MELBOURNE, Australia – While you were sleeping, here’s what you missed on Day 10 of the Australian Open.
Roger Federer beats Andy Murray; Rafael Nadal next: Federer hit aggressively, attacked the net and served with great efficiency in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 victory over Murray, making the Australian Open semifinals for the 11th consecutive year. The four-time champion has looked fantastic so far and he’s come through his first two tests, against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round and Murray in the quarterfinals, with flying colors.
Friday, he’ll face the ultimate test, playing Nadal for the 33rd time. Nadal has won both meetings here and he’s 22-10 overall, including 4-0 last year.
Agnieszka Radwanska puts on clinic, upsets two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka: The third set of Radwanska’s 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 victory was the stuff of tennis mysticism. The shot-making and point construction elicited oohs and ahhs from the most cynical of observers (read: tennis writers). No doubt Azarenka had an off day, but Radwanska never allowed her to find her rhythm.
Watch some of the best from Radwanska here:
Grigor Dimitrov shows what he’s made of: Just like in their two matches in 2013, Dimitrov took a set off Nadal before losing. But this time, Dimitrov showed a new level of confidence and physicality, and came within one forehand from going up two sets to one. On set point in the third set, he put a short forehand into the tape. He never recovered from that miss. However, there’s a lot to be excited about with Dimitrov after his display of heart and hunger. He wasn’t just out there happy to make his first Grand Slam quarterfinal; he was visibly crushed after the 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-2 loss. He expects and wants more.
Simona Halep can’t handle the moment: Experience goes a long way at the Grand Slams, and that hurt Halep on Wednesday. The Romanian was the higher-ranked player in her semifinal, but it was Dominika Cibulkova, a semifinalist at the 2009 French Open, who rolled to a 6-3, 6-0 win.
“I had emotions, big emotions, and I couldn’t manage this,” Halep said. “Before the match, I was very nervous and I didn’t feel the ball at all. I couldn’t move my body and I couldn’t play.”
Nerves can be debilitating and you can’t fault her for not coming through in her first quarterfinal. Given her talent, I’m sure she’ll have chances down the road.
“Today I couldn’t enjoy,” she said, “and it was a big s*** for me, this match.”
This point between Nadal and Dimitrov is nuts:
Photo of the day
Cry of the day
Dimitrov couldn’t contain his emotions after losing a tough match against Nadal, crying as he sat at his chair. The tears continued during his post-match interview. He struggled to talk about the two missed forehands in the third-set tiebreaker that would have given him the set, and he wiped away tears as the interview ended.
T-shirt of the day
Azarenka went into her post-loss news conference wearing a Nike shirt that said “Deal With It.”
Quote of the day
“You know, it’s just a tough shot. It’s a tough choice. I’m sure I could have done something different. But in a match, everything comes down to a split of a second.”
– Grigor Dimitrov, tearing up as he tried to explain his missed forehand on set point in the third set against Nadal.
Tweets of the day
In many ways, crying on Rod Laver Arena after losing to Nadal may be the most Federeresque thing Dimitrov has ever done. #AusOpen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 22, 2014
Dimitrov slowly deflating like the Austro-Hungarian empire.
— Hannah Wilks (@newballsplease) January 22, 2014
— RenÃ©? (@Renestance) January 22, 2014
Like Taylor Swift. pic.twitter.com/W2xyekycLN
— Davey (@ovafanboy) January 22, 2014
Either Rolex jumped the gun or they are introducing a new line of time machines… pic.twitter.com/hXRrmo86xx
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) January 22, 2014