VENUS ENTERS TRANCE TO TURN BACK TIME
Venus Williams claimed she went into a trance to beat Agnieszka Radwanska and set up an all-American quarter-final against Madison Keys.
The 34-year-old seemed to be on her way out after Radwanska levelled in style. Yet Venus summoned a stunning energy surge to win 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 – and reach her first quarter-final since 2010.
Afterwards Venus explained:’The first set wasn’t easy, the second set she started to play better and then I went into a trance…I just wanted to win.’
MADISON’S A BIG GIRL NOW
Now Williams plays Keys, who is almost from a different generation because she is still only 19 years old. A laughing Venus claimed: ‘She started playing tennis because she saw Serena and me. She started watching me when she was in diapers. But it’s awesome to see a young American reaching the quarter-finals.’
It”ll be fascinating to see who wins the generation game.
Meanwhile Serena Williams also prevailed with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Garbine Muguruza to make it a memorable day for the family. Serena now plays Dominika Cibulkova, who defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
NISHIKORI FACES WAWRINKA
Kei Nishikori defeated David Ferrer 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a quarter-final against defending champion Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne.
The Japanese hero said: ‘The five-set win [against Wawrinka] at the US Open gave me a lot of confidence. It’ll be tough but I think we’re going to have a good match. I’m playing well, I just need a couple of months to get comfortable about being world number five.’
DJOKOVIC MARCHES ON
Novak Djokovic survived a third-set scare against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg to continue his charge towards the final. It will be Novak’s 23rd consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearance – and few will have been tougher than the match-up awaiting him against Milos Raonic.
Muller had two break points to go 4-2 ahead and begin a comeback. But Djokovic, who had earlier needed treatment for a grazed hand, showed customary cool and athleticism under pressure to work his way out of trouble.
It wasn’t the Serb’s best performance though, even tough he closed out 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 . At times he seemed frustrated – and that offers hope to his rivals.
Djokovic said later: ‘Happy Australia Day everybody! Yes, I did feel uncomfortable at times and I was slipping a lot.’
If you feel you’re going to be overrun by a much younger opponent, just go into a trance – works for Venus.
If you’re not comfortable about being world number five, just go into a trance – works for Venus.
If you’re slipping a lot, just go into…you get the idea.