Australian Open Men's Quarters: Nadal vs Thiem, Wawrinka vs Zverev
Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta during their third round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)Associated Press

Australian Open Men's Quarters: Nadal vs Thiem, Wawrinka vs Zverev

2020 Aussie Open

Men’s Quarterfinals

Nadal over Thiem

Rafa Nadal played an exciting brand of tennis, and needed every winner and each piece of gamesmanship used to knock off hometown hero Nick Kyrgios, as Naughty Nick gave it his all and lost only because he was unable to piece together neither one of the third and fourth set tiebreakers the two warriors battled through. Nadal did, and the two met at the net with a clean handshake symbolizing, unusually for these two, the best of sportsmanship as well as some very special tennis that seemed to have been saved for those brave enough to have made it to Rod Laver Stadium. If there's one thing that Nadal has not yet mastered, it's how to consistently win on command in Melbourne. But every year is another try, or as the Mormons like to say, tomorrow is a latter day, and Rafa is putting his best foot forward trying to pack away his second Australian Open title. He’s taking it one step at a time, and the next step will be over Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

Wawrinka over Zverev

After having suffered through injuries, rehabbing and frustration, when Stan the Man Wawrinka rolled over 4th-ranked Daniil Medvedev 6-2 in the fifth to move into the quarters of the 2020 Australian Open it could be said rather convincingly that Stan was back. He’s got a very tough task ahead of him as he readies himself for 7th-seeded German Alexander (Sascha) Zverev, all of 22-years-old and 6’6”, who has yet to yield a set on his personal journey Down Under, as he tries to put behind him those naysayers who constantly say “nay”. Now, in a battle of two guys who hit hard and then harder from the baseline, the match awaiting us will more than likely be a thing of beauty to behold. I’m picking Wawrinka because it’s his time...again. He’s gotten his sledgehammer groundstrokes back, the better to kill opponents with, my dear, and I suspect that in one of his very few attempts left to leave Melbourne as Champion, my money rests on his powerful right arm. Sascha has plenty of tries left in him to carry the trophy and the $4.1 Million (Australian) winners’ check with him as well. One of these days, Sascha will do it, and he will join the list of major champions.

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