The final match of the day in Melbourne saw CoCo Vandeweghe roll into the quarter-finals, ousting the world number one, Angelique Kerber, 6-2 6-3. It was a strange match and it didn’t have that feeling of a number one seed being beaten, perhaps because it was so late in Melbourne.
It was an excellent performance from Vandeweghe who won the last five games of the match. The game she played to break Kerber at 4-3 was especially good but I was more taken by how lacklustre Kerber performed and how quickly things wrapped up at the end. The German player really struggled for any kind of rhythm on her groundstrokes, lacking depth throughout the entire match. I can’t say I really liked CoCo’s celebrations at the end…
Another match that went against the seeding on Sunday was the first of the day on Rod Laver Arena where the number 24 seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated the number eight seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3 6-3.
While I had fancied Kuznetsova to win the match, Pavlyuchenkova winning was not a surprise. The 25-year-old had beaten Kuznetsova just last week in Sydney and her talent has never been questioned. With the win, Pavlyuchenkova has now completed a clean sweep of quarter-finals across the Slams. She will be going for a first ever Slam semi-final on Tuesday!
Pavlyuchenkova plays Venus Williams in the quarter-finals after the American ended Mona Barthel’s run with a 6-3 7-5 win. Venus was coy about her arm/elbow injury in press but she’s looked good so far and is yet drop a set through her first four matches.
Congrats to Mona on a great two weeks! You can now follow her on Twitter 🙂
In a muted encounter with a poor crowd attendance on Margaret Court Arena, Garbiñe Muguruza eased past Sorana Cirstea, 6-2 6-3. It was a super solid display from Muguruza who hit 18 winners to just nine (!) unforced errors. The strapping is still on the leg but Muguruza looks in complete control of her game and seems relaxed in press. Can I do my WTA predictions for the top ten again please? 😂
As the number of singles matches wanes, i’m paying more attention to the doubles. Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato upset the number four seeds, Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova. Their celebrations were adorable!
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is having a tremendous tournament as she is into the quarter-finals of doubles along with Andrea Petkovic after they defeated the number eight seeds, Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova. The pair are set to play Hozumi and Kato in the quarter-finals.
I’ve loved the Twitter Blue Room features with Nick McCarvel and this one with Andrea Petkovic was an absolute hoot!
Both world number ones exited the AO today with Mischa Zverev producing a stunning upset of Andy Murray. Zverev played an amazing match and he was an absolute demon at the net. To be honest, I think it’s refreshing to see such a wide-open men’s draw and I am genuinely excited to see who will come through.
Been wondering like me what happened to Margarita Gasparyan? Here’s an update…
4th round previews for Monday’s matches including Serena Williams v Barbora Strycova and Johanna Konta v Ekaterina Makarova are now up on the blog. I’m pissed at the schedule with both these matches up early. I’m tempted to set my alarm for midnight but i’ll be such a grump at work on Monday haha!
For the other two matches, a few thoughts…
Karolina Pliskova v Daria Gavrilova – I watched their last match live in Eastbourne where Pliskova absolutely crushed Gavrilova with her power. The court surface will probably give Gavrilova a little more chance but having survived the match against Jelena Ostapenko, 10-8 in the third set, and now playing against an opponent where she can play her own game, I think that Pliskova will advance in straights.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni v Jennifer Brady – Phwoo, I still can’t believe this is a fourth rounder! New experiences for both at the AO but Brady is deep into uncharted territory. Lucic-Baroni did have an injury concern in her third round win over Sakkari but she was out playing doubles on Sunday so i’m not sure how much of a concern it is. No insight with this match to be honest but i’d take MLB.
And finally, a classy handshake from yesterday between Daria Gavrilova and Timea Bacsinszky.