Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 12 of the 2021 Australian Open.
Such a weird and odd way to schedule four semifinals at once.
That’s what we kept thinking over and over again as we looked at the day 11 schedule on Thursday morning, our time. We looked at the schedule and noticed that there were not two but three of the singles semifinals. This despite the fact that the seemingly odd semifinal out, between Karolina Muchova and Jennifer Brady, would ask the two players to play on two days in a row.
That’s the tricky part with writing daily previews, you know? We’re based in Canada and due to the time difference, we have to write these daily previews one day ahead, on the day before they’re played in Melbourne. And well, we hadn’t anticipated this schedule quirk when we wrote our day 11 preview so we had to write a quick blurb for this other semifinal. (Booohoooo, we know. This sound you hear is the world’s tiniest violin.)
What’s the reason for this?
All of which is to say that if there was and is a reason to stack the day 11 schedule and put both women’s semifinals on the same day, well we didn’t and don’t see it.
We still don’t, really. On the one hand, both women’s finalists will get a day off before they compete for the title. Not only that, but on the men’s side one finalist will get two full days off and the other, a day off of his own too.
On the other hand, we’re stuck with a day 12 slate that has just the one semifinal. Welp. (Sure, there are other matches on day 12: one men’s doubles semifinal, the women’s doubles final and one mixed doubles semifinal.)
In any case, here is our prediction for the lone remaining semifinal still to be played from the four on both draws. The entire day 12 schedule is right here.
Rod Laver Arena: Stefanos Tsitsipas  vs Daniil Medvedev  (First match of the evening)
What a glorious and wonderful matchup this is. Both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev will figure prominently in anyone’s list of the players that represent the future of men’s tennis. And yet, the future has been undeniably brighter for one of the two when the pair has faced off: so far in their career, Medvedev holds a 5-1 edge in their head-to-head record.
You have to feel for the Greek Tsitsipas here. A couple of days after completing the seemingly impossible and overcoming Rafael Nadal in five sets, he gets to face a man who’s 10 years younger than the Spaniard and probably even more ruthless and dangerous on the surface. Welcome to tennis, where your only reward for winning a match today is to get to try to win again tomorrow.
Tsitsipas’s time will come, but it’s just not there quite yet. Medvedev grabs the win in four gruelling sets.
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