With four rounds complete in the 2013 Australian Open, the action is just beginning to heat up with quarterfinals action set to begin on Tuesday in Melbourne Park.
The top five seeds on the men's side remain intact, although it took top-seeded Novak Djokovic five sets and a 12-10 fifth set on Sunday to get past upstart Stanislas Wawrinka.
But the women's event was filled with some surprises, too. Most notably, former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki was ousted in three sets by Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is merely 75th in the WTA rankings. It continues a perpetual stretch of disappointment for Wozniacki, who entered as the 10th seed.
Here is a breakdown of the TV coverage for the impending slate, as well as key matches to watch and a guide to what remains of the bracket.
Day 9 TV Schedule
|Round||Time of Coverage (ET)||Channel|
|Quarterfinals||9 p.m. - 2 a.m.*||ESPN2|
*Note: Coverage will extend from Monday evening to Tuesday morning in Eastern Time Zone.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Brackets (courtesy: Australian Open official website)
For the complete men's bracket and quarterfinals matchups, click here.
For the complete women's bracket and quarterfinals matchups, click here.
Click here for Tuesday's complete schedule.
Marquee Quarterfinal Matchups
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Tomas Berdych (5)
It will be interesting to see how Djokovic bounces back from such a grueling five-setter against Wawrinka. He has had a day to rest, but even someone as fit as the two-time reigning champion of this event may be vulnerable.
Berdych has qualified for his third consecutive quarterfinals at the year's first Grand Slam, and has a powerful game that translates well to the hard court.
While it would be wise for Berdych to attack Djokovic and be aggressive early on, he will want to rein it back as the match progresses and keep rallies going with Djokovic for as long as possible.
It seems as though Djokovic is tireless, though, and there is a reason that he has won this tournament the past two years. It's mainly due to his outstanding ability to return, which helps neutralize hard-hitting opponents who possess big serves.
This should be an absolute slugfest, and while the smart money is obviously on The Serbinator, it's certainly feasible that Berdych could grab a set from Djokovic given his quick turnaround from the Round 4 thriller.
Maria Sharapova (2) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (19)
After losing a tiebreaker in the opening set of Round 3 to Marion Bartoli, Makarova cruised to victory 6-3, 6-4 and proceeded to easily dispose of fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber in straight sets.
It will take an extraordinary effort to beat the likes of Sharapova, though, as the career Grand Slam champion has only dropped five games total in four matches thus far, and four of those came against the legendary Venus Williams.
These are two of the hottest players at the moment in terms of the recent form they have shown, and Makarova is poised to show she can hang with her heavily favored foe.
Check out this bold post from Makarova herself on the News Limited Network from Monday:
THEY didn't give me a trophy, but last year I felt like I was the Australian Open champion.
I beat Serena Williams in the fourth round and it was like I’d just won my first Grand Slam.
It was tough to go back on court after that, and I lost my next match – in the quarter-final.
Not this year. I might have slayed No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber yesterday as well as No. 11 seed Marion Bartoli to get here, but this is different.
I will have the experience of last year and added maturity when I walk onto Rod Laver Arena tomorrow to face Maria Sharapova.
She is in scintillating form, but I’m going out there to win – and will be a lot more [focused] than last year.
Insisting that her massive upset of Serena Williams last year distracted her from reaching her ultimate goal, Makarova is making it publicly known that she is coming after the hard-hitting Sharapova.
This is a rematch of last year's quarterfinal in which Sharapova dispatched of Makarova 6-2, 6-3. There is clearly a revenge factor for Makarova, who is playing with a chip on her shoulder. Look for this to be a potential three-setter and the best women's matchup on Tuesday despite the gap in seeding.
Agnieszka Radwanska (4) vs. Li Na (6)
Considering that neither of these women has dropped a set thus far, this match has the makings of reaching a decisive third set.
Radwanska has more of a finesse-based game, while Li relies heavily on her powerful groundstrokes and exceptional forehand. Li has the ability to knock her opponents off balance by firing cross-court winners when it doesn't even seem feasible.
That's what makes this clash so exciting, though, because Radwanska is among the smartest players in tennis and knows how to read what her opponent's next move will be better than most.
Both of these players are among the best athletes in the game, so expect plenty of lengthy, entertaining points.
Li is more likely to make unforced errors, but does have the superior game at the net, which she will need to counter the crouching shots that Radwanska excels at, as well as her frequently devastating drop shot.
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