As top-seeded Novak Djokovic needed five hours on Sunday to beat 15th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10 in fourth-round play, it became clear that we are at the point of the tournament where the competition is heating up.
In the three rounds prior to that one, Djokovic had not only not lost a set, but he had also yet to suffer a break.
It is safe to assume that more great action will follow as we enter Day 8 of the year's first major. It might not take five hours, as it seems Djokovic is the main muse for those kinds of marathon matches, but it will be entertaining nonetheless.
Day 8 TV Schedule
|Round||Time of Coverage (ET)||Channel|
|Fourth Round||3 p.m.-8 p.m., Jan. 22||ESPN2|
|Fourth Round||9:30 p.m., Jan. 22-12 a.m., Jan. 23||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.
Day 8's complete schedule of play can be found here.
Matches to Watch
No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 13 Milos Raonic
Roger Federer is in good form. Last round, he easily dispatched of youngster Bernard Tomic in straight sets.
Now he has another youngster on tap with Milos Raonic. Raonic has had decent success against Federer. He has never won a match against him, but he has pushed him to three sets in each of their three ATP meetings from a year ago.
Raonic has a big serve, and that will always give him a chance, but with the way Federer is moving and returning, he should be able to handle this challenge.
Federer will want to move past this matchup as quickly as possible and avoid any long, grueling tiebreakers to help save his aging legs.
No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Caroline Wozniacki is the higher seed here, but she should not be considered a favorite.
Svetlana Kuznetsova is a talented, accomplished player who took a plummet in the rankings after missing a huge chunk of the season when a knee injury sidelined her following Wimbledon. However, we are talking about a two-time Slam champion and a player who, just two weeks ago, beat Wozniacki in Sydney, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Wozniacki will be fighting desperately to find some success in a major. The former world's No. 1 player has now not only never won a major, but it's been a year since she even made the quarterfinals in one.
Tsonga has looked strong in his early-round play, and he has yet to drop a set. That doesn't mean he is set to cruise past Gasquet.
Gasquet could run Tsonga right off the court. He will punish Tsonga if this match becomes a battle of rallies. While Tsonga can keep this from happening by charging the net and stroking winners, he is often lured into playing the kind of match his opponent dictates to him, and Gasquet is good at just that.
This will be a fun match as we see which style prevails.