Novak Djokovic can move a step closer to his fifth Australia Open crown when he takes on Stanislas Wawrinka as the quarter-finals get underway at Melbourne Park.
Gunning for his fourth successive title, as well as that won in 2008, Serbian Djokovic’s tie with Swiss Wawrinka is the headline act on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.
China’s Li Na advanced to the last four at the Australian Open for the fourth time in the past five years with a 6-2 6-2 demolition of Italian Flavia Pennetta.
In a match between two 31-year-olds, Li needed only 67 minutes to end Pennetta’s best Open campaign and advance to a semi-final against either Ivanovic or Bouchard.
Although Li claimed her only major title to date three years ago at the French Open, it is at Melbourne Park where she has performed most consistently at grand slam level.
She lost the 2011 and 2013 finals to Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka and also reached the Australian Open semis in 2010.
In today’s other quarter final in the women’s draw, boom Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard has upset Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic to advance to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
With Ivanovic twice requiring medical treatment on her right thigh late in the second set, Bouchard seized her opportunity, going on to win 5-7 7-5 6-2 in a match lasting two hours and 24 minutes.
Her reward is a semi against China’s No.4 seed Li Na, who hammered fellow 31-year-old Flavia Pennetta from Italy 6-2 6-2 earlier on Wednesday.
The 30th-seeded Bouchard won the junior Wimbledon title in 2012, but did not make her senior grand slam debut until last year’s French Open.
Ivanovic, the No.14 seed, had caused the biggest upset of the Australian Open back in the fourth round when she downed world No.1 Serena Williams.
Ferrer leads Berdych 7-4 in their previous meetings.
The remaining quarter finals are played Wednesday, including Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska stepping into the spotlight when he takes on defending Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
The fifth seed booked her place in the last eight for the fourth consecutive year at Melbourne Park with a clinical 6-1 6-3 victory over unseeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.
Radwanska has made the final eight four successive times but has never gone further.
She has had a quiet build-up at the Open, only facing one other seed in No. 29 Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who she beat in straight sets last round.
“I’m just very, very happy that I could play my best tennis tonight,” Radwanska said.
“I watched her play and I knew that I would have to play at 100 per cent to beat her.”
Schedule of play for Tuesday, day nine of the Australian Open Tennis Championship at Melbourne Park.
ROD LAVER ARENA
4-Na Li (CHN) v 28-Flavia Pennetta (ITA), 14-Ana Ivanovic (SRB) v 30-Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)
Not before 2.00pm
7-Tomas Berdych (CZE) v 3-David Ferrer (ESP)
8-Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) v 2-Novak Djokovic (SRB).
Doubles: Alex Bolt (AUS)/Andrew Whittington (AUS) v 8-Daniel Nestor (CAN)/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)
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