GettyImages-1365572418

Matteo Berrettini vs. Gael Monfils

The 34-year-old Monfils hasn’t dropped a set, and he has won five of them either 6-1 or 6-0. But his flawless run has gone slightly under the radar as far as happy Slam stories go. Maybe that’s because, of the nine times he has reached the quarterfinals at a major, he has advanced to the semis just twice. Or maybe it’s because we assume his run will end at the hands of Berrettini.

The Italian is nine years younger than Monfils, he has beaten him both times they’ve played, and he has been a beast on serve lately. In his last match, against Pablo Carreño Busta, Berrettini made 77 percent of his first serves and hit 28 aces. Anything like that level will make life difficult, if not impossible, for Monfils. Still, we can enjoy the Frenchmen at his best, while it lasts. Winner: Berrettini

Advertising

INTERVIEW: Matteo Berrettini, after his fourth-round win

Advertising

Rafael Nadal vs. Denis Shapovalov

I remembered that Shapovalov had shocked the tennis world by beating Nadal as a teenager in Montreal in 2017. I had forgotten that he also pushed Rafa to the limit, and a third-set tiebreaker, in Rome last year. Coming out of nowhere to beat him on hard courts is one thing, but nearly doing it again on clay is another. Clearly, there’s something about this matchup that works for Shapovalov. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s left-handed, and Rafa’s serve and crosscourt forehand don’t go to his backhand. Maybe it’s the fact that he can take any Nadal short ball and put it away. The question is: Will that be enough?

While Shapovalov is coming off a big win over Alexander Zverev, he also committed his share of mistakes in that match, including 11 double faults, and was fortunate to run into a very off form version of the world No. 3. He probably won’t have that luxury against Nadal. Rafa in four sporadically dramatic sets. Winner: Nadal

Advertising

Madison Keys vs. Barbora Krejcikova

Keys and Krejcikova are both 26, but they’ve never played each other. This quarterfinal should offer a classic contrast in styles, between two players who seem to be at the tops of their games. Keys is the power hitter, while Krejickova is the craftswoman and the disruptor. For all of Krejcikova’s varied skills, the match will likely still be on Keys’ racquet. The American has emphasized shape and spin and patience, rather than all-out pace, so far in Australia, and it has worked well for her. She beat one of the favorites for the title, Paula Badosa, in her last match. Beating another might not be as easy. Winner: Krejcikova