Melbourne braces itself for semi finals

Canada beat Australia in the final of the Davis Cup in Malaga to win the event for the first time in their history. They got off to a strong start as Denis Shapovalov beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets 6-2 6-4.

Things are hotting up Down Under as both the men’s and woman’s semi-final line-ups are complete for the Australian Open.

20-time Grand Slam winner & 2009 Champion Rafael Nadal will play Italy’s Matteo Berrettini. The pair have only played each other once before when Nadal beat Berrettini in semi-finals at the US Open three years ago. Berrettini will be hoping for revenge as he looks to reach the final in Melbourne for the first time. Nadal is seeking to secure a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam, which will see him move ahead of Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings.

2nd seed Daniil Medvedev, the highest ranked player left in the competition, will play Stefanos Tsitsipas in the other men’s semi-final. It is widely known that the pair are not the greatest of friends on tour after some previous fiery encounters. They will now renew their rivalry in the last four of the first Slam of the year. Medvedev is looking to win a consecutive Grand Slam title after securing his maiden major victory at the US Open in September.

In the woman’s draw World No 1 Ashleigh Barty is looking in ominous form. The Wimbledon Champion has not dropped a set so far in the competition and the home favourite will be desperate to win her first Grand Slam on home soil. Barty faces Madison Keys in the semis who is likely to pose a stern test. Keys has knocked out noticeable names already, including former champion Sofia Kenin.

The other semi final will be contested between Iga Swiatek & Danielle Collins. This will only be the second time they have met after Collins had to retire in their match in last year’s Adelaide 500.

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