Had you have said a month ago that a Brit would be in the last four of the singles in Melbourne, it would probably be one of two players. Had Muzza’s hip made a miraculous recovery? Or had Jo Konta found her form again? The latter was more plausible! Of course, neither of those materialised! Mr Edmund has though.
I did wonder whether Dimitrov might feel the pressure again having looked edgy against Kyrgios in the last round. The pressure was on him today and in reality, he has been tight and edgy all tournament. So it proved today with numerous double faults and errors at costly times. Edmund deserves credit, as they say ‘you can only beat what is put in front of you’. Mentally once again he kept it all together and irrespective of what happens in the semi, the future looks bright for him. Personally, I am pretty sure he get ‘in to’ the match against Marin Cilic. A win would not only take him to British number one, but it would also give him the opportunity of being the first Brit since Fred Perry in 1934 to win the Open.
Cilic progressed after Rafa pulled out at 0-2 in the decider. It was clear in the fourth that things weren’t right and sad as it is to say, the pullout wasn’t really a surprise. Cilic did up his game but it was obvious Nadal was in discomfort, with what he says is a muscle injury! Rafa was actually a set and a break up today but at that moment couldn’t press home his advantage. Let’s hope he isn’t out for too long, he said it was impossible to play but fingers crossed that the injury is not too serious.
Elina Svitolina’s 6/4 6/0 loss to Elise Mertens was attributed to a hip injury. I haven’t been entirely convinced by the Ukranian, even though there have been some decent performances in Melbourne. I always felt it wasn’t her time yet (I did also say Nick was ready though!). Mertens continues to bring her all-round game to the court, riding a very large wave of confidence. Even under the circumstances, bageling Svitolina is no mean feat, in the quarters of a Slam! Your first quarter-final as well.
Caro Wozniacki had a mid-match blip against CSN. Having served up bagel of her own in the first set, she dropped the second 4/6. Suarez Navarro really started to rip that backhand in this set as Woz went slightly into her shell. An aggressive and assertive Caro took the third 6/2 to set up a semi-final against Mertens. She goes in as the obvious favourite (2/5 on the opening show) but is aware of the threat. Today was decent enough though, the level was raised when she needed it. Suarez Navarro’s backhand is an absolute pleasure to see in action though, I know that’s old news but it was great to see it back today!
Andy Del Potro