2018 Aussie Open, The Picks, Day 8

Rafa Nadal vs Mario Cilic
The Spaniard had a pretty tough night against the improving Diego Schwartzman.Nadal won, but it took nearly four hours. He has been there before, and the No. 1 will be there again, but still, it is somewhat early and he has to make sure not to get hurt at all during the AO event. 
For Nadal, the good thing is when he is on court against Cilic, they won’t have too many rallies, The very tall Mario is a terrific player, but he isn’t that fast. Cilic has a big serve, his heavy forehand and he can mix it up, going down low. 
Yes, Cilic can upset Nadal, if he is playing amazing, hour after hour, but in reality, Nadal has won 16 Grand Slams, and Cilic has won just one — at the US Open. Clearly, over the past 13 years, Nadal has been a better player. With his phenomenal forehand and his tough return, Nadal will win in four sets.

Grigor Dimitrov vs Kyle Edmunds
Dimitrov is totally on fire. He took down the Aussie Nick Kygrios on Saturday night, and now, he is locked in. Brit Edmunds has had a fine tournament this week, and he has improved a lot over the past year, but when is he going to figure out what to do with his weapons? Here and there, yes, but Dimitrov has so much variety, when he needs it. The Bulgarian wins in straight sets.

Caro Wozniacki vs Carla Suarez Navarro
This should be a very interesting match. They have never faced off against in the Grand Slams. In 2016 Tokyo, Caro won 6-4 in the third on a hardcourt, and in 2017 Madrid, Carlo won 6-4, 2-6, 6-2  on clay.  
Wozniacki has been better than Suarez over the past 10 years, as she has won 27 titles, while the Spaniard has only won a few. Yes, Wozniacki can fall flat here and there, but in the past 12 months, she has changed it up a little bit and once again, she is very focused.  
Suarez practices all the time, she goes from tournament after tournament. Even though she can sit way behind the court, she mixes it up consistently. Plus, she actually has a one-handed backhand, which is very unusual on the WTA. 
It will go three sets and both of them already know that they will be there for a solid two hours, rally after rally. Neither of them ever gets tired. You never know with Caro: will she be aggressive, or push the ball. Either way, she will win to advance at the semis.

Elina Svitolina vs Elise Mertens
Ukranian Svitolina is coming very close to No. 1. Maybe next week, maybe in a few months, or towards at the end of the year. But first, she has to take down Mertens, a very good player. 
There are times that Svitolina gets angry, inside her head, but she is so driven. She has a terrific first serve, and loads of spin, and she can nail her forehand and her backhand. 
Mertens hustles, too, and everyday, she gets better and better. But can she upset Elena? I cannot see it, yet, but maybe soon. Svitolina wins in straight sets.

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