Tonight the top half of the men's draw plays their quarterfinal matches, and both matches are very highly anticipated. About three days ago, this half of the draw looked mundane, with Djokovic supposed to roll. Now, with Wawrinka's calliant effort against Djokovic, the other three compeitiors have gained a bit of hope. Let's look at each of these matches.
David Ferrer vs. Nicolas Almagro
The all Spanish quarterfinal features the two highest ranked Spaniards after Rafael Nadal, and both men are looking to capitalize on his absence. Ferrer received the number four seed, and Almagro has to be very happy with his seed. Almagro has been playing great tennis this tournament, beating a lot of formidable opponents including a tough Steve Johnson, Janko Tipsarevic, and a hot Jerzy Janowicz. Now he gets Ferrer, who is coming off the biggest year of his career. He's earned the right to be ranked right below the big four, and with the number four seed, he gets a good draw. Almagro's backhand is great to watch, and his forehand can be a big weapon, but Ferrer has the much better all around game, and has had his best results here in Melbourne. I expect Ferrer to win this in four or even five sets. It will be very entertaining, and some great rallies are possible, but Ferrer should pull this one out
Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych
Djokovic is coming off of the most epic match of the tournament, defeating Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set. Berdych is moving very quietly through the draw, with minimal fanfare and drama. That should help him going into this match, as Djokovic might be a bit tired after his five hour match. That's the conventional wisdom, but Djokovic has made a career out of defying conventional wisdom. If anyone is going to beat Djokovic, this would be the match to do it, and Berdych has had his fair share of scalps in his career. This might be the best chance for Berdych to beat Djokovic this year. Still, I think Djokovic will win in five sets, after Berdych puts a huge scare into him