In Australian Open fourth-round play, top-ranked players advance
This year marks the 112th Australian Open, and this past Saturday and Sunday, the numbers shrunk to eight in singles play. Ninth-seeded Rafael Nadal took down Gael Monfils to land him a spot in the quarter-finals. Additionally, Roger Federer grabbed a spot in the quarters as well as well-known sisters Venus and Serena Williams, who will both be competing for a step closer to facing-off in the finals. American favorites, Bob and Mike Bryan, will also be competing for the U.S. in Men’s doubles.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer are long-time fan favorites no matter the country. Federer is considered the best tennis player of all time with a total of 17 Grand Slam titles and 87 overall titles. Nadal comes up only slightly short of Federer. The Spaniard has managed to win himself 14 Grand Slams and 67 titles overall.
Where the Swiss is a player of grace, the Spaniard is a player of grit. The rivalry of the two, also known as Fadal, is one many that tennis fans love. Although Federer is ranked above Nadal in history, Nadal has managed to snag 68 percent of the wins in the rivalry with 23 going to him and 11 to Federer. The last time the two faced-off, Federer came out on top, however, the last match they played at the Australian Open, Nadal won in the semifinal match, but unfortunately came up short in the finals to Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka. Although the match between Nadal and Federer is unlikely, a tennis fan can hope, and look forward to the final few rounds of the Open.
The currently No. 1 ranked singles players, Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, were both taken down in the fourth round of play as well as Novak Djokovic, a holder of 12 Grand Slam titles, who was defeated in the second round. With all of the losses inside the men’s bracket, Federer has been a standout. Federer took down Nishikori in the fourth round playing five sets before winning the last 6-3.
Meanwhile, Nadal’s takedown of Monfils in the fourth round was won in four matches. Nadal showed a dominating game, only dropping only the third set 4-6. Although Nadal is seeded above Federer, Nadal will likely face a tougher path to make it to the finals.
Both players show immense skill, and watching them in the tournament has shown that age is hardly holding either athlete back. Nadal’s powerful two-handed backhand and strength and speed as well as Federer’s powerful serve and grace still remain present as shown in this year’s Australian Open.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Venus Williams has made a return as she snatches up a spot in the semifinals. If Serena and Venus both get to the finals, it will be the first time they will play each other at the Australian Open since 2003. The men’s finals are set for Sunday Jan. 29 and the women’s on Jan. 28.