Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Australian Open 2006: Men's Quarterfinals

Back to regular programming....And on with more predictions.

Federer vs Davydenko
Whoa, Tommy Haas sure did give Roger quite a scare. Granted, Haas was able to knock him out of Kooyong, but it does take a true champion out of Federer to squeak out a match like that. I just would like to note that it takes a really sloppy performance to give away two sets like that, and a doggedly determined retriever like Haas to win two sets like that. So, how about another match
with fellow 5-set survivor Nikolay Davydenko? I think not. Straight sets for the Swiss maestro.

Kiefer vs Grosjean
No signs if injury for the top-ranked German in the draw, although there are no signs of slowing down for the reliable Frenchman as well. Grosjean, benefitting from a rather benign draw from the get-go, must be able to put away winners and outlast Kiefer to make it through to the semis. I see Kiefer having the very slight advantage here, with a better command of the hardcourts of Australia. Brace your self for a coin toss, this one is going to last a long 5 sets, with Kiefer making his Grand Slam SF debut.

Santoro vs NalbandianSurprise! The oldest player in the draw is *gasp* not Andre Agassi. What's even more surprising, is how Fabrice The Magician returns ALL those balls into play. This amazing ability to frustrate players and make them go for shots is the true asset of Santoro, and could come up quite useful against Nalbandian. However, big matches seem to be a niche for David, as he made quite a consistent run last 2005. He will win the craftiest match of the competition yet, in straight sets.

Ljubicic vs Baghdatis
Wow, those Greek people are a real rowdy bunch, aren't they? But, those Croats shouldn't be a pushover anyhow. And they sure have much reason to cheer for, as Ljubicic and Baghdtis, along with quite a number of the last 8, have not been to the QF of a GS. If Baghdatis brings out the spark he used to take down Andy Roddick, then he can topple Davis Cup hero Ivan in 4 sets. I'm still going for the seeded player here, that will keep the fans cheering well past midnight in 5 sets.

Semifinals and Final
It's becoming clearer, Roger vs David for the finals. And this should be a treat, because unlike with Roddick and Hewitt, Federer is actually on the wrong end of this head-to-head match up. Since he will be coming off from an easier semifinal match, I'd still pick Roger to win in 4 sets. Ooh, Is that a 7th Grand Slam already?

Number seven!Close, so close

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