Dimitar Kutrovsky and Dennis Novikov beat Wayne Odesnik and Michael Shabaz 6-4, 3-6, 10-4 in the quarterfinals of the Maui Challenger on Wednesday. But the result was entirely irrelevant to the story.
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will be going head-to-head for the 24th time in their careers when they renew their rivalry in the Australian Open final on Sunday. Djokovic is aiming for his fifth title in Melbourne, while Murray hopes to lift the trophy for the first time.
Another five-setter it was. Another classic it was not. Novak Djokovic beat familiar foe Stan Wawrinka 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on Thursday night in an Australian Open quarterfinal that lacked almost all of the quality that had been on display in their 2013 and 2014 Melbourne showdowns.
There is never a bad time to come up with an excuse for re-watching the epic Andy Murray vs. Juan Martin Del Potro feud at the 2008 Rome Masters, and now is an especially good time after Murray’s Australian Open quarterfinal match against Tomas Berdych on Thursday invoked obvious memories.