Australian Open Quarterfinals Breakdown: Wednesday's Matches

Lauren LynchCorrespondent IIJanuary 25, 2011

Tennis Now/Mark Peterson/Corleve
Tennis Now/Mark Peterson/Corleve

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And then there were 12. 

With Tuesday’s quarterfinals over and done with, all eyes are on the top halves of the brackets as the remaining four players on each side waging war for places in the Australian Open semifinals. 

With the magnitude of the matches on hand, we present in-depth breakdowns of all four to give you the total picture of what to expect as these titans of tennis do battle down under. 


Rafael Nadal (1) vs. David Ferrer (7)
 – Clearly feelinghealthier than he did in Doha, Nadal is blasting his way through the competition with four straight three-set sweeps. 

Last year, he fell in the quarterfinals to Andy Murraythen never lost another Grand Slam match, having now run his Slam winning streak to 25 straight. 

Like every other Spaniard, even those ranked in the Top 10, Ferrer is living in Nadal’s long shadow, and not just because he’s only 5-feet, 9-inches tall

Nadal has an 11-3 all-time record against his elder countryman, including seven straight since 2008. Ten of their matchups have come in at least the quarterfinals, so these two are used to playing with lots on the line. 

Ferrer is undefeated to date in 2011, with a win at Auckland already under his belt for his 10th career title. This is his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in nearly three years, and just his fifth ever. He’s 1-3 previously in the round of eight at the majors. 

Current Rank: first; Season Record: 7-1. 
Career Record: 479-102; Career Titles: 43. 
All-Time Australian Open Record: 25-5 
Australian Open History: 2004 – third round; 2005 – fourth round; 2006 – DNP ; 2007 – quarterfinals; 2008 - semifinals; 2009 – Champion; 2010 – quarterfinals; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Current Rank: seventh; Season Record: 8-0. 
Career Record 361-212; Career Titles: 10. 
All-Time Australian Open Record: 18-8 
Australian Open History: 2003 – first round; 2004 – second round; 2005 – first round; 2006 – fourth round; 2007 – fourth round; 2008 – quarterfinals; 2009 – third round; 2010 – second round; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Head to Head: Nadal leads 11-3; 2004 Stuttgart, Ferrer 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5; 2005 Miami, Nadal 6-4, 6-3; 2005 Rome, Nadal 4-6, 6-4, 7-5; 2005 Roland Garros, Nadal 7-5, 6-2, 6-0; 2007 Barcelona, Nadal 7-5, 6-1; 2007 US Open, Ferrer 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2; 2007 Masters Cup, Ferrer, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; 2008 Monte Carlo, Nadal 6-1, 7-5; 2008 Barcelona, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1; 2009 Barcelona, Nadal 6-2, 7-5; 2009 Canada, Nadal, 4-3, RET; 2010 Miami, Nadal 7-6(5), 6-4; 2010 Monte Carlo, Nadal 6-2, 6-3; 2010 Rome, Nadal, 7-5, 6-2. 

  Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. Andy Murray (5) – This is almost a lose-lose situation for Murray, unless he just mops the floor with the “kid." Of course, Dolgopolov isn’t really a kid, he just didn’t start playing on tour so early, unlike 23-year-old Murray, barely 14 months his senior, who has been coming down under since 2006. 

  The pair has met only once, during the 2006 Davis Cup. Last season, Murray reached the final only to sleepwalk through the first two sets, finally taking Roger Federer to a 7-6(11) tie-breaker, but nevertheless being swept. Winning here will put him squarely between Nadal and the final, much as it did as Wimbledon. 

  Meanwhile, Dolgopolov is the story of the men’s tournament field, with his easy going style and back-to-back upsets of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling. At the high level he’s playing, there’s absolutely no reason he can’t make it three straight shockers. 

Current Rank: fifth; Season Record: 4-0.
Career Record 271-94; Career Titles: 16. 
All-Time Australian Open Record: 10-5. 
Australian Open History: 2006- first round; 2007 – fourth round; 2008 – first round; 2009 – fourth round; 2010 – finals; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Current Rank: 46th; Season Record: 7-2.
Career Record 29-30; Career Titles: 0. 
All-Time Australian Open Record: 4-0.
Australian Open History: 2007 – Q1; 2008 – Q3; 2009 – Q2; 2010 – Q1; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Head to Head: Murray leads 1-0. 2006 Davis Cup, Murray 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. 


Agnieszka Radwanska (12) vs. Kim Clijsters (3) – For the first time in forever,Clijsters is not the No. 1 feel good story of a major tournament. Not that Kimmy has turned over a bad leaf, it’s just that the tale of how Radwanska got here from her season-ending foot surgery in October is almost too unbelievable to believe. 

And yet, here comes the Pole, blasting through four straight opponents after a doctor told her she had a “one percent chance” of even playing in this tournament.

The 21-year-old will need the crowd on her side and a big dose of luck besides if she’s to conquer Clijsters, who has struggled just a hint in her last two matches, but still is yet to lose a set so far. If it comes down to experience, Clijsters will win going away. 

She’s got one less loss than Radwanksa (115 to 116) but 241 more wins (488 to 247). Amazingly, the pair has met only once, five years ago on the grass at Wimbledon. 

Current Rank: 14th; Season Record: 4-0.
Career Record 247-116; Career Titles: Four.
All-Time Australian Open Record: 11-4.
Australian Open History: 2007 – second round; 2008 – quarterfinals; 2009 – first round; 2010 – third round; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Current Rank: Third; Season Record: 8-1.
Career Record 488-115; Career Titles: 40.
All-Time Australian Open Record: 31-8.
Australian Open History: 2000 – first round; 2001 – fourth round; 2002 – semifinals; 2003 – semifinals; 2004 – finals; 2006 – semifinals; 2007 – semifinals; 2010 – third round; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Head to Head: Clijsters leads 1-0. 2006 Wimbledon, Clijsters 6-2, 6-2. 

  Petra Kvitova (25) vs. Vera Zvonareva (2) - Now that Andrea Petkovic has been sent packing, Kvitova is the lowest seed remaining in play, and won’t back down from Zvonareva, having already shoved her way pastFlavia Pennetta andSamantha Stosur to get here.

  A six-foot lefty, Kvitova can cause considerable match-up problems, and hopes to keepZvonareva from a third straight Slam final. 

For her part, Vera hasn’t been challenged much through the first four rounds, and has a win in the pair’s only meeting on hard surfaces. 

Current Rank: 28th; Season Record: 9-0. 
Career Record 150-81; Career Titles: Two.
All-Time Australian Open Record: 5-2.
Australian Open History: 2009 – first round; 2010 – second round; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Current Rank: Second; Season Record: 4-1.
Career Record 401-189; Career Titles: 10.
All-Time Australian Open Record: 15-8. 
Australian Open History: 2003 – 1st round; 2004 – fourth round; 2005 – second round; 2006 – first round; 2007 – fourth round; 2008 – first round; 2009 – semifinals; 2010 – fourth round; 2011 – quarterfinals. 

Head to Head: Tied 1-1. 2009 Indian Wells, Zvonareva 6-3, 6-1; 2010 Rome, Kvitova, 6-4, 6-0. 

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