Murray, Ferrer, Monfils And Raonic Headline Wednesday QFs
Previewing bottom-half matchups
Andy Murray has been a model of consistency at the Australian Open, reaching the quarter-finals for the seventh consecutive time after dominating Aussie Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4). The No. 2 seed has been perfect thus far in Melbourne, safe for a second-set hiccup against Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the third round.
On Wednesday (2:30 p.m. local time), the four-time finalist will face David Ferrer on Rod Laver Arena. Another second-week regular at the year’s first Grand Slam event, Ferrer defused American John Isner’s big serve in the fourth round, prevailing 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 and saving all three break points faced. The Spaniard, a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2013, is coming in hot. He is the only quarter-finalist who has yet to drop a set this fortnight.
Murray shares Ferrer’s propensity for slugging it out from the baseline, and has gotten the better of the Spaniard in their past five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings (12-6 overall). Their only previous Australian Open clash came in 2011, when Murray stopped Ferrer in the semi-finals before losing to Novak Djokovic.
Milos Raonic matched his best Australian Open showing with an audacious upset of 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round. The big-serving Canadian came to net 83 times and survived an onslaught of Wawrinka passing shots to triumph 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3.
At 7:30 p.m. Melbourne time, Raonic will play Gael Monfils for a spot in the semi-finals. The acrobatic Frenchman overcame injury to end the surprise run of unseeded Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4). Monfils received treatment to his playing hand after scraping the court and drawing blood on a spectacular dive return, then recovered his rhythm to reach his first quarter-final in Melbourne.
After scoring his first win in five attempts against Wawrinka, Raonic will once again hope to reverse past trends versus Monfils. The Frenchman came out on top in their two previous ATP World Tour meetings (2011 Stockholm and 2013 Halle), though the pair have never faced off in a best-of-five match.