Jan 28 press roundup

Fist pump (Photo by GREG WOOD/ AFP /Getty Images)

Fist pump (Photo by GREG WOOD/ AFP /Getty Images)

Fantastic 4: Nadal, Federer, Roddick, Verdasco

Well, we didn’t get the “Big 4” semifinals that tennis fans were clamoring for at the beginning of the fortnight. But tell me what we’re left with isn’t ideal and I’ll tell you that you aren’t thinking clearly.

Nadal powers past Simon

The world number one has now reached the semifinals without dropping a set for the second consecutive year. In 2008 he was beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was knocked out by Verdasco earlier in the day.

Nadal advances; faces Verdasco in Aussie semis

But Nadal was up to the task, ripping several winners on the run that were never inside the court until they landed and skipped away untouched.

Stich: Nadal reminds me of Agassi

“When it really counts Nadal is there playing the extra special shot. On every single point he gives 100 per cent and that is why I love to watch him and why I think he is very similar to Andre,” Stich told Eurosport.

Nadal and Verdasco in All-Spanish Semifinal

“It looks like it’s going to be Federer and Nadal again,” Simon said.

That would surely delight the general public, considering the rivals have not played since the Wimbledon final, an instant classic won by Nadal in the gloaming in July. But Nadal, one of the best in the sport at staying in the moment, said, “Fernando is playing at a very high level, and I’m aware that if I don’t play my best I’m not going to win this match.”

Most Nadal matches are riveting

Just finished watching two hours and 28 minutes of riveting Rafael Nadal tennis. Most Nadal matches are riveting, especially when these Slams reach the rarefied air of the quarterfinal round, but this one was a particularly strong attention getter.