-6 7-6(3) 6-1. I was contemplating staying up for this match as I had a feeling it would be a cracker. It seems like I made a mistake from the highlights. Some of those rallies were pretty spectacular…
Both videos by TENNIS HD 2
Agnieszka Radwanska awaits in the fourth round after the Pole earnt her first win in three matches over Varvara Lepchenko. Radwanska grabbed her third bagel set of the week defeating the American, 6-0 7-5. Aga has done a great job at finishing her matches quickly and not creating extra and unnecessary time on the courts. In their head-to-head, Venus leads Aga, 5-4; However, Radwanska has won their last four matches and all in straight sets. This is a tough match-up for Venus and especially coming off the back of playing Giorgi, who is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum to Radwanska. As much as Venus has killed it at the start of the year, the world number six has a way of neutralising the pace and defending well to prevent Venus from hitting winners all over the shop. I’m going for Aga, who is probably the favorite to win the second quarter after Petra Kvitova‘s exit.
Prediction: Radwanska d. V.Williams in 2 tight sets
2. Madison Keys v Madison Brengle (AO, R4)
Photo by Omar Boraby
In an all-Madison fourth rounder, we’re promised an unseeded quarter-finalist in the women’s draw with Madison Keys going up against Madison Brengle. Keys scored the biggest win of her career, defeating Petra Kvitova, 6-4 7-5. Her win in the Eastbourne final over Angelique Kerber was her biggest win up till now, but the fact this came at a Grand Slam and against the world number four tops it for me. Petra looked nervous from the start and never got into her groove. She struggled to cope with the barrage of deep groundstrokes, so much so that Keys was outhitting her on a regular basis. Petra struggled all day on her serve with just 52% of first serves in and six double faults. She just kept missing the lefty serve out wide.
The most impressive aspect of the whole match was the brilliantly bold final service game that Keys played. Despite admitting to still shaking in her post-match interview, she looked confident and in control. I can’t help but feel happy for Madison. I’ve been waiting for Madison to announce herself with a big win although I was hoping it wouldn’t be at the expense of Petra. I really love Keys’s personality and I think she will be a big star both off and on the court. We just haven’t had the opportunity to hear from her in press siutations, but that should change soon-ish.
There was a funny moment at the end of the match when Lindsay Davenport realised she had been pooped on by a bird. She looked really involved in this match as the camera kept shooting to her. I don’t like to make judgements on the coaching arrangements so soon into the new season, but I do think Davenport has had a very positive effect already on Keys’s game. I love Davenport’s commentary on the BBC during Wimbledon and can only imagine that the input along with her husband is going to be an invaluable asset to Madison going forward.
Brengle has had an excellent start to the year, reaching the final in Hobart and now, the last 16 at the Australian Open. Before this week, Brengle had only one Grand Slam main draw win, which came at the US Open 2014. She has failed in qualifying in Melbourne for the last six years. Brengle has enjoyed wins over Andrea Petkovic, Irina Falconi and Coco Vandeweghe this week. I was really surprised that Madison managed to beat Coco in straight sets after the higher ranked American had enjoyed such a convincing and dominant win over Sam Stosur in the third round.
This match concerns me. Brengle is in great form and will come in as the underdog with no pressure and nothing to lose. Imagine Madison Brengle reaching the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. It really could happen and she would be fully deserving of a place in the final eight. We all know that Keys could easily turn up and not find the court. I’m wary, but going for Keys to prevail.
Prediction: Keys d. Brengle in 3 sets