The Australian Open has entered its final few days as the quarter finals conclude and fans await the drama of the semi-finals.
With a huge vaccination cloud looming over the competition after Novak Djokovic’s expected and continually changing deportation status, the Australian Open was finally able to get underway.
At the start of the competition, Great Britain had six players featuring but by the end of the third round, Britain had seemingly left the event.
Andy Murray had been hoping for a significant run in his grand return to the Australian Open. He had not played at the tournament since his emotional exit in 2019 when it was believed he would never return to the professional court.
After a hard fought battle with the Georgian big-hitter Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round, Murray was knocked out by the qualifier, ranked 120th in the ATP World Rankings, Taro Daniels.
Heather Watson and Emma Raducanu were both knocked out in the second round while Liam Broady and Cameron Norrie only made it to the first round.
Dan Evans had a walkover in the second which set him up against the Canadian ninth seed, Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Aliassime did not experience much attack as he beat Evans 6-4 6-1 6-1.
The quarter finals are now fully underway, with four of the semi-finalists having already been decided, while the others will await their fate until tomorrow.
What happened in the Men’s Singles Quarter final matches?
Rafael Nadal v Denis Shapovalov
Nadal was able to withstand an exceptionally strong comeback from his Canadian opponent as he made it through to the semi finals of the Australian Open.
Nadal took the first two sets 6-3 6-4 before Shapovalov came back 6-4 6-3. At the start of the second set, Shapovalov asked the umpire to give the sixth seed a time violation and when the official did not see fit to do so, the Canadian shouted: “You guys are all corrupt.”
Shapovalov spoke in his post match interview on his belief that Nadal receives preferential treatment from the umpires: “100% he does…
“I’ve been ready to play for a minute and a half, and he tells me he’s not going to give me a code violation because I’m not ready to play. To me, it’s a big joke if somebody says that.”
However, this was of little matter to Nadal who ultimately came back to win the fifth and final set 6-3.
Gael Monfils vs Matteo Berrettini
Once again there was another thrilling five set match. The French 17th seeded Gael Monfils came back from two sets down to take the third and fourth set before ultimately conceding once again to the Italian seventh seeded player.
Berrettini is now the first Italian man to ever reach the last four at the Melbourne Grand Slam.
It had been looking as if the Italian was headed for a routine win when he took the first two sets 6-4 6-4 before the Frenchman fought back and an epic game, that lasted 20 minutes, troubled the seventh seed.
However, Berrettini was able to hold his nerve and fought back in the final stages to take the match 6-2.
What happened in the Women’s Singles quarter final matches?
Ashleigh Barty vs Jessica Pegula
Whether it was the home crowd and advantage or if Ashleigh Barty was just exhibiting her natural skill and talent as the number one Women’s player in the world, but Barty’s quarter final match went through with barely a battle.
Despite some fight in the first set from the American 21st seed, Pegula ultimately lost to her opponent 6-2 6-0.
Barty has grand hopes of becoming the first Australian woman to win the Happy Slam since 1978.
Speaking after the match, Barty said: “I had a lot of fun out here, I was able to serve and find a lot of forehands in the centre of the court and I was happy to take the game on.”
Madison Keys vs Barbora Krejcikova
The unseeded American Madison Keys has made it through to the semi final of the Australian Open after beating the reigning French Open Champion Barbora Krejcikova.
It did not seem a particularly long or arduous battle as Keys succeeded with a dominant 6-3 6-2 victory of the number four seed.
Keys has returned after a struggle in 2021 and hopes to come back fighting to regain her place as number seven in the rankings.
Speaking after the match, Keys said: “Last year was really hard, and I did everything I could with my team to really reset this off-season and focus on starting fresh and new, and really just starting from zero and not worrying about last year. And wow, that’s going well so far.”
When are the next matches?
In the men’s singles, Jannik Sinner will face Stefanos Tsitsipas while Felix Auger-Aliassime will take on the number two in the world, Daniil Medvedev.
These matches take place on Wednesday 26 January 2022. Sinner and Tsitsipas are set to commence play at 4am GMT
In the women’s singles Danielle Collins will play Alize Cornet and Iga Swiatek will take on Kaia Kanepi.
These matches will also be played on Wednesday 26 January 2022 and are scheduled to start at midnight GMT and 2am GMT respectively.
Go to our article on How to watch the Australian Open to find out more on how to follow the play.
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