Things We Learned on Day 9 of the 2015 Australian Open


1. That was an extremely underwhelming performance from Simona Halep in the quarterfinals, but props to Ekaterina Makarova for delivering a rock-solid win over the World No. 3, reaching her second consecutive Slam semifinal. She doesn’t get nearly as much attention as she deserves.

2. That being said about Simona, let’s cool it on the reactionary hot takes. Everyone has their dud matches.

3. On the other hand, this isn’t what you want to hear from Halep:

Here’s the full context.

4. Tomas Berdych’s big win over a rusty-looking Rafael Nadal was fun on Twitter:

The biggest question for me was not whether he could beat Rafa (who hasn’t played that well in 2015 so far) in the quarterfinals; it is whether he can back up that big win with another two wins and win the Grand Slam he should’ve won years ago. We’ve seen him get big wins and then falter in the next round, squandering opportunities. He is playing some of his best tennis, so I hope he can bring it again in his next one or two matches.


1. I was disappointed by Simona Halep’s performance–not just the way she played, but mainly the way she fought. She completely went away in the second set, and it reminded me some of Agnieszka Radwanska’s worst performances at Slams, where she just can’t seem to find another gear.

That being said, we’ll just have to wait and see, no? Simona’s got the talent, and we know she can make it to a Grand Slam final and play well on the biggest stages of the sport. Been there, done that. Now we have to see if she can adjust to being one of The Hunted.

I suspect she will, but I don’t know that I’ll be picking her to win Slams again anytime soon!

2. That being said, I’m impressed Ekaterina Makarova.

3. We’re going to reach a point with Bouchard–likely sooner rather than later–when it’s not going to be enough that she lives up to her ranking. She’s going to need to beat the Sharapovas and the Kvitovas and maybe even the Williamses to be considered The Real Deal.

She is already 0-4 against Sharapova, and in their match Down Under, she never seemed to be a threat to win the match at all. I’m still very impressed that she didn’t have a dud of a tournament after her big run last year, but she’s going to need to keep getting better, or else she’ll fall back quickly. There’s really no such thing as standing still in tennis.

(A coach might help, too. Just a thought.)

4. Maria Federer.

5. Rafael Nadal’s going to be fine.

I wrote about Nadal’s loss for Bleacher Report. The takeaway? He’s just not back in championship form yet. It’s that simple.

6. I’m with Amy–back this up, Tomas, and then we can talk.

And please, please get another shirt.

7. ICYMI, Martina Navratilova had some things to say about Radwanska on Tennis Channel.

8. I slept through Muzz/Kyrgios, and I’m not even sorry about it. This tournament is trying to kill me.