The second week of the Australian Open has begun, and all the men’s and women’s quarterfinalists are set. On both sides, you’ll see the usual suspects, plus a few surprises, but it’s still difficult to imagine anyone but Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic holding the trophies on Sunday. Until then, there are some great matches to play – and see. Here’s your quick guide tonight’s schedule.
Agnieszka Radwanska v. Carla Suarez Navarro: The Polish ninja takes on the scrappy Spaniard with the one-handed backhand. This is a tough one to call – the only sure thing is that whomever wins gets the unlucky reward of meeting Serena Williams in the semi-finals. Okay, we’re not totally sure that Serena’s going to win her match, but…
Serena Williams v. Maria Sharapova: Like I said, this is not quite a foregone conclusion, but this is the most lopsided rivalry in tennis. Can we even call it a rivalry? Serena leads their H2H 18-2. The last time Sharapova won a match against Serena was in 2004. Keep an eye on the ace count from both players.
Roger Federer v. Tomas Berdych: Federer is playing well, but Berdych is a dangerous opponent. He’s beaten Federer twice at Grand Slams (at Wimbledon in 2010 and the U.S. Open in 2012). Federer’s serve will have to stay sharp against the big-hitting German, but like Radwanska and Navarro, the winner will in all likelihood have to face Novak Djokovic in the semis. Good luck, guys!
Novak Djokovic v. Kei Nishikori: In the 4th round, the seemingly unstoppable Djokovic did get taken to five sets by Gilles Simon. Did Simon provide a playbook for others, or did his backboard style of tennis just frustrate Djokovic, who hit 100 unforced errors in that match? Does Nishikori have a shot? He has beaten Djokovic before (US Open 2014), but he’s coming off a disappointing 2015. Either Djokovic will be a little fatigued or he’ll just be more fired up. (I’m betting on the latter.)
Play begins live at 9pm ET on ESPN2, but if you can’t wait that long, you can login to the WatchESPN app with your Sling TV credentials and start watching at 7pm ET. And if you can’t stay up or get to watch some of these matches because of the time difference, remember you can watch replays anytime on the WatchESPN as well. It’s a win-win!