Day 10 – The top Men’s and Women’s seeds take the court on Day 10 with two Americans expected to hoping to advance to the Women’s semis and Men’s top seed facing his biggest down under challenge to date.
Serena Williams (1/5) vs. Dominika Cibulkova (21/5)
5 foot 3 inch Dominika Cibulkova played her most determined tennis, silencing and humbling the favored Victoria Azarenka with an effort rarely seen or equaled on the Women’s circuit. Gritty Cibulkova simply refused to lose and let Azarenka know she was a tigress in a kittty’s disguise. The Queen never expected such a poised, focused and determined effort and suspect was mightily taken aback. However, the big winner in that match might have been Serena Williams who would prefer the likes of Cibulkova to Azarenka. Dominika will have support but she has never topped the favored top seed. Williams fired 17 aces at Spain’s long-legged and powerful Garbine Muguruza, who won the first set and looked poised to upset the oft-time Grand Slam champ. Dominika has the heart but not the power to knock off another big name. Serna wins and she has in their 4 previous encounters.
Madison Keys (11/8) vs. Venus Williams (4/6)
Two sweet serving Americans will go head to head in this quarterfinal. The legend won their only previous meeting on clay in 2013. This is a very different, very poised and very powerful Madison Keys. The 6 foot 1 inch Williams will have a 3 inch height advantage edge but Keys has equal serving authority and gets the edge for foot speed. Venus is admirably fit and favored, but loo for the young underdog to persevere in three.
Novak Djokovic (1/7) vs. Milos Raonic (13/2)
These two have met four times, once on the hard court and three times on clay. In their 2014 hard court encounter at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Paris, Djoko dominated the Canadian 6-2, 6-3. With a 4-0 head-to-head record, the top seed should continue his winning ways in this quarterfinal pairing. Raonic has weapons, a booming serve and powerful forehand and has gained valuable on-court experience, but Djokovic returns spectacularly and understands everything about the game. His endurance is truly amazing and if he is out-powered, the Serb will win with his fitness. Djokovic in four this time around.
Stan Wawrinka (15/13) vs. Kei Nishikori (10/11)
The fourth seeded Wawrinka is unflappable, playing focused tennis and would certainly like to defend his title. In his four set win over Spain’s impressive Garcia-Lopez, the Swiss served 15 aces and converted 4 of 13 break opportunities, posting 70 winners against 61 unforced errors. Solid numbers against a quality opponent by any count. Kei Nishikori has yet to play his best tennis. He has worked his way efficiently through a good draw but has been pressed by lesser opponents. He will need his Samurai mentality to upset the defending champion but that is what we expected when we picked Japan’s best player to win the title. These two went five sets with Nishikori wearing Wawrinka down at the US Open in 2014 (3-6, 7-5, 7-6(7), 6-7(5), 6-4). This one is likely to go the distance. We are sticking with the five seed and our pick to go all the way.