>> Sunday, January 24, 2010
The four quarter-finalists in the bottom half of the 2010 Australian Open men's singles tournament has been determined. #2 Rafael Nadal and #5 Andy Murray downed the biggest servers in the men's game in Ivo Karlovic and John Isner, respectively. They now advanced against each other in what would be a highly captivating quarterfinal. The other match-up in this side of the draw would be #7 Andy Roddick versus # 14 Marin Cilic. Cilic provided Sunday's only upset by beating world #4 and 2009 US Open champion, Juan Martin del Potro.
Murray have been in scintillating form in this year's first grand slam. He hasn't lost a set yet in his first four matches while Nadal lost a set each in his last two matches. Nadal hasn't beaten a top five player since April 2009 and despite being the defending champion, will be coming in as a slight underdog. Many experts, including American legend John McEnroe has picked Murray to win his first grand slam title here in Melbourne. If their previous matches in this tournament is used as a gauge, it wouldn't be surprising if Murray beats Nadal in four sets.
In the other quarterfinal, Cilic may well surprise Andy Roddick to reach his first semifinal. The Croatian played unbelievably in downing Del Potro in five sets. Roddick did the same against Fernando Gonzalez in the fourth round but would have to elevate his game if he wants to keep up with the hard hitting Croatian. My prediction? Roddick will rely on his experience to win in four tight sets.