Everything Was Going According to Plan…

Written By: achangeofends - Jan• 24•11

As open as the WTA draw seems to be, the ATP draw appeared to be equally as closed. Federer and Nadal have had a near stranglehold on Grand Slam titles for 6 or 7 years now and we’re pretty used to seeing Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray hanging around well into the second week. As far as all that goes, we’re still on track to see two of these four guys in the final. However, there are now some big names very obviously missing from the quarterfinals.

Andy Roddick of the U.S. shows his frustration after having his serve broken by Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during their match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 23, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (AUSTRALIA – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

First, Andy Roddick lost in straight sets to Stanislas Wawrinka. If you’re even a casual reader of A Change of Ends, you know how much I love Andy Roddick so this wasn’t part of my plan. However, we all know that even if he made it through the match, his meeting with Roger Federer would’ve ended in disaster. On Stan’s part, this was an impressive beat down of an incredible players to reach his second straight quarterfinal, after having never done so before. Stan’s already receiving lots of bad press for allegedly abandoning his family for tennis. I already weighed in on that situation, but he would’ve looked like a real tool if he left his wife and kid to play tennis and then lost in the first round. Anyway, Wawrinka will face his Swiss buddy and Olympic Gold-Medal doubles partner, Roger Federer, in the quarterfinals. Good luck to you Stan, you’re going to need it.

Not an upset, but Tomas Berdych reasserted himself as a contender by taking out Fernando Verdasco in a very convincing straight sets win. He may look like Big Bird, but it all seems to be working out. On a side note, how adorable was it when Tomas showed up in Lucie’s box during her match against Vera Zvonareva?

Robin Soderling of Sweden reacts during his match against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 24, 2011. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas (AUSTRALIA – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

The next real surprise came in the form of Robin Soderling losing to Alexandr Dolgopolov. You haven’t heard of him? Shocking. Soderling has been playing absolutely superb tennis all season, winning the title in Brisbane, and demolishing his opponents to get to the fourth round at this year’s Australian Open. In case you’re wondering Alexandr Dolgopolov is a 22 year old from Ukraine, making his Australian Open debut. What a way to start. I honestly thought this was an excellent chance for Soderling to break through and actually win a major. That being said, Soderling was not playing the level of tennis we’ve seen all week. But, I want to give Dolgopolov his due, the guy did an amazing job of staying calm and forcing errors from Soderling. Even down a break in the fifth set, Alexandr managed to keep his nerves in check and break back and actually take the match quite easily.

Andrea Petkovic of Germany dances after winning her match against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 23, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

The WTA side of the draw is down right wonky at the moment. Clijsters and Schiavone are the only two Grand Slam champions remaining in the draw as Maria Sharapova lost quite convincingly to Andrea Petkovic of Germany last night. I’m not terribly surprised by this. Not only is Petkovic on the rise, but Maria still doesn’t seem to be in championship form. As long as Petko keeps dancing, she can go ahead and win. She will face Li Na in the quarterfinals, who defeated Victoria Azarenka for her spot.

I’ll do my best to give you guys some quarterfinal predictions tomorrow.

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