After the insane match that took place on Rod Laver Arena Sunday night Melbourne time between Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic, the Australian Open didn't quite match that excitement, but there was some great tennis played. We saw the top seeds advance rather comfortably, but we also had an upset, and the emergence of what we hope will be the next American star. Let's take a look at the matches that completed the fourth round of the Australian Open
Men's Singles Round of 16
Jo Wilfried Tsonga def. Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
In my preview, I had tabbed this match as the most competitive of the day on the men's side. For the first two sets, it was looking like this could be a great one. Tsonga had gotten an early break in the first set, and served it out. In the second set it was Gasquet's turn to take an early break and close it out. From there, instead of becoming more dramatic, it went the opposite way, with Gasquet being unable to do anything the rest of the match, and Tsonga won the next two sets very easily. For Tsonga, it was good to avoid the long epic match that would have sapped his energy going forward, and it sets up a blockbuster quarterfinal match with Roger Federer
Jeremy Chardy def. Andraes Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
This was the upset of the day in my mind. I didn't think there was anyway Chardy could recover from his last match and his minor knee injury, but after the tough first set, Chardy played some incredible tennis. I don't think anyone anticipated quite how well Chardy would play, and he's a fully deserving quarterfinalist.
Andy Murray def. Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
I actually got this one right. Simon really had nothing for Murray today, and Murray moved comfortably on the quarterfinals, where he'll play Chardy.
Roger Federer def. Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2
For the first two sets, this was an extremely competitive match. Both players held for the first nine games of the match, and Raonic looked especially sharp. However, a couple poor plays from Raonic, including an ill timed approach to the net, and Federer took the first set. Raonic didn't have any such letdowns in the second set until the tiebreaker, where another bad approach led to a passing shot, and Federer won the tiebreak somewhat comfortably at 7-4. The first game of the third set saw Federer break Raonic, and he took a 3-0 lead with two breaks and didn't look back, winning 6-2 in the third. Raonic played well, and you can see his tremendous upside, but he's not there yet, and lacking a return and a consistent baseline game will hurt him going forward. Federer served lights out, and while he wasn't the most comfortable off the ground tonight, it's to be expected playing Raonic,. Federer has to be very happy with the match tonight, and he'll play Tsonga in the quarterfinals.
Women Singles Round of 16
Serena Williams def. Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0
This was utter domination from Serena. It is scary when she's playing this well. Her serve especially was on fire, and if she keeps it up it's going to be tough for anyone to beat her
Victoria Azarenka def. Elena Vesnina
After the scare against Jamie Hampton in the third round, Azarenka came out firing, and in similar fashion to Serena, blew Vesnina off the court. The "big three" of women's tennis, Serena, Victoria, and Maria, have all looked crazy sharp this tournament, destroying their opponents easily. Hard to see anyone beating them besides each other
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
In the most competitive and highest quality women's match of the day, Kuznetsova outlasted Wozniacki in a long match. Kuznetsova came out strong, and for awhile it looked like Wozniacki wouldn't even get into the match. Caro turned it around nicely in the second set, taking it 6-2. The third set was a set of attrition, but Kuznetsova came up big when it counted the most. It's a disappointing loss for Wozniacki, as it was a great opportunity to prove that she still can play at the top of the women's game.
Sloane Stephens def. Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 3-6, 7-5
This was the best result for American tennis today. the 19 year old American Stephens showed why the hype around her is legiitmate but also how far she has to go to reach the top. She came out firing, hitting forehand winners from everywhere, and rolled in the first set 6-1. However, as she's prone to do, she got passive, and Jovanovski, the extremely and annoyingly loud Serb, took advantage, winning the next set comfortably. The third set was a gut check for Stephens, and while she was not playing her best tennis by any stretch, she came back twice in the set, broke at 5-5, and served out the match to advance to her first ever Major quarterfinal. Her reward? Serena. Still, it's been a great tournament for Stephens and we'll see if she can at least threaten Serena