Murray Follows Djokovic Out of Australian Open After Zverev Upset

After Djokovic’s shock loss to Istomin in round two Murray has now followed him after losing 5-7, 7-5, 2-6, 4-6 to world number 50 Mischa Zverev in the fourth round. Another huge upset!

Murray has historically suffered quite a few upsets in slams but because of his recent rich run of form and ascendancy to the top of the world rankings, I’m not sure which is the bigger upset between him and Djokovic.

Zverev’s best previous result at a slam was at Wimbledon in 2008 when he made the third round after the withdrawal of 28th seed Ferrero. And now he is in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open where he will play Federer.

This is turning into quite a story because Zverev was top 50 at one point after which he fell all the way to #1067 in the rankings due to injury. I think he was on the verge of quitting and now he is back up to a career high #35.

I always thought he had a nice lefty serve-and-volley game but he obviously struggled with injuries quite a bit. He will probably lose to Federer but I was impressed with him against Murray.

Murray is usually the guy who takes his opponents out of their comfort zone but Zverev turned the tables on him with his serve-and-volley game and backhand slices. His forehand is also a very awkward-looking shot.

He has a very nice lefty serve and great hands at the net. It will be interesting to see how uncomfortable he can make things for Federer. Federer is the favorite but if we have learned anything from this Australian Open it is that anything can happen.

Either way, this is a huge opportunity missed for Murray after the exit of Djokovic, but the return of Federer and Nadal may have had a psychological effect on him because he has poor records against them in slams.

  • Federer Impresses Against Nishikori

You gotta hand it to Federer for coming back from a long break and pretty much playing his best tennis right off the bat again. And that at age 35. Even I didn’t expect this. The 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory was another vintage performance and infinitely more entertaining than the Berdych match.

Nishikori started on fire as he got the double break and took a 5-1 lead. But then he started choking and only got it together again in the tiebreak. Federer started running away with it in the third set but Nishikori did well to force a fifth set where he has a winning percentage of 75%.

You’d like his chances at that point against a 35-year old Federer but Federer’s fitness was solid and Nishikori got nervous again at the start of the fifth as he got broken.

Nishikori is now a top five player which is great but he still gets nervous and struggles to break through at slam level. But it was a good win for Federer who looked very pleased as you’d expect.

I wasn’t sure whether Federer would get by Nishikori when the draw came out but obviously, the departure of Djokovic and Murray didn’t hurt. It is just an emotional burden that lifts and an opportunity that must be taken advantage of.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

In the remaining matches of the top half, Wawrinka and Tsonga had a straight-set and four-set victory over Seppi and Evans respectively. Stan continues to look good while Tsonga brought to an end Evans’ best slam run to date.

Then today Raonic, Nadal, Goffin, and Dimitrov all advanced in four sets. The only upset was 11th seed Goffin who defeated 8th seed Thiem in four sets but you can hardly call that an upset. Istomin continued his good form but unfortunately got injured in the second set I think after which he lost 6-2, 6-7(2), 2-6, 1-6.

Raonic had some problems with Bautista Agut but stepped it up in the third set and won 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Finally, Nadal was all over Monfils until the third set where he played some poor tennis to lose the set and then went a break down in the fourth set too.

That was an uncharacteristic passage of play for Nadal and a sign of his decline but what matter is that he pulled himself together and won 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. That slight vulnerability Nadal showed is something Raonic could potentially take advantage of.

But Nadal is probably the favorite. That will be the most interesting quarterfinal matchup anyway. The Dimitrov vs Goffin match should be competitive too. In the top half, Stan and Federer are probably a bit more favored.

We are now at the quarterfinal stage and things really get interesting from here on. My favorite lost in the second round but since I am a real tennis fan I keep watching and blogging. Some people are already talking about a Fedal final but I like to take one round at a time.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow with Federer vs Zverev and Stan vs Tsonga!

  • Highlights

Who will win?

  • Federer in 3 (71%, 24 Votes)
  • Federer in 4 (15%, 5 Votes)
  • Zverev in 4 (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Federer in 5 (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Zverev in 3 (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Zverev in 5 (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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Who will win?

  • Raonic in 4 (52%, 12 Votes)
  • Nadal in 4 (17%, 4 Votes)
  • Raonic in 5 (13%, 3 Votes)
  • Nadal in 5 (9%, 2 Votes)
  • Raonic in 3 (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Nadal in 3 (4%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

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Posted in Australian Open, Grand Slams.

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