The 2014 Australian Open is already shaping up to be one of the wildest tournaments of the year, and the remaining schedule indicates that the chaos will continue as the Grand Slam heads into Day 8.
With Serena Williams eliminated on Day 7 and several of the top names struggling to find a rhythm, the remaining schedule for this year’s Australian Open promises to be an unpredictable showcase that should see a wild finish.
Here is all of the vital viewing information for the event, all of the Day 8 games and the matchups to watch.
Where: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
When (local): Monday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m.
When (U.S.): Sunday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN2, Tennis Channel
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|2014 Australian Open - Day 8 Schedule|
|Court||Time (Local)||Matchup||Predicted Winner|
|Rod Laver Arena||11 a.m. (First)||No. 3 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova||Maria Sharapova|
|Rod Laver Arena||11 a.m. (Second)||No. 2 Victoria Azarenka vs. No. 13 Sloane Stephens||Victoria Azarenka|
|Rod Laver Arena||11 a.m. (Third)||No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 16 Kei Nishikori||Rafael Nadal|
|Hisense Arena||1 p.m.||No. 8 Jelena Jankovic vs. No. 11 Simona Halep||Jelena Jankovic|
|Margaret Court Arena||1 p.m.||No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov vs. Roberto Bautista Agut||Roberto Bautista Agut|
|Hisense Arena||4:30 p.m.||No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Stephane Robert||Andy Murray|
|Rod Laver Arena||7 p.m. (First)||No. 6 Roger Federer vs. No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga|
|Rod Laver Arena||7 p.m. (Second)||No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Garbine Muguruza||Agnieszka Radwanska|
*Complete schedule via AusOpen.com.
Matchups to Watch
No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Stephane Robert
After continuing to deal with the recovery from back surgery, Great Britain’s Andy Murray has once again recaptured his elite form and has dominated the 2014 Australian Open thus far.
He's won in straight sets in each of his first three matchups in this Grand Slam tournament, and a meeting with a talented player like Stephane Robert in the fourth round will be a great test for British player.
The successful run this far has included beating Go Soeda in the first round, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3; Vincent Millot in the second, 6-2, 6-2, 7-5; and No. 26 seed Feliciano Lopez in the third, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-2.
If Murray wants to win this tournament and start 2014 on the right foot, he must continue to regain the elite form he showed when he won Wimbledon. Robert is a talented player, but the stage has been set for Murray to steal the show.
Prediction: Murray defeats Robert, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 16 Kei Nishikori
The No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world right now is Rafael Nadal. While No. 16 seed Kei Nishikori is a talented athlete who deserves credit for making it this far in the tournament, Nadal is playing at an elite level that few competitors can match.
Despite having a tough path to the championship, Nadal beat the underrated Bernard Tomic in the first round after his challenger retired; utterly dominated Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2; and took down the popular No. 25 seed Gael Monfils in straight sets in the third, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.
The tough road to the Grand Slam title will continue, as Nadal will take on Nishikori in the fourth round.
Nadal has been playing well along the baseline and his return has been strong, but it's been his ability to withstand the heat and use his elite cardio to outperform his competitors that has made the difference thus far.
Prediction: Nadal defeats Nishikori, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
*Stats and scores via AusOpen.com.