The Australian Open continues to pick up the intensity as we move to the fourth round. This marks the halfway point of the tournament, as there are three rounds in the books and three rounds after this one.
That leaves us with a lighter schedule of action, but also with more more compelling matchups.
This tournament hasn't exactly been filled with upsets. While that doesn't make for particularly compelling early-round play, it does set up for a dynamic close to the year's first major.
Day 7 TV Schedule
|Round||Time of Coverage (ET)||Channel|
|Fourth Round||6 p.m.—11 p.m. Jan. 21||ESPN2|
|Fourth Round||12 a.m.—4 a.m. Jan. 22||ESPN2|
Live Stream: ESPN 3
Brackets (courtesy of the Australian Open's official website)
For the complete men's bracket, click here.
For the complete women's bracket, click here.
Sunday's complete schedule of play can be found here.
Matches to Watch
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 15 Stanislas Wawrinka
Novak Djokovic is cruising. Not only has the world's No. 1 not dropped a set at this year's Australian Open, but the two-time defending champ has still yet to be broken.
Chances are that he will continue to roll right past Wawrinka. He hasn't lost to him since 2006—a string that encompasses 10 matches.
Wawrinka is playing solid tennis, but there is nothing to suggest he can pull off this upset. What makes this match intriguing, though, is that we get a chance to see Nole against a step up in competition.
If he makes this match look as effortless as he did his first three, the rest of the field may want to consider withdrawing.
No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. No. 13 Ana Ivanovic
Agnieszka Radwanska is riding a serious hot streak. She has played 12 matches in 2013, and she has still not lost a single set.
On paper, she faces a tough matchup here against Ana Ivanovic.
Ivanovic is a former finalist here, and she is playing well. She advanced to the fourth round with an impressive 7-5, 6-3 victory over fellow Serbian and 13-seed Jelena Jankovic.
However, Radwanska is on a different level right now, and she has owned this matchup as of late.
Since 2009, Radwanska leads the head-to-head tally, 4-0.
No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. Kirsten Flipkens
This one could be over quickly, but that is what is really worth watching. Sharapova has been in top form. This was on full display as she quickly dispatched of Venus Williams in the second round.
Now she is set to face the 43rd-ranked Kirsten Flipkens. The Belgian is reaching a high-water mark for majors, as this is her first trip to the final 16. She is now playing with house money, and she should be relaxed, loose and aggressive for this match.
However, Flipkens could play the best match of her life and still lose this one. Sharapova did not drop a single game in her first two matches, and Williams was only able to take four games before tasting defeat.
Sharapova's serves and groundstrokes have been dominant, and she has looked better than ever on returns. Let's see if she can keep that going.