Can Stan the Man win his first Grand Slam?
Stanislas Wawrinka rocked the tennis world yesterday when knocking Novak Djokovic, winner of the last three Australian Opens, out of the tournament earlier today in a thrilling five-setter and will now be dreaming of going all the way and winning his first Grand Slam.
The Swiss bundle of energy is now 5/1 second favourite from 33/1 with Coral to win in Melbourne after setting up a semi-final with Tomas Berdych (8/1), who beat David Ferrer in four sets in today’s other quarter-final.
And if Wawrinka can get through to Sunday’s final he will probably face either the new favourite Rafael Nadal (4/5) – long odds-on to beat 50/1 outsider Grigor Dimitrov in the first of tomorrow’s quarter-final ties – or the winner of the mouth-watering clash between Andy Murray (6/1) and Roger Federer (13/2).
The eighth seed will be delighted to play any of the above in the final, but would, I imagine, be particularly thrilled if it’s Federer on the other side of the net.
Wawrinka has lived in the shadow of his countryman and living legend all his career, winning just five sets out of 32 while losing 12 of their 13 encounters.
But he must be feeling that this is his time after gaining revenge over Djokovic, who beat him in five sets both in Melbourne 12 months ago and then later in the year in the US Open.
Federer is on a mission himself, of course, with most pundits writing off his chances of adding to his 17 Grand Slam singles titles. He insists he is no back number and Murray will need to be on his A game tomorrow morning if he is to keep his Australian Open hopes alive.
Coral are finding it hard to split them – Federer is 4/5, Murray evens – and it looks like we could be in for another classic.
Serena Williams’ exit has shaken up the women’s tournament betting, too, Victoria Azarenka now a solid even money favourite as she stays on course for a third Australian Open title in a row.
Li Na, a beaten finalists in two of the past three years, is next best at 6/4, but first she needs to get past Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard (10/1) , who knocked out Williams’s conqueror Ana Ivanovic in three sets in the quarter-finals.