Australian Open day 7: Federer upsets Tomic, Nadal cruises through
Roger Federer usually isn’t one to leave tennis fans caught in two minds. You either love him or really love him. His tennis skills are simply beyond doubt or question. In fact, the only thing that seems to be questionable about his tennis is whether or not he’s the greatest player to ever grip a racket. With all that in mind, today’s match up between the Swiss sensation and the home favourite, Bernard Tomic, was somewhat of a strange affair.
Not quite comfortable sitting on the fence of neutrality, the largely Australian crowd were left between a rock and a hard place, having to decide whom to cheer for and whom to jeer. Would it be their new home-grown favourite, or the classy gentleman from Basel? Patriotically, and perhaps, rather romantically, the home faithful opted for the nineteen year old Aussie.
Federer might not be accustomed to boos or heckles, but his opponents are used to being on the painful end of his much vaunted forehand. In just over an hour and a half, he powered to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 win. A score line he is accustomed to.
The media frenzy might have been a tad too frenetic for the young Tomic, with five million viewers across his homeland alone expected to tune in to his bout with the former world number 1. The sheer weight of support, though good in intention, could be adjudged to be rather stifling, placing a hefty amount of pressure and expectations on his developing shoulders. The cheers from the stands might have been designed to put Federer off his game, intimidating him, however, it was Tomic who was in fact overpowered on the court; Federer posing all the tough questions and getting very few answers that weren’t to his advantage. There’s no doubt he would’ve found the jeers and whistles uncomfortable, if not unusual, but, in the end, his winning performance was anything but that.
In the other match, Rafael Nadal remained steady. The Spaniard might support one or two philanthropic causes here and there but remains largely uncharitable on the tennis court, obstinately declining to drop a single set in Melbourne. Squaring up against his countryman, Feliciano Lopez, Nadal cruised to a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory; once more refusing to make any damaging mistakes; a Spanish leopard reluctant to change his spots.
Qualifying for the last eight of the Australian Open for the sixth consecutive time, Nadal’s ruthless serves gave Lopez little to celebrate, taking advantage of his opponent’s refusal to attack. Lopez was expected to do just that, however, to his praise, did battle with plenty of purpose only to flounder when given the opportunity to go on the offensive. The odd mistake from the world number 2 might have helped his compatriot out, but, as we’ve come to know, Nadal is consistently selfish when it comes to being faultless.
In other results, Caroline Wozniacki secured a fourth round victory against Jelena Jankovic, while Kim Clijsters avoided an upset in a thrilling encounter with China’s Li Na. In the men’s, Tomas Berdych beat Nicolas Almagro 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 7-6(2), and Juan Martin Del Potro overcame Philipp Kohlschreiber, routing to a 6-4 6-2 6-1 victory.
Caroline Wozniacki beat Jelena Jankovic 6-0 7-5
Kim Clijsters beat Li Na 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4
Agnieszka Radwanska beat Julia Goerges 6-1 6-1
Victoria Azarenka beat Iveta Benesova 6-2 6-2
Roger Federer beat Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-2 6-2
Juan Martin Del Potro beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-2 6-1
Tomas Berdych beat Nicolas Almagro 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 7-6(2)
Rafa Nadal beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-4 6-2