Australian Open Tennis: Quarter-Finals Preview

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Men’s Draw

Denis Shapovalov [14] v Rafael Nadal [6]

If anyone had watched Rafael Nadal on his comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event, the rust was enough to make a nation’s gates squeak. He was beaten in the third-place play-off against the young Canadian leftie, Denis Shapovalov.

He might have hoped that the bout of Abu Dhabi Covid-19 would set the youngster back, but Shapovalov showed the same kind of grit and determination that took him to the Wimbledon semi-final last year.

Nadal has been as impressive as you would expect in the early rounds, not least of which that lengthy set against Adrian Mannarino with the monster tie-break, and Shapovalov will want to keep the Spaniard out on the court.

Of course, Nadal is the overwhelming favourite but the chasing pack of young guns are snapping at their heels and the young Canadian might be worth a bet to take at least a set off the ‘old-timer’

Gael Monfils [17] v Matteo Berrettini [7]

Canada and Italy boast a brace of players in this year’s quarter-finals, and Matteo Berrettini has looked every inch like he can back up his run to last year’s Wimbledon final. But wait – French entertainer Gael Monfils is really showing what he can achieve when he puts his mind to it. 

And we can expect some very pretty tennis from both, and this is a tough one to call. Monfils won the first tournament of the season in Adelaide without dropping a set, and he has been similarly efficient in all his rounds so far at the Australian Open.

Unlike Berrettini, who begged for Imodium for a stomach issue (let’s leave that thought there!) and was taken the distance by Carlos Alcaraz, so the older Frenchman is the fresher. 

Although the No. 7 seed is the favourite, this one is well worth a bet on either going the distance or the Frenchman pulling off a shock win.

Jannik Sinner [11] v Stefanos Tsitsipas [4]

The second Italian in the draw, Jannik Sinner has already proved himself on the NextGen stage, and now, he’s coming for his fellow alumnus, Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek had elbow surgery late at the end of an already long season and was in pain during the season opener at the ATP Cup, so for him to come through a tough five setter against Taylor Fritz shows his sticking power.

Sinner had a tremendous season in 2021 with four titles and has matured a lot since winning the ATP NextGen title in 2019. He is one of a very impressive chasing group of young players who do look like they will be able to challenge at the top.

Could he pull off an upset? Unlikely, but would be well worth looking for some set betting as he could lead the Greek a merry dance in the best of five format.

Australian Open 2022 Sign-up Ofer

Felix Auger-Aliassime v Daniil Medvedev [2]

Oh Canada! Their winning the ATP Cup at the start of the year mirrors perhaps the fortunes of Russian players who stormed to ATP Cup victory at the start of the year. One Daniil Medvedev went on to win his maiden Slam at the US Open, and he is undoubtedly the favourite to make it back-to-back Slam wins. 

But the two young Canadians are riding the crest of the wave of their ATP Cup glory. Felix Auger-Aliassime certainly has it within himself to make it awfully uncomfortable for Medvedev and could push him the hardest, so far.

Thoughts on the @AustralianOpen quarter-finals? 👀

🇫🇷 Monfils v Berrettini 🇮🇹
🇨🇦 Shapovalov v Nadal 🇪🇸
🇮🇹 Sinner v Tsitsipas 🇬🇷
🇨🇦 Auger-Aliassime v Medvedev 🇷🇺 #AusOpen | #AO2022

— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 24, 2022

Women’s Draw

Barbora Krejcikova [4] v Madison Keys

Watching Madison Keys’ resurgence has been a thing of wonder this season. The Adelaide 2 champion has carried that form into the Australian Open apart from a blip against Wang Qiang where she had to figure things out and come from a set behind. But against Paula Badosa, who was many people’s pick to make a Slam run here, she shut down the Spaniard’s game.

She will need to do that against Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova who is beyond the second round for the first time in singles here. Ever since she decided to focus a bit more on her singles instead of the doubles, the results have been outstanding, and does have three-set rollercoaster written all over it.

This is the closest margin in betting terms of all the quarter-finals so well worth a finger-chewing punt on the American to make a bid for a second Slam final in her career.

Ashleigh Barty [1] v Jessica Pegula [21]

What can you say about Australia’s sweetheart, Ashleigh Barty? She is still very much the favourite to win a first home Slam for the Aussies in 44 years, and although the USA have three women in the quarte-finals, Jessica Pegula is in uncharted territory as she is into a quarter-final of a Slam for the first time.

She had to come from a set down in her opening match, but since then has looked solid, but against Barty, this feels like it could be awfully routine for the Aussie.

Danielle Collins [27] v Alize Cornet

Now this is the match that will have all the drama. Both are feisty, neither are backwards with coming forwards with their emotions on court and expect A LOT of hollering of ‘C’MON’ and ‘ALLEZ’ with equal ferocity.

And don’t underestimate either woman. Alize Cornet is into a first Slam quarter-final in 63 Slam appearances, and Danielle Collins underwent surgery last year for endometriosis and knows a thing or two about triumphing over adversity.

No words 😭🤯

QUARTER FINAL BABY 💥💥💥@AustralianOpen

P.S.: huge respect for Simona

— Alize Cornet (@alizecornet) January 24, 2022

Cornet is very much the underdog, but that is a role that has suited her just fine, thank you very much, and is worth a bit of set betting to take this to three sets of extreme emotions. It will be exhausting!

Iga Swiatek [7] v Kaia Kanepi

The seed slayer, Kaia Kanepi, is at it again. Players balk when they see her name in the draw – fans pray that their favourite players are not drawn against her. Her performance against the No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka was a nail biter, and somehow, she came back from losing four (count them) match points to quell the double-faulting queen.

Iga Swiatek is a wise head on young, talented shoulders and the emotion of coming from a set down to better last year’s showing of the round of 16 was clear to see, and she quipped that a week without crying was not a week for her.

She is one of the few players who has talked openly about working with a sports psychologist, and surprisingly so for a young player. She is learning all the time, and she just might be a seed too far for the Slayer.

Craig Jones

Craig Jones

US Sports lover and watcher of the EFL, Craig will guide you through the NFL, NHL and English football