It was a pretty straightforward day 11 at Australian Open with no upset as such. Earlier in the evening in the Women single’s, World No. 2 Maria Sharapova powered her way through her fellow Russian counterpart Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-2. The 2008 champion needed just one hour and 27 minutes to beat the World No. 10 playing her only second Semi-final ever.
In the other all-American Semifinal, World No.1 Serena Williams powered her way through Madison Keys 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in a match that lasted one hour and 24 minutes. The match had a dramatic finish with Williams slipping eight match points after finally converting her ninth one with an ace and screaming loudly in celebration. The first set had Williams, a five times champion here at Australia down 3-0 before she powered her way through to enforce a tie-breaker.
Sharapova and Williams play each other on Saturday for the title. The Russian has a poor 2-16 record against the American and has not beaten her since 2004 but still she remains upbeat.
“I think my confidence should be pretty high going into a final of a Grand Slam, no matter who I’m facing and whether I’ve had a terrible record – to say the least – against someone,” said Sharapova.
Later in the evening, Andy Murray played the Czech Tomas Berdych, beating him in a four setter-6-7(6-8),6-0,6-3,7-5 in a match that lasted three hours and 25 minutes and involved one of the finest tennis ever from the World No.6 Brit.
After a tensed first set that Murray lost, he instantly came back winning the other two very easily. The next 75 minutes of tennis that followed after the first set, the World No.7 Berdych managed to win only three games, completely failing to manage Murray’s increased intensity and finesse. Murray played it long and hit the ball hard. The impact of his new coach and fitness trainer could be seen on his game. He hardly looked exhausted despite the long rallies, played a simple back line game, and forced his opponent to commit mistakes. The last set, Berdych came back but never looked to trouble Murray enough. At 5-5, Murray broke Berdych and had the opportunity to serve for the match. He finished the match with a fine ace, his 15th of the match and booked his place in the final.
It will his eighth Grand Slam final, and his fourth final at Australian Open and first working with Amelie Mauresmo, his new coach. His opponent will be decided by the winner of the semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka to be played tomorrow.
With the tournament now at its closing stages, nothing can be said as such about the winner of the title. Murray suddenly looks ever so strong and fit. While his opponent will be decided tomorrow, both Wawrinka and Djokovic are very strong players with both having had a strong tournament till now and no matter what a closed battle is ensured at the finals.
In the women’s department, Williams might be the stronger of the two considering the history but she’s out of form having suffered a bad cold over the past few days.
The Rod Laver Arena is set for another closed encounter in both men and women’s department. The stakes are high as ever. The game is better than ever. With three more days of the tournament, we are bound to see one of the finest tennis in these days as the top seeds battle their way to win the first slam of the year.
Men’s Singles Semifinal:
Andy Murray(GRB) beat Tomas Berdych(Czech)
Women’s singles Semifinal:
Serena Williams(USA) beat Madison Keys(USA)
: 7-6 (7-5) 6-2
Maria Sharapova(RUS) beat Ekaterina Makarova(RUS)
: 6-3 6-2