The 2017 Australian Open Men’s Singles has already seen a couple of major shocks, with Novak Djokovic falling to World Number 117 Denis Istomin, and Andy Murray succumbing to German World Number 50 Mischa Zverev. The new courts have been cited as one reason for the shocks, with the new faster surfaces suiting players who like to hit outright winners rather than trying to play long rallies and relying on unforced errors.
Past champions Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Stan Wawrinka could add another Australian Open Title to their CV’s, but this is also a big chance for platers such as Milos Raonic to claim his first Grand Slam – so we thought we’d take a look at the quarter-final line-up.
Wawrinka vs Tsonga
The pair have met 7 times before, and it’s Wawrinka who holds a slender 4-3 lead, though the Swiss World Number 4 has won the last 3 encounters 3-1, 3-1 and 2-1. However, the last 6 matches have been played on clay, and it was Tsonga who won their only previous hardcourt match, be it in 2007. Both players have dropped a few sets so far in the tournament so, though Wawrinka is expected to progress, the score-line could well be 3-1 or 3-2, especially as Tsonga has a tendency to get very hot in parts of his matches.
Wawrinka 2-1 @ 10/3
Wawrinka 3-1 @ 5/1
Federer vs Zverev
Zverev has been living in the shadows of his more high-profile sibling Alexander for much of the last year, but his win over Andy Murray gives him another massive day in the spotlight against fan favourite Roger Federer – and there might be a few takers at 7/1. However, whilst Andy Murray can out-rally most opponents on slower courts, Federer thrives on fast courts which allow him to manoeuvre opponents around before hitting outright winners – and he’ll definitely have his sights set on what initially appeared an unlikely 18th Grand Slam Title. Zverev may be able to muscle a set, but Federer should have too much tactical awareness – and can win 3-1.
Roger Federer to win 3-1 @ 3/1
Dimitrov vs Goffin
Neither player has much of a Grand Slam pedigree, with Goffin having only reached one previous grand slam quarter-final, whilst Dimitrov reached the quarters here in 2014 and the semi-finals of Wimbledon the same year. However, it’s Dimitrov who has dominated previous meetings, and he holds a 4-0 head-to-head advantage. It’s a shame that the bookies have made Dimitrov favourite, despite him being ranked 3 places lower than Goffin, but previous meetings suggest he should come out on top.
Dimitrov @ 4/7
Nadal vs Raonic
Milos Raonic may be the higher-ranked player of the two, but he trails Nadal 6-2 in head-to-heads. However, whilst the Spaniard isn’t as good as he was, the Canadian continues to get better and better – and he’s won 2 of their last 3 matches. These fast courts should also play to Raonic’s strengths – and he’s taken to make it to the semi-finals here for the second consecutive year.
Raonic @ 5/4