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Nic Ladds 27th Jan 2009 - 14:16

Our man in the know serves up an Ace with his Quarter-final predictions

William Hill are serving up live action from the main show courts at the Australian Open - live streaming on both Men's and Ladies singles from the first round to the Final with expert analysis from our leading Tennis compiler.

Also, William Hill’s Tennis Podcast - The Slam - is back with BBC commentator and former pro’ Andrew Castle, as the Australian Open reaches the last 8.

He’s talking to Nigel Aplin about all four men’s quarter final matches and the women’s tournament.



These two have never met on court before.

Dementieva hasn't lost in 2009 and is at the moment the best player in the world, whether she can turn that into a Grand Slam is a different matter. She's won all 14 of her matches this year including wins over Safina and Serena Williams but can never seem to finish the job on the biggest stage.

Dementieva hasn't been to the final of a Grand Slam since 2004 when she had 2 rather tame efforts in the French and US Open finals although is a regular quarter and semi finalist.

Suarez Navarro is in the Justine Henin style, a diminutive baseliner who has an unbelievable natural one handed backhand who can seemingly hit winners from anywhere on court although her best results until now have came on a clay court.

This match will be played mostly from the back of the court in 30 plus degrees heat and will be a real test of both player's patience and fitness.

I can only see one winner here as for all Suarez Navarro can hit winners from anywhere there is no player harder to beat from the baseline than Dementieva who was coached from an early age by her mother to rally cross court from the baseline and can do it all day in any conditions.

Her serve no longer seems to be the weakness it was and shouldn't be overly tested by Suarez Navarro who is in a Grand Slam ¼ final for the first time although she does still average 4 double faults a match and served 9 in the first round where she was taken to 3 sets by 88th ranked German Kristina Barrois.

Maybe the tighter the match the more it will show itself but surely her greater consistency from the back of the court should be more than enough. BETNOW



Really hard match to weigh up with form/injury doubts against both players.

2004 US Open Champ Kuznetsova pulled out of her last match before the tournament started and has been in generally mediocre form for someone of her ability for quite some time now.

She has reached the ¼ final without doing a great deal or beating anyone of note and has quite a poor record in big matches.

She has lost the last 10 finals she has contested that didn't involve a retirement and although this is a quarter final that stat cannot inspire too much confidence in both her and her supporters and her forehand in particular seems to break down all too easily under pressure.

Williams looked in real trouble in her 4th round match and was a set down when Viktoria Azarenka started staggering about like a punch drunk boxer in the heat.

Indeed just before Azarenka pulled out, Williams had the trainer on for an ankle injury and her form in the lead up events and in this tournament has been patchy and she looks far from her fittest.

This will come down to who can handle the conditions best and with the 3-1 head to head record in her favour and her proven record at the business end of Grand Slams, Serna looks the likelier winner. BETNOW






These 2 have never played and its Verdasco's first appearance in a Grand Slam quarter final and winning the decisive rubber in the Davis Cup Final seems to have helped him no end.


I think Verdasco was slightly flattered by his victory over Murray as no matter how well Verdasco played, Murray served very poorly and faced break points in every service game in the first 2 sets.

He generally seemed to lack confidence in his whole game and was very passive. Verdasco grew in confidence as the match wore on and looked much more impressive in the final set.

The hard court seems to suit his big hitting style and before playing Murray he was very impressive, only losing 12 games in the first 3 rounds and maybe was underestimated by many against Murray as Murray had beaten him 5 consecutive times.

Tsonga came into the tournament under an injury cloud with a bad back but seems to get better as his matches progress and his defeat of James Blake was clinical and some of his play quite brilliant, particularly in his match against Ivan Ljubicic which was of the highest quality and Tsonga seemed to get better as the match wore on.

Tsonga has no worries playing a left hander and defeated Nadal in 3 easy sets in last years semi finals and will not make the same mistake Murray made and will in no way be passive.

This should be an explosive big hitting match and Tsonga just does it better and more often for me. BETNOW



Nadal, although by far the likelier winner seems short here against Gilles Simon who has reached number 7 in the world almost completely unheralded.

Nadal hasn't the greatest record in Australia although this year he seems more rested and better prepared than before and has been steamrolling opponents almost like he does in the French Open.

Simon by comparison has had a couple of toughish matches but isn't the type to win matches easily and tends to just wear his opponents down by his sheer consistency, ability to retrieve almost every ball and seemingly limitless stamina.

Indeed he did just that when sticking with Nadal until winning in a final set tie break in the Madrid Semi finals when 3 sets of tennis took over 3 hours 20 minute.

Nadal will probably win but will be anxious to avoid a real slog finishing in the early hours before playing his semi. BETNOW

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William Hill are serving up live action from the main show courts at the Australian Open - live streaming on both Men's and Ladies singles from the first round to the Final.

The world's leading tennis players are here to win the first Grand Slam event of 2009. Whoever you've backed, don't watch highlights - tune in to betlive TV for every serve and volley, game, set and match live on your PC.



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