Another day of press clippings.
And the men. It is really tough not to pick Murray here but if there is one man he hasn’t truly conquered in his run so far, it has been Nadal and the Spaniard is the best bet to take him down.
Federer is looking strong too and there is no-one in his draw who can hurt the Swiss barring Djokovic. The Serb however has been playing with less than customary confidence and might find his hands full against Baghdatis and Roddick. Who then will be it be? I say it is another Nadal-Federer final, but not necessarily a classic. And the winner? Rafael Nadal.
Australian Open midterm grades – Jelena Dokic, Rafa, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray earn an A from Jon Wertheim.
Rafael Nadal: For all the talk about his lack of a hardcourt Grand Slam, the Spaniard has looked as sharp as anyone through the weekend.
Top ranked Rafael Nadal and my pre-tournament pick Andy Murray have shown me more than any other male competitors in the draw, playing spectacularly well when needed and managing their contests with cool heads.
Nadal has the option of trying to take the Chilean’s legs out from under him in exhausting rallies. But he has to be aware of an all-out offensive from Gonzalez who will try to keep the points shorter and do exactly what he did in 2007 — hit right through the Spaniard’s steely defence with his ferocious forehand.
If Gonzalez can find the zone that he was in during 2007, I’d give him a bloodied puncher’s chance in this match. But Nadal is in better physical condition than he was in 2007 and doing a tremendous job of combining attack and defence.