Dominika Cibulkova defeats Simona Halep 6-3 6-0

The Slovakian continues her impressive run and qualifies for the second Grand Slam semifinal of her career, after Roland Garros in 2009.

Agnieszka Radwanska defeats Victoria Azarenka 6-1 5-7 6-0

What a demonstration of skills by Radwanska who ousted defending champion Azarenka to reach her first semifinal in Melbourne.
Azarenka struggled to cope with Radwanska’s anticipation and sublime touch. If she produces that same high quality tennis against Cibulkova, the Wimbledon 2012 finalist will start favourite in the final, whoever she faces.

Rafael Nadal defeats Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 7-6(3) 7-6(7) 6-2

The world number 1 struggled to defeat Kei Nishikori in the previous round and he struggled again to get past Baby Fed, Grigor Dimitrov.
After half an hour Nadal was already one set down but he raised his level and won the second set on tiebreak. Two big forehand errors when Dimitrov had Nadal at his mercy cost him the third set tiebreak and then the match. Nadal will play on Friday his fourth Melbourne semifinal, which his 22nd Grand Slam semifinal overall.

Roger Federer defeats Andy Murray 6-3 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3

For the first time in a Slam we could have an all-Swiss final. But first, Wawrinka would have to beat 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, and Federer would have to find a way past Nadal, who he hasn’t beaten in a Slam since Wimbledon 2007.
Andy Murray showed an encouraging performance in the Australian Open, a few months after his back surgery. It bodes well for him for the rest of the season.

Li Na defeats Flavia Pennetta 6-2 6-2

A routine win for the two time Australian Open finalist who appears now as the big favorite for the title along with defending champion Victoria Azarenka.
Li Na saved a match point in her third round match against Lucie Safarova and now there seems to be no stopping her.

Eugenie Bouchard defeats Ana Ivanovic 5-7 7-5 6-2

Bittersweet tournament for Ana Ivanovic who follows a terrific win over Serena Williams with a loss to 19 yr old Eugenie Bouchard.
Bouchard, who entered the match as the underdog, showed she could face the pressure and will play Li Na in the semifinals. In their only previous meeting, the Chinese beat the Canadian in straight sets.

Tomas Berdych defeats David Ferrer 6-1 6-4 2-6 6-4

Win his win over Ferrer, Tomas Berdych is now part of a small group of champions to have made semifinal appearances at all four Grand Slam tournaments. Surprisingly it was also his first victory ever on Rod Laver arena.
After winning the first two sets quite easily, Berdych lost his focus, allowing the Spaniard to come back in the match. He took advantage of Ferrer‘s many errors in the fourth set to advance to the semifinals.

Stanislas Wawrinka defeats Novak Djokovic 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7

The match of the tournament so far. For the third consecutive Grand Slam meeting, Stan Wawrinka and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic played five sets. And this time, after 14 loses in a row to the Serbian, the Swiss prevailed.
Djokovic suffered his first loss since the US Open final, when he was beaten by Rafael Nadal. He had gone on to win 28 matches in a row, lifting trophies in Beijing, Shanghai, Paris and London.

Another day another huge upset in the women’s draw: yesterday Serena Williams was defeated by Ana Ivanovic and today it was Maria Sharapova’s turn: Sharapova was ousted by 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova.
No problem for Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska who proved too strong for Sloane Stephens and Garbine Muguruza.

In men’s action, Rafael Nadal struggled to get past Kei Nishikori as a rejuvenated Roger Federer made a quick work of Australian Open 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Stat of the day: 11

Roger Federer will make his 11th straight Australian Open appearance

Tweet of the day: Nadal’s shoelace

 

Matches to follow on Day 9:

Li Na (4) – Flavia Pennetta (28)
Eugenie Bouchard (30) – Ana Ivanovic (14)
David Ferrer (3) – Tomas Berdych (7)
Stanislas Wawrinka (8) – Novak Djokovic (2)

The talk of the day is of course Ana Ivanovic‘ win over Serena Williams.
According to her coach, Serena blocked her back and neck before her match against Daniela Hantuchova in the third round.
The Serbian reaches the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam for the fisrt time since the 2012 US Open.

A sad end to a terrific tournament for a Casey Dellacqua: she lost the last 8 games of her match against Eugenie Bouchard 6-0. Joining Ivanovic and Bouchard in the quarterfinals are Li Na and Flavia Pennetta.

Australian Open 2014 champion?

  • Serena Williams (49%, 70 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (15%, 21 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (12%, 17 Votes)
  • Na Li (9%, 13 Votes)
  • Other (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Jelena Jankovic (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Agniezska Radwanska (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Sara Errani (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 144

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No surprise in the men’s draw: Novak Djokovic, Stanislas Wawrinka, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych progress to the quarterfinals.

Who will be the 2014 Australian Open champion?

  • Rafael Nadal (33%, 92 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (28%, 80 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (27%, 76 Votes)
  • Juan Martin Del Potro (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Stanislas Wawrinka (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Richard Gasquet (0%, 1 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 283

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Video highlights:

Tweet of the day: Gisela Dulko

Really happy about her friend’s Flavia Pennetta qualification for the quarterfinals

Video of the day: Henri Leconte and Mansour Bahrami


Matches to follow on Day 8:

Dominika Cibulkova (20) – Maria Sharapova (3)
Sloane Stephens (13) – Victoria Azarenka (2)
Rafael Nadal (1) – Kei Nishikori (16)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) – Roger Federer (6)
Agnieszka Radwanska (5) – Garbine Muguruza
Jelena Jankovic (8) – Simona Halep (11)
Andy Murray (4) – Stephane Robert
Grigor Dimitrov (22) – Roberto Bautista Agut

Eugenie Bouchard Australian Open outfit

Young Canadian Eugenie Bouchard wears the Nike Premier Maria Skort and Nike Women’s Spring Premier Maria Tank:

Eugenie Bouchard Australian Open outfit

Eugenie Bouchard Australian Open outfit

Photo credit: Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia