- Chris Sobey
Australian Open Update
A quick rundown on the Australian Open tennis where world number one and top seed, Novak Djokovic, experienced his biggest challenge to date when he was pushed all the way to five sets by 14 seed Gilles Simon. The Frenchman had given Djokovic quite a few scares in the past early on in his career but nothing like this has occurred between the two for some time, which was due to a mixture of Djokovic's passiveness and Simon’s brilliance. This should come as no surprise as he has been a top-10 player.
Djokovic faces an arguably even tougher test next in the shape of world number seven Kei Nishokori, who demolished Jo Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets playing some lightning fast attacking tennis. Djokovic leads the head to head 5-2 and is, of course, the justifiably clear favourite. However, Nishikori has taken sets off Djokovic in three of the four outdoor matches they played on hard courts and, if he plays like he did today, expect him to win another set if not two this time.
Second seed Andy Murray is still making fairly smooth progress and by the time you will be hopefully reading this article we will know if we still have a British men’s player in the main draw or not. The World number two has met Tomic three times on hard courts since 2012 without dropping a set and, as Tomic’s game does not match up well to Murray’s due to his limited mobility, I see another 3-0 or under the games line victory.
The one other small matter of settling the eighth quarter finalist sees a potentially fascinating encounter between Canada’s Milos Raonic and 2014 Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka leads the head to head 4-0, which all came between 2012 and 2015. The last head to head was on a hard court in Rotterdam when Stan won in two tiebreaks. In fact there have been five tiebreaks in the four meetings plus these players have been involved in quite a few this tournament. As a result, the best advice I can give for this match is for either the Over the Game line or Stan to win 3-1 or 3-2 as he still has the mental edge over his less experienced rival.