With the conclusion of the third round, Australian Open 2016 reaches its equator, ready to take place the final rounds in its second week. Of the 128 players who started in the tournament 16 remain in the fight. Of them, 13 were expected – the seeded system has worked almost to perfection in Melbourne – and only three have crept in fourth round above his previous classification: Andrei Kuznetsov, Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut, who have gotten into the gaps that Rafael Nadal, Kevin Anderson and Marin Cilic have left.

The shock of the tournament was, precisely, the unexpected defeat of Nadal against Fernando Verdasco in the first round. The “Nadal problem” is complex, and according to the Majorcan subsequent explanations, it doesn´t seem that not even him has clear the reasons for this result, which took place just as the ghosts of last season seemed to be definitively overcome.

From outside gives the impression that the confidence of Nadal is still somewhat brittle and too influenced by anxiety. The truth is that the match looks like a drop of water to another, which played against Fabio Fognini in the past US Open. In both he had a big advantage, he was very close to winning them and therein he began playing short, gripped and waiting for the rivals mistake, while these they resisted a quick defeat.

Only this explains the 70 winners of Fognini in New York and 90 (90!!!) of Verdasco the other day. The thesis that “they played the game of their life” seems a bit naive, especially when it is not an accident or an isolated case. In fact, any player of the circuit may get winners easily when the ball that gets lacks weight and depth. For something they are professional, and in such a hard and competitive as the ATP circuit, even the lowest ranked player can demolish anybody if he doesn’t feel pressure.

Even the statistics of the two matches are similar to the surprising. One could say, without incurring exaggeration that traced. In two matches, Nadal had a slight better percentage of points won, both serving as the return games. He also had some more break points. Even total points balance was – 2 to Nadal in both cases. Too many coincidences to not blame the same cause. We’ll see, during the season, how the things go for the Balearic. Nadal-Fognini Stats  Nadal-Verdasco Stats

The week has also been generous in centenarians. Maria Sharapova reached 600 victories and Stan Wawrinka, before Lukas Rosol, the 400. But the more relevant mark is, without doubt, the accomplished by Roger Federer: 300 victories in Grand Slam, historical record. And counting…  Most Grand Slams wins

The Swiss is smashing records. Before Grigor Dimitrov he won his match number 55 in the third round of a Grand Slam, absolute record also. As in that round Swiss builds up only five defeats in his entire career, the percentage that results is an impressive 91,67%. The Swiss and records seems a endless story. We’ll see if the coming week we shouldn’t point out some more. Federer Advanced Stats

Novak Djokovic is also achieving impressive marks. Before Andreas Seppi he won his 17th consecutive victory in Grand Slam and the 210 in his career with 244 matches played; 86,07%  of effectiveness, dangerously approaching to the 86,84% that Nadal has. Wins Highest % Grand Slam

His game statistics are unbeatable. He wins the 76% of service points and 43% of return points. In three games, he has only given two breaks, as Federer, and he has won the two tie-breaks he has played. Currently , he displays his favourite intractable condition.

This year, the preparation tournaments for the Australian Open have given a pretty precise indicative of the physical state of the players. Of the five winners, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Raonic, Bautista and Troicki, only this last has not reached the fourth round, eliminated precisely by Raonic.

Roberto Bautista Agut, deserves a special mention because is the first time that he chained eight victories on the circuit. Last week he beat John Isner and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and in Melbourne he has eliminated Cilic, seeded number 12. Given the fact that Roberto was losing 0-2 with the three in their respective series head to head, so he beat consecutive three top-15, which he had never been able to defeat before, he has had to significantly reinforce his confidence.

Analyzing the statistics of the first week of the tournament, we see that there are five players who have not yet lost any set: Djokovic, Wawrinka, Ferrer, Raonic and Monfils still have this immaculate score. In addition it is Isner, although he has lost a set, he has not conceded yet a single break. The American is a rock who is winning nearly 81% of his points when he is serving. AO 2016 Stats

However, the general statistics show Andy Murray as the most dangerous player; the Scot, despite having lost a set against Joao Sousa, he leads the rankings of the percentage of total return points won, total points, return games and total games. Classifications all of which tend to be very significant in pointing to the players who reach the finals rounds. AO 2016 Stats

In terms of aces, Isner dominates clearly with 101, 28 more than second scorer of the tournament, Feliciano López, precisely his victim in the third round. AO 2016 Stats

Precisely in that match, Isner has achieved a whopping mark of 44 aces. It is the third best mark of his career. It is curious that after the stratospheric mark of 113 he achieved in the celebrated match with Nicolas Mahut’s in Wimbledon 2010, his next record is also before Lopez; 52 aces scored him in the All England in 2014, which, however, did not give him enough to win the match.

The truth is that, against the Toledan, Isner has always the cannon on fire. In the 7th matches he has played, he has scored 199 aces, more than 28 per game. And that Feliciano gives him a timely reply, with nearly 17 per game. Isner-Lopez H2H

The Australian Open enters in its decisive week; 15 matches to decide the champion of the tournament with the best players in the world. We will return to bring all relevant details of this exciting week.


Gabriel Garcia / thetennisbase.com

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