Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Australian Open: Bring On Mr. Federer!

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One half of the Semifinals is set at the Australian Open.

It'll be No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 3 Novak Djokovic.

Federer won the all-Swiss Quarterfinals match rather easily, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3, against his compatriot No. 19 Stanislas Wawrinka. In fact, the always-cool faced Federer barely broke a sweat and Wawrinka, well, his "15 minutes" went by rather too quickly. I'm sure the outcome came as no surprise to most but Wawrinka will get some decent ranking points for reaching the Quarterfinals, which is the second consecutive Grand Slam Quarterfinals for him. He'll probably reenter the Top 15 for the first time in two years when the new rankings come out after the tournament.

Djokovic, on the other hand, faced a much tougher opponent in 2010 Wimbledon-finalist and World No. 6 Tomas Berdych but was able to fend him off in straight sets, 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.

Now things get serious.

The Federer-Djokovic rivalry is becoming a classic in it's own right. This will be their second consecutive Semifinals meeting at a Grand Slam event. Djokovic defeated Federer in the semis at last summer's U.S. Open in a gut-wrenching match, 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. However, his biggest win over Federer came at the 2008 Australian Open, where Djokovic defeated Federer in the semis in straight sets, ending Federer's streak of 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals appearances. Djokovic went on to win the 2008 Aussie, which is still is only Grand Slam title. He lost the 2007 U.S. Open Final to Federer and the 2010 U.S. Open Final to Rafael Nadal.

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While the Nadal-Federer rivalry still gets all the attention, there is no question Djokovic is breathing down both their necks, and at only 23, there is no doubt the kid is at the brink of greatness.

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