By Caroline Cameron
Get ready tennis fans.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will continue their rivalry, this time in the Australian Open semifinals. This will be their 27th career meeting and they haven’t met in a Grand Slam semi since the 2005 French Open.
The last time the two former world No. 1s met was last year at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals where Federer came out on top. The Fed Express finished the 2011 season on a 17 match win streak and earned back his No. 3 ranking.
In Melbourne, Federer has continued to be solid, showing fans flashes of his former brilliance. In his quarterfinal match, Federer embarrassed Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. It was also Federer’s 1000th tour-level match. Nadal, meanwhile had a tougher time in his quarterfinal match beating Tomas Berdych 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-3. Nadal has looked off as of late so it’s Federer’s match to lose.
In the other half of the draw, I expect Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to meet in the semis. Murray will take on No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori in the quarters. Nishikori is the first Japanese man in the Open Era to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals. Djokovic will take on David Ferrer in the quarters.
There will be a new world No. 1 when the Australian Open concludes after defending champ Kim Clijsters ousted current world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to reach the semis. Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, and Petra Kvitova are all in the running to finish the tournament as world No. 1.
Clijsters will take on Victoria Azarenka in the semis. This is Clijsters final Australian Open as she is set to retire at the end of 2012. From a fan’s prospective, it would be great to see Clijsters win her fifth Major title in Melbourne.
Sharapova and Kvitova will meet in the semis.
So tennis fans, between the Federer and Nadal match and Clijsters’ final Aussie Open, enjoy, cause it doesn’t get much better than this.