FedEx reaches Japanese station; Rafa fights off Zverev

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Not meant to be for Zverev

Many predicted it to be the match which would witness the change of guard- from the current to the next generation- and remind everyone of the youngest player inside Top 50. While it failed on the former front, it definitely earned Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev the tag of the most promising young talent on tour and reminded everyone who follow this beautiful game that they were witnessing a future world number one. It also, however, made it very clear that this champion, who still has thousands of miles left in his legs, is truly back at his brutal best. Rafa Nadal was a treat to watch this evening as he chased everything the teenager threw at him.

“He is the future of our sport and the present too. It was a tough match for me, I was not playing my best and not feeling well because I was losing too much court”, said Rafa in his post match interview. Zverev troubled Rafa with his unreal cross court backhand- probably one of the best on tour- and giant serves, he looked aggressive from the offset but just couldn’t match the fitness level of the veteran.

With the scoreboard reading 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 , the 30 year old 2009 champion has sent a strong message to his competitors that he is well and truly looking to go the distance after eight long years. He will face Gael Monfils in the next match, and with all respect to the Frenchman, Rafa looks to be marching on into the last eight.

Evans hits a roadblock?

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be up against Daniel Evans, who has already knocked out Marin Cilic and Bernard Tomic. While Tsonga continues to demolish the lower seeded players, Dan has impressed everyone with his game. But does the Brit have it in him to go past the French powerhouse? Probably a bit too much to ask from him.

The Sunday Special

Sunday blockbuster will feature fifth seed Kei Nishikori against the four time champion in Melbourne, Roger Federer, seeded seventeenth ( Yes, you read that right, 17!) . With the Fed Xpress up and running, the experts have already shifted the balance towards the neutral, which was heavily in favour of Kei before the tournament began. Kei isn’t a big server like Berdych, which would allow Rog to have a good look at his service game, though he will be much better at chasing. However, if Federer plays even at 75% of what he managed to do on Friday, his anticipated clash with Murray would be hard to spoil. The match against Berdych has swept all doubts regarding Federer’s match toughness and with a 4-2 head to head record against the Ninja, Roger shall see it off in three or four sets. The match begins at 0800 hrs GMT.

With almost 6 years since the last Grand Slam final featuring Fedal, the fans across the world have started dreaming to see them clash yet again for the ultimate prize. They have passed the tests with flying colours so far. However, the next week has lots of hurdles that can hinder the path of this dream turning into a chapter in history books.

 

(Featured Image: Telegraph)

 

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