The 2011 Australian Open men’s main draw singles round of 16 matches have been completed. The 1st round began with 128 players in action, 32 of them were seeded players, 16 were Qualifiers (Q) and 8 were Wild Cards (WC). The bottom half of the draw will play their quarter final matches first i.e. No.2 seed Roger FEDERER’s section of the draw.
On Wednesday 26 January the top half of the draw’s two quarter final matches will be played i.e. No.1 seed Rafael NADAL’s section of the draw. In an impressive display by the Top 8 seeds all of them were playing for a spot in the quarter finals. Of the Top 8 seeds six of them won through to the quarter finals. The two upsets were caused by the unseeded Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV and No.19 seed Stanislas WAWRINKA.
Pictured above is the WAWRINKA during his service action just after making contact with the ball at the 2011 Australian Open. The 25-year-old Wawrinka is playing the best tennis of his life and his all-court game was a delight to watch. The 1.83m Swiss extended his winning streak to 9 matches in 2011, adding to the 5 matches he won to take the Chennai Open title. Interestingly, he soundly defeated fellow 2011 Australian Open quarter finalist Tomas BERDYCH there.
Wawrinka maintained his perfect straight sets record in defeating No.8 seed Andy Roddick to make his 2nd straight Grand Slam quarter final. In fact his next match is the first all-Swiss men’s quarter final in Grand Slam history. Wawrinka has beaten Roger FEDERER once before in their previous meetings and is playing at a level that could earn him his second win against the Grand Slam king. Stan has arguably, an even better one handed backhand than his doubles partner in winning the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The other seed to be knocked out was 2009 and 2010 Roland Garros runner-up Robin Soderling. Soderling was totally outplayed in the third and 5th sets by 22-year-old Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1 and 6-2 respectively. The 1.83m Ukrainian is making the most of his first year in the main draw of the Australian Open by reaching his first Grand Slam quarter final in only his 4th Grand Slam main draw event.
The whip-like strokes, quick-fire tempo and frenetic court coverage of the only remaining unseeded player proved too much for the World No.4. Next up Dolgopolov takes on No.5 Andy MURRAY in their second meeting. Not much can be taken from that straight sets result for Murray given it was 5 years ago when the current No.46 was still a junior and nowhere near the player he is today. After taking out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Soderling, the Gustavo Kuerten-like looseness, confidence and mental toughness of Alexandr make him a good chance for a third straight upset.
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The surnames that are bolded in the list below are the players who are playing in the round. Any player whose name is italicised, has his first name removed and has his surname in lower case letters is a seeded player who was expected to win through to the quarter finals. The number in brackets that is added to a players’ name denotes they are a seeded player and what their seeding is.
The 2011 Australian Open men’s singles draw for the quarter finals is:
- Rafael NADAL (1) v (7) David FERRER
- (4) Soderling Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV v (5) Andy MURRAY
The bottom half of the draw is:
- Tomas BERDYCH (6) v (3) Novak DJOKOVIC
- (8) Roddick Stanislas WAWRINKA (19) v (2) Roger FEDERER
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photo credit: n.hewson