The Australian Open is reaching its pointy end with a pair of familiar names looking set to contest the final in the men’s, while there is guaranteed to be a new women’s champion. All 8 semi-finalists have given their supporters reason to be confident, and it will be very difficult to pick the winner on either side of the draw.
The men’s finals series lacks defending champion Roger Federer, but still features his partners-in-crime and perennial rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They will play Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frenchman Lucas Pouille. Pouille has had a relatively easy run, but still had to beat some quality players to get this far, while Tsitsipas played the game of his life to overcome Federer.
Nadal and Djokovic have steamrolled their way to the semis, with neither being seriously challenged in the tournament so far. Djokovic has had the perfect warm up, spending barely an hour on court in his quarter final before his opponent (Kei Nishikori, who played 3 5 setters to get that far) withdrew with a leg injury. The pair will be heavy favourites to once again meet in a major final.
The women’s side is more interesting, with Karolina Pliskova facing Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova taking on Danielle Collins. None of the four have ever won the Australian Open, and Collins wasn’t even seeded. All four have had their ups and downs to arrive at the semi-finals, and it is very difficult to pick the winners. There will also be a new world number one women’s player after the Australian Open.
Pliskova beat Serena Williams in a stunning comeback in the quarter-final, after facing four match points in the third set and winning six games to come back from 5-1, 40-30 down to win the game. After this display she is probably the tournament favourite, however Kvitova faces the unseeded Collins in the semi and if she wins she will also be tough.