Both Rena and Osaka’s losses yesterday look to have paved the way for Simona Halep to make the final. I actually don’t think Halep has been playing that well here so far and this has once again been pretty crazy in the Ladies, you just never know what is around the corner. I would have thought Osaka would have come out after beating Vika and have comfortably beat Katerina Siniakova. She didn’t. She admitted after that the ‘Osaka Slam’ was starting to stress her. This was obviously a huge part of her performance. For Serena, it looks as simple as not being match fit. The signs in the previous round against Nara looked more encouraging but she was rusty against Kenin. She has even talked about playing a grass court warm-up. She hasn’t done that since Eastbourne in 2011 and I am not sure when the time before that was? Hopefully a nice treat for British tennis fans there this year.
Madison Keys and Ash Barty are the two immediate ‘beneficiaries’ of this, as they will now face Siniakova and Kenin respectively. Keys made hard work of Anna Blinkova, having served for the match in the second and almost blowing a lead in the decider. Barty was much more fluent in her 6/3 6/1 demolition of Andrea Petkovic.
Halep didn’t have to do much in all truth to beat a hobbling Lesia Tsurenko, who didn’t put up much competition. She will face the 18-year-old Iga Swiatek, who almost didn’t play her match with Monica Puig after injuring her back in training. Having got bageled in the opener the young Pole came through in three. She will have nothing to lose against the Romanian but how will the back be?
The dream runs for Amanda Anisimova and Aliona Bolsova continued. Anisimova had a tight straight sets battle and win over Irina-Camelia Begu and Bolsova beat Ekaterina Alexandrova. The Spaniard said after that her run here will pay for her team for the rest of the season, once again this puts things into perspective. I hope she kicks on in her career as she looks a decent player.
Tsitsipas and Stan came out and finished off Krajinovic and Dimitrov respectively. Tsitsipas lost the third and almost went the distance on the resumption which I find worrying. Stan played at a very high level against Dimitrov and will fancy his chances of taking Stefanos today. It should be an absolute cracker of a match. Stan has looked flawless so far and from what I have seen, the standard has been very, very high from him. Tsitsipas hasn’t been spectacular but has got it done.
Nole beat Salvatore Caruso with minimal fuss, he said he was impressed with the Italian though, who gave a good account of himself. Mission accomplished for Djokovic today. He will face Jan-Lennard Struff, who somehow managed to beat Borna Coric. It is a match the Croat should not have lost, but it has been the story of his grand slam career to an extent thus far. Struff took the decider 11/9 after Coric had served for it.
Sascha Zverev went five sets once again, against Dusan Lajovic, as he did last year. Why does he love it so much? He just goes missing for parts of a match. Which should make it interesting when he plays Fabio Fognini next. The Italian has a bit of an ankle concern after his decent four-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut.
Dominic Thiem put in his most solid performance so far, in beating Pablo Cuevas in four. You wondered if this could be squeaky bum time for the Austrian but he played quite well, more like it this from the Dominator. Should be a screamer of a match against Gael Monfils in the last 16. Monfils was once again a straight-sets winner, though wasn’t overly excited about his performance against Antoine Hoang. Gael is going along nicely thus far.
Another barnstormer of an encounter will be Juan Martin Del Potro against Karen Khachanov. The balls will take some punishment in this one. I just hope Delpo’s body is fit and he can give it a go. He disposed of Jordan Thompson comfortably but Khachanov is a few levels above that. The Russian beat a tired looking Martin Klizan, like Delpo, in straights.
Andy Del Potro