I think Rena defeats are getting less painful for me. Or is it a case of being in denial? You know, move on to the next and forget about this one. It didn’t really happen then, did it? The latter is something I have probably done in the past, not just in tennis but in football too. It is 30 years since Liverpool last won the league you know!!! I am not sure if denial is the case today in Melbourne. I think you have to accept this happens from time to time, so used are we to being there on the last day of the event.
People will say that Serena is being ‘salty’ after her defeat by saying, “I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today.” She went onto say, “She served well, I didn’t return like Serena, honestly, it was all on my shoulders, I lost that match. I can’t play like that, I literally can’t do that again, it is unprofessional. I’m definitely going to be training tomorrow. That’s first and foremost, to make sure I don’t do this again.” Do I think she is being salty? No, I don’t. I didn’t think that was good enough from her today. Yes, Wang played well but when Serena’s stats are 43 winners v 55 Unforceds, you know she hasn’t been at her best. I think she was pissed off in her press conference and I don’t blame her. It wasn’t an awful performance but by her standards, it wasn’t close to where we all expect it. Maybe my opinions will change on reflection but that is the gut instinct. On we go, Wimbledon is in the next six months anyway……
Serena started to well-up in her press conference when the topic turned to Caro Wozniacki and her retirement. Wozniacki had also just lost a tight third set 7/5 to Ons Jabeur. We are all gonna miss Wozniacki. As I mentioned Liverpool FC earlier, I have always like Wozniacki but the fact she is close pals with Serena and a big LFC fan means I have always had her back. A very likeable character indeed. She has literally reached every goal she set herself in her career. Quality. YNWA Caro.
Coco Gauff has once again come up with the goods. This time turning the tables on Naomi Osaka from New York by ousting the defending champion, who admitted to feeling tight today. What can I say about Coco that I haven’t before? She is just awesome. This is now a winnable quarter that comprises of Kenin, Wang, Jabeur and Coco. It might still be too soon for the 15-year-old but she has every chance. The bookies can barely decide their favourite with Jabeur the outsider.
Ash Barty was at her most impressive against Elena Rybakina. The Kazakh was runner-up in Shenzhen and won in Hobart. Barty knew she had to be on it and was. There will now be a repeat of last years Wimbledon fourth round as she will square-off against Alison Riske. She turned up the heat on Julia Goerges, having got breadisticked in the opener. Her ability to remain calm looks a strong attribute. Petra Kvitova hammered Ekaterina Alexandrova (another shocker for my bets) and she will play Maria Sakkari, who beat a much more miss than hit Madison Keys.
Roger Federer was in all kinds today and as much as the Aussie crowd cheered on the Fed Express over homegrown John Millman, he has got away with one here? Millman had ground him down as he had in New York and led by a break in the decider and 8-4 in the final set breaker. Sickener for the lad. Those errors were flying off the Federer racket. Marton Fucsovics will be his next test, one that should suit his game better but you just don’t know. The Hungarian beating a tired-looking Tommy Paul. Should he prevail here then he will face Fabio Fognini or Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals. Fognini was in top form to see off Guido Pella in straights and Sandgren did the same to Sam Querrey, who was apparently all at sea in that encounter.
Nole had no worries against Dan Evans conqueror, Yoshihito Nishioka. It was interesting to read the Djokovic put his magnificent serving performance down to Goran. Maybe not that surprising though. There has been a bit of work done here and he is feeling pretty confident with the progress. ‘El Peque’ is waiting next for him, Diego Schwartzman is still to drop a set yet. Roberto Bautista-Agut was ousted by Marin Cilic in a five-set thriller. That’s right yes, another bet gone. Though the Croat may be feeling the exertions of this win. Milos Raonic also surprised Stefanos Tsitsipas. This sounded like a fine performance by Milos can he keep it going?
Andy Del Potro