Hmm. 6-4, 6-4 for Kolya, his second straight victory over Fed after never being able to beat him in about a million years.
I didn’t see the match, but I DID see the last match each of these guys played, and it’s not surprising. It’s about Kolya playing well AND Fed struggling. And I’m not even sure what to say about Fed. Dropping a set to Ernie, his backhand looked vulnerable, perhaps his shot selection a bit. When he lost in the USO final he struggled with his first serve, but he served 55% today and 61% against Ernie. Though, Fed is Fed, and just like last year, is definitely not a write off for Melbourne, as he always ups his game for the slam, will have a great draw with the top rank, and has his insane semi streak to keep going too.
At the same time, Kolya is on a total roll, and if you were to pick anyone outside of the top 5 to win AO, I think he’s a no brainer. Which is sort of hilarious, because a lot like Lena, he’s seemed sort of like a write off for a slam, “his day as passed”. The dude just seems to be moving so well and making the correct shot selection decision every time. Ivo was close with him yesterday, but it was like “well, Kolya is playing smart and solid, he’s got this fine.” Indeed he did. At the same time, Rafa has been mercilessly ripping his way through the draw and is out to re-prove himself, so this will be a really great test as to where the two of these guys sit, heading into Melbourne.