Australian Open 2014: Can't-Miss 3rd-Round Matchups

David CattaiContributor IIIJanuary 17, 2014

Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a forehand return to Karin Knapp of Italy during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

The 2014 Australian Open is set to continue on Saturday from Melbourne, Australia. Day 6 of the 14-day tournament will be sure to have a few memorable matches.

Some household names as well as some new faces will take the stage during the men's and women's tournaments.

Here are three matches that you should not miss on ESPN 2 on Saturday:


Rafael Nadal [1] vs. Gael Monfils [25]

Anytime Nadal is playing, you should be watching. He's the best player in the tournament for a reason.

The match will air in the middle of the night on the East Coast, but if you're up, Nadal will be facing a familiar foe in Monfils. This will be their 12th matchup and first since January 4 at the Doha Open, where Nadal defeated Monfils 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 to capture the championship.

The Frenchman has won two matches against Nadal—both on hard courts during the month of January in 2009 and 2012.


Maria Sharapova [3] vs. Alize Cornet [25]

Sharapova is 1-0 against her opponent Cornet, but her win did come via retirement after an injury. The world's No. 3 is a significant favorite in this matchup.

Cornet is coming off a marathon match that lasted two hours and 36 minutes. She came from behind in the final set after being down 4-1 to capture a victory against Camila Giorgi. Sharapova is also coming off a grueling match of her own.

With the heat being a factor, it will be fascinating to see if either player will be fatigued.


Milos Raonic [11] vs. Grigor Dimitrov [22]

Raonic looks to make a name for himself in the tournament.
Raonic looks to make a name for himself in the tournament.Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

Nadal and Sharapova are household names throughout tennis; Raonic, 23, and Dimitrov, 22, are not.

Dimitrov is looking to take the lead in the head-to-head series against his young counterpart. The two split their previous matches. He has yet to make it to the fourth round in a major, so a win would set a record for him.

This matchup will be a Saturday night treat. Both men could be the next up-and-coming players in the tennis world.

If you are looking for other matches, check out the full detailed schedule here.