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Day 9 On Tap: Can Tomas Topple Djokovic?

All eyes will be on marathon man Novak Djokovic as he faces Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. Tennis Now's Erik Gudris previews Day 9 at the Australian Open

By Erik Gudris

Novak Djokovic (January 21, 2013) -- Men's and Women's quarterfinal action gets underway on Day 9 at the Australian Open. Here's a quick preview of the key matches.

Tomas Berdych vs. Novak Djokovic

All eyes will be on Djokovic when he steps back onto Rod Laver Arena this evening after his tremendous five-hour, five-set win over Stanislas Wawrinka. Djokovic may have had a day to recover, but it's hard to see him being at even 80% physically for this quarterfinal.

Berdych, on the other hand, hasn't dropped a set yet and has quietly made his way into the second week. The tall Czech may be full of confidence, but he enters this match having only beaten Djokovic once in the Wimbledon semis a few years ago. Berdych proved in New York when he beat Federer he's capable of the big upset on the big stages. He's also shown he can let the moment get to him. The opportunity is there for Berdych, but Djokovic will likely find a way to push his tired body over the line for a four-set victory.

Nicolas Almagro vs. David Ferrer

Will it be lucky 13 for Nicolas Almagro? He's lost all 12 previous meetings against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer including their only meeting at a Major in New York seven years ago. Almagro could grind with Ferrer for a few sets, but Ferrer should emerge the victor and make his second trip to the AO semis.

Ekaterina Makarova vs. Maria Sharapova

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova seems to play her best tennis every year in Melbourne. Whether it's the sunny good vibes down under or the blue Plexicushion court, Makarova's made a repeat trip to the quarterfinals where she'll face Sharapova again as she did last year.

Makarova said she was keen to take on Sharapova again. Makarova will need to show her best tennis and then some to stop the woman who's only dropped five games all event. Makarova may get a few games but expect Sharapova to once again roll in straights.

Li Na vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

A battle between a woman who hasn't dropped a set all event in Li and the woman who hasn't dropped a set all year so far in Radwanska. Radwanska is expected to play a clean match, but if Li can keep her unforced errors low, she just might have a good chance to outhit Radwanska off the court.

Radwanska hasn't been talked about much as possible contender for the title and neither has Li. But the veteran Li knows her chances at another Grand Slam title are growing less with time and that will fuel her in this match. Watch for Li to win in three.

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci vs. Serena and Venus Williams

The No. 1 seeds in women's doubles take on the team who many consider the best doubles team of their generation.


(Photo Credit: AP)


 

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