2021 AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Melbourne, Australia
American Women Making Noise
If you follow tennis, you have to be aware that the women are doing well down under. However, you may be surprised by the names. Coco Gauff could not get pass  Elina Svitolina (UKR), but  Jessica Pegula did.
How did Pegula defeat her first top ten player to get to her first major quarterfinals? She played with confidence. She believed in her game and stayed focused on her objective: “execute the game plan for victory”. The American kept the ball deep and attacked ferociously when she had the opportunity. Yet, Svitolina was expected to fight back, and she did. Pegula did not let that ruffle her feathers and regrouped nicely in the third set to defeat the Ukrainian 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Brady To Play Good Friend, PegulaEmbed from Getty Images
 Jennifer Brady is on fire, and who can douse her flame. Brady continues to dominate opponents in the first set and leaves them scrambling to fight back in set two. Despite her knee injury,  Donna Vekic (CRO) tried to fight back. Unfortunately, it was not enough, and Brady won 6-1, 7-5. This win sends her to the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time. USA is guaranteed at least one American women in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
It was a good run from American, Shelby Rogers, but the number one seed, Ashleigh Barty (AUS), would not be denied. Rogers had her chances, but the nerves did her in. Barty won 6-3, 6-4.
Rafael Nadal UpdateEmbed from Getty Images
The build up to his match against  Fabio Fognini (ITA) did not produce the battle we anticipated. While Fognini had moments of brilliance, his inconsistent play was his undoing. Despite not serving his best,  Rafael Nadal (ESP) played brilliantly from the ground. Surprisingly, we thought he would struggle on the faster courts, but Nadal confessed that he likes the pace. It does not get any easier in the next round because he will play a much younger and fresher Tsitsipas.
Other Interesting Results
Mackenzie McDonald’s run at the Australian Open ended in straight sets to  Daniil Medvedev (RUS).
 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) got a nice gift today when  Matteo Berrettini (ITA) withdrew due to injury before the match.