It was a day of many surprises at Melbourne Park in the Australian Open 2020. Two young players who have been ringing the bells for a few years now defeated two great Grand Slam champions. In the women’s section the results were less surprising as two ladies looking to add to their Grand slam tally marched one step further. Let’s look back at the last 4 quarter-finals of the Australian Open 2020.
It was the last quarter-final match of the 2020 Australian Open and by far the finest in terms of intensity and drama. World Number 1 Rafael Nadal locked horns with World Number 5 Dominic Thiem. The 2 players who have played Roland Garros finals against each other twice had met earlier once on hard court Grand Slam matches at the US Open 2018, with Nadal wining that contest.
Rafa looked set to take the 1st set as he broke Thiem in the middle and served for the set. The Austrian however would bring his power packed game to the fullest. He broke Nadal back and took the set to the tie breaker. Nadal had initial lead in the tie breaker but Thiem wrestled control to win it 7 games to 3. More drama followed in the 2nd set with the exchange of breaks continuing and the tie breaker again needed to decide the winner. The Austrian again was the better player as he took the 2nd set tie breaker and established a firm 2 sets to love lead.
The 3rd set was again very intensely fought. Thiem has many opportunities to break but it was the World Number 1 Nadal who broke at the back end of the set. He took it 6 games to 4 and the comeback well and truly on. The hopes of that comeback received a severe dent as Dominic Thiem broke Rafa in the early stages of the 4th set and progressed to serve for the match.
The World Number 1 however was in no mood to surrender the match that easily. A lose game from Dominic Thiem while serving for the match was all Nadal needed. The occasion had got on Thiem and Nadal was back on level terms. The set went to the tie breaker with Nadal determined to take the match to the 5th set. That comeback was however permanently halted as Thiem secured the 3rd tie breaker of the match 8 games to 6. The match was full of intensity and drama but could well be summed up as a combination of Thiem’s brilliance and Nadal’s lost chances.
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Alexander Zverev of Germany and Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland both were on a sort of comeback as they fought for a place in the semis of 2020 Australian Open. Wawrinka ceased the early advantage as he clinched the opening set with a dominant score line of 6 games to 1. The Swiss looked on course to make it to his 1st Grand Slam semi-final since Roland Garros 2017, where he finished a finalist.
Zverev however had other ideas. The World Number 7 who looks leaping back to form after a sort of disappointing 2019 breezed through the next 3 sets winning them all. He won the match 3 sets to 1 and secured himself a semi-final berth. This will be Alexander Zverev’s 1st ever Grand Slam semi-final where he now faces close friend and arch rival Dominic Thiem of Austria.
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza met Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. Muguruza, the 2 time Grand Slam champion who is looking ruthless since the start of the tournament took another step in the pursuit of her 1st hard court major. She beat the Russian Pavlyuchenkova in 2 sets and entered her 1st ever hard court Grand Slam semi-final. Muguruza looks determined to end the 2 year Grand Slam drought by securing her 1st Australian Open trophy this year. She is now just 2 matches away from the trophy.
Another strong contender and World Number 3 Simona Halep was all over her opponent Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. Halep looked supreme from start to finish losing just 2 games in the whole match and closing it in less than an hour. The 2018 runner up will now contest Spanish starlet Garbine Muguruza in a highly anticipated semi-final on Friday.
That is all we have for you from Melbourne Park as the Australian Open 2020 enters its business end. We will be back tomorrow with the recap of 2 women’s semi final matches and the highly anticipated men’s semis match between 6 time Australian Open champion Roger Federer and 7 time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.