On The Line Podcast: Australian Open quarterfinal review

After two days of quarterfinal action at the Australian Open, just four men and women are left in the singles draws, with us being just a few days from discovering who will be the first Grand Slam champions of the year.

However, before all of that, Noel and I got together to discuss who we think will win those semifinal matches, as well as reflect on the past two days of action.

Women’s Singles

The women’s semifinals are set to take place on Thursday, and after the quarterfinals, there is a very exciting lineup.

Perhaps the most impressive woman in the last eight is Angelique Kerber, who stormed past Madison Keys in just 51 minutes to return to the semifinals in Melbourne. The German has dropped just one set so far, though could face her toughest test to date when she takes on world number one Simona Halep. The Romanian eased past Karolina Pliskova to reach the last four at the Australian Open for the first time, and Noel and myself were also impressed by her last eight performance.

Angelique Kerber celebrates her quarterfinal victory (Getty/Cameron Spencer)
Angelique Kerber celebrates her quarterfinal victory (Getty/Cameron Spencer)

Meanwhile, the biggest shock of the round came on the bottom half of the draw, with Elise Mertens continuing her impressive run by thrashing Elina Svitolina for the loss of just four games. The Belgian had never made the second week of a slam before now, though will now take on Caroline Wozniacki for a place in a Grand Slam final. The Dane had a tougher quarterfinal, beating Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets, though is arguably the favorite for her clash against the unseeded Belgian.

Men’s Singles

The Men’s quarterfinals were a little bit more eventful, with one big disappointment and one big upset amongst them.

The biggest disappointment came when world number one Rafael Nadal was forced to retire in the fifth set of his match against Marin Cilic. Though it is disappointing the Spaniard retired, Cilic impressed many with his tennis and may be the favorite in his semifinal clash against Kyle Edmund. However, the unseeded Brit put in a superb performance to knock out Grigor Dimitrov, and will certainly fancy his chances against the Croatian here.

Marin Cilic during his quarterfinal match (Getty/XIN LI)
Marin Cilic during his quarterfinal match (Getty/XIN LI)

Meanwhile, Roger Federer is undoubtedly the heavy favorite for the title now following his win over Tomas Berdych. The Swiss struggled early on, though saved two set points in the first set and eventually sealed a straight sets win. He is certainly the favorite for his semifinal clash, though faces a dangerous and confident opponent in Hyeon Chung. The Korean backed up his third and fourth round victories with a straight sets win over Tennys Sandgren and will have little fear in his first Grand Slam semifinal.