A new week but the same goal, the last set of players were out at Melbourne Park looking to make the quarter finals of the first major of the year but who made it?
Simona Halep 6-4 6-4 Elise Mertens
Simona Halep was the first up on Day 8 and delivered in just over 90 minutes against a tough opponent.
Elise Mertens form Belgium can pose such a tough game to deal with and Halep played the percentages incredibly well. Mertens hit an impressive 36 winners in 20 games and Halep only hit 21 but kept her in-play unforced errors down to 7 compared to 35 from the 14th seed.
Halep is playing very well, better as the rounds go on. She is creating and taking opportunities and seems so confident inside that baseline right now.
Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-3 Kiki Bertens
Muguruthless came out to play once again. In just over an hour the Spaniard secured he place in a major quarter final for the first time in over a year.
Muguruza matched Bertens with the aggressive stance behind their shots both ending up with similar numbers on their winners and errors.
I’m so pleased to see Garbine playing to this level right now and I hope it is just the start of things to come for her. The only thing that worried me was the second serve and as we get into this business end winning 27% behind it won’t stand up well.
Dominic Thiem 6-2 6-4 6-4 Gael Monfils
Sandwiched between these two ladies matches was another win for Dominic Thiem.
Fair to say the Austrian does fall under the radar on a hard court but his records over the last 12 months or so have been very good.
He played super smart tennis on his serve and remained a pest for the Frenchman. Gael couldn’t get to a position to create a break point where as Domi saw an impressive 14!
I like what I’m seeing so far from Dominic and he could have a big say in the remainder of this competition.
Stan Wawrinka 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 6-2 Daniil Medvedev
Stan called on all of his experience to see off Medvedev on Monday morning and it was fantastic to see from a neutrals perspective.
I like both players and I really like Medvedev’s game but I hope that final set is taken as a big learning curve because Stan had him running around.
I am going to come onto the final set in another piece because there was a lot wrong with it in all honesty.
Stan is perfect in these situations though. He knows what is needed and the ability to dig deep and scrape the barrel sometimes is remarkable but tonight was all about Wawrinka’s brilliance!
Anett Kontaveit 4-6 7-5 7-5 Iga Swiatek
Iga at only 18 has caused some big problems in Melbourne and almost looked like causing the Estonian some.
Kontaveit continues to impress me, we know the talent is there but pulling it all together has been a struggle for consistency.
I probably enjoyed this win more than her others because it forced her to adapt. Anett this week has been used to dominating proceedings but Iga was the one hitting the ball better and Anett had to take a slight step back and in an incredible tough match came through!
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-7 7-6 6-2 Angie Kerber
What a match!
One of those bitter sweet moments for the former champion Angie Kerber. She played such a good tournament but in that third set just didn’t have enough to stop the barrage from the Russian.
Anastasia has been fantastic to watch and showed once again in those clutch moments she has the answers. She has the experience to go further here but Angie Kerber should leave Melbourne with her head held very high.
Alex Zverev 6-4 6-4 6-4 Andrey Rublev
Has Sascha Zverev played so well at a major before? I don’t think so! He has looked super sharp throughout the event and Rublev posed a different problem.
Rublev of course came in on the back of 11 straight wins and once Zverev set out his stall there was no looking back.
He of course began the match with a double fault but the focus he showed during the match and during the event has been faultless.
Stay tuned for Rafa v Nick!