Today was the last day of third round action for the men and it was fourth round day for the women. 7 of the 15 men’s seeds were unable to win their matches were as 5 of the 12 Women’s seeds weren’t able to make the quarterfinals.
The first match out on Stadium 1 saw Svetlana Kuznetsova become the first woman into the quarterfinals as she dispatched Caroline Garcia. Garcia was coming off the back of the big win over Konta so it’s understandable that she couldn’t deal with the pressure of backing the win up. Garcia was on top from the start as she raced out to a 3-0 lead with the double break and then she eventually broke for the fourth time in the set to take the very easy 6-1 set. Garcia was serving terribly as she only won 10% of points behind her first serve and 13% of points on her second serve, which means she won only TWO points behind serve in the first set. The second set was a bit more competitive as managed to get a couple of service holds. Garcia was able to get two breaks and two holds in the second set but Kuznetsova was still the more dominant throughout and she eventually broke to take the 6-1, 6-4 match. She will now face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals as she hopes to win her first match of the year over Pavlyuchenkova after losing to her twice in Australia.
Nadal put in a really good performance on Stadium 1 as he got past his long-time rival Fernando Verdasco to make it to the fourth round. Both of these two had been in stellar form this season and there were the close moments and exciting games everyone wanted, which was very entertaining. There was nothing separating the two at the start of the match but Nadal eventually got the break when he was 4-3 up and he followed that up by serving out the 6-3 set. Verdasco started the second set very motivated to push Rafa harder and he broke the spaniard to go up 2-0 but in the face of adversity Nadal fought back and levelled it at 2-2. Neither man was giving much away on serve from there and eventually it was tied at a 5-5 deadlock when Rafa made a final push. Nadal broke to go up 6-5 after a deuce game but then followed that up serving out the 6-3, 7-5 match comfortably. Nadal was serving really well today as he only faced one break point and that’s something he will need again tomorrow against Federer.
Our feature match was out on Stadium 2 as Angelique Kerber got upset by Elena Vesnina, which was the Russian’s biggest win of her career. Kerber was playing similarly to how she was playing again Parmentier, which was not being able to get the depth on her shots which lets the opponent attack the balls more easily. Kerber started slowly as Vesnina got the break and rushed out to to a 5-2 lead and looked like she’d close it out quickly. When Vesnina was serving for the set at 5-3 Kerber had a bunch of chances to break back and put the match back on serve but Vesnina showed grit and ended up serving out the 6-3 set. The main stat to take away from this opening set was that Vesnina only won 1 of 7 points behind her second serve which shows how good she was returning as she still managed to win the set. The second set was was more straight forward for Vesnina as from 1-1 she reeled off three straight games, including two breaks of serve, to lead 4-1. Kerber managed to get one of the breaks back and get it to 4-3 but Vesnina held from there and then broke Kerber once more to take the 6-3, 6-3 straight set win. She now has a shot at a taking out Venus Williams to make the semifinals, which would be the biggest result in her career aside from the Wimbledon semifinal.
Roger Federer was really tested and pushed in his third round match but he eventually overcame the home favourite Steve Johnson in a match with some great serving. There were no break points in the first set as both players were serving very well but Federer was probably the stronger throughout as he dropped just one point behind his first serve and and was putting more pressure with his return than Johnson was with his return. That showed in the tiebreaker as Federer wasn’t challenged to much on the way to closing out the 7-6(7-3) set. Johnson’s level definitely dropped in the second set but he was still able to hold his serve everytime. Federer had a total of four break points throughout the set but he wasn’t able to close and another tiebreaker would decide the set. Johnson wasn’t able to challenge Federer much more in the second breaker and Federer took the 7-6(7-3), 7-6(7-4) match. Federer not facing a break point this whole match means that both Nadal and Federer are serving well heading in to their match tomorrow and we could be in for a really high quality and tense affair.
The first night match on Stadium 1 saw Novak Djokovic get his second win over Juan Martin Del Potro in back to back tournaments. Del Potro was quite inconsistent in this match but Djokovic really put in a stunning performance and looked almost like he did this time last year, so I’ll be watching Djokovic for the rest of this sunshine double to see if he’s really back to top form. Del Potro started the stronger of the two in the first set as he went up a break but Djokovic immediately broke back and there we no break points from there untill the final two games at 5-5. From there, Djokovic put in the best two games I’ve seen from him in a long time as he held and then broke to take the first set 7-5. The second set included some epic rallies and they were both really even throughout but Djokovic had a drop in focus after a dispute with umpire which gave DelPo the opportunity to break which he took and held on to before eventually serving it out 6-4. The final set was absolutely incredible from Djokovic as the Serbian was unplayable and he didn’t face a break point and broke DelPo twice on the on the way to the 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 match. He has Nick Kyrgios, who he lost to two weeks ago in Acapulco, in the fourth round.
The final match of the day saw Caroline Wozniacki continue her great form as she knocked out Madison Keys to reach the quarterfinals. Wozniacki was really bossing Keys around as the Dane was shutting down any kind of attack that Keys would try to deploy against her in the opening set. Wozniacki was there from the start as she immediately broke to go out to a 2-1 lead and then she broke again to go up 4-1. Keys managed to get one of the breaks and level it at 4-3 but then it was on serve until Wozniacki served it out 6-4. In the second set, all it took was the one break of serve by Wozniacki and even though Keys had four break back points Caroline fought them off and took the 6-4, 6-4 match. The main stat to take away from this match is the amount of break points Wozniacki saved as she faced 8 but she only let 1 past her, which will come in handy against the big returner Mladenovic in the quarters.
Venus Williams defeated Peng Shuai 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
Kei Nishikori defeated Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-2
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Nick Kyrgios defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4
Jack Sock defeated Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(9-7)
Donald Young defeated Lucas Pouille 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Karolina Pliskova defeated Timea Bacsinszky 5-1* retired – Left Wrist Injury
Garbine Muguruza 7-6(7-5), 1-6, 6-0