A match that represents the past, present and possibly the future of American women's tennis is one of the highlights of Day 10 at the Australian Open.
No. 3 seed and tournament favorite Serena Williams has steamrolled her way into the quarterfinals, but 19-year-old Sloane Stephens will try to deny Williams her sixth Australian Open title.
Williams has dominated women's tennis for the better part of the last five years, and the 31-year-old future Hall of Famer is still going strong.
She was easily the best player in the world through 2012, having won Wimbledon for a fifth time and capturing her third gold medal in the Olympics. Serena is starting 2013 the same way she ended 2012.
Not only has she won every set she's played in the Australian Open, but she's also only lost a total of eight games en route to the quarterfinals. If Stephens is going to take the biggest step in her career development, she'll have to defeat the game's best player.
Here's how you can watch the Williams-Stephens quarterfinal match, and others, from Day 10 of the Australian Open.
TV Schedule for Jan. 22, Beginning at 7 p.m. EST
7 p.m. EST—Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)/Robert Farah (COL) vs. Simone Bolelli (ITA)/Fabio Fognini (ITA)—Show Court 2 ESPN 3
7 p.m. EST—No. 1 Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Daniele Bracciali (ITA)/Lukas Dlouhy (CZE) ESPN 3
Mixed Doubles—Quarterfinals—Kveta Peschke (CZE)/Marcin Matkowski (POL) vs. Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) ESPN 3
Not Before: 3:30 p.m.—Women's Doubles—Semifinals—No. 1 Sara Errani (ITA)/Roberta Vinci (ITA) vs. No. 4 Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)/Elena Vesnina (RUS)—Margaret Court Arena ESPN 3
9 p.m. EST—Women's Quarterfinals—No. 3 Serena Williams (USA) vs. No. 29 Sloane Stephens (USA)—ESPN2
9 p.m. EST—Extended Coverage (Men's & Women's Quarterfinals) ESPN 2
Predictions For Day's Biggest Matches
Sloane Not Quite Ready To Take the Torch From Serena
I truly believe Stephens will become one of the elite players in women's tennis, but her time hasn't arrived just yet.
Serena is motivated, focused and hitting accurate first serves. When she does that, she's as close to unbeatable as a woman has ever been in the sport.
She completed 87 percent of her first serves in her rout of Maria Kirilenko in the fourth round, and she has to be filled with confidence heading into this match with Stephens.
When the two women met in the Brisbane International on Jan. 3, Serena easily handled Stephens 6-4, 6-3.
I don't expect this match to render a different result.
Azarenka Will Drop a Set, But Hold off Kuznetsova
The top seed won't cruise to a semifinal meeting with Williams, but she'll get there. Kuznetsova pulled off an upset over the highly overrated Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round, and she'll play well against Azarenka.
Kuznetsova has beaten Azarenka four of the seven times they have met.
The last time they played each was in May 2012, and Azarenka won in straight sets (7-6, 6-4). The Belarusian is vastly improved from where she was when she and Kuznetsova began their career series in 2007.
Though she's my pick to advance, Kuznetsova will push her and take a set before succumbing.
Murray Will Smash Chardy
Even though Murray won a gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics, and hasn't dropped a set at the Australian Open this year, it still feels like he's the least respected of the top three men in the field.
Murray will continue to prove that he does deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Djoker and Fed. Chardy is an unseeded Frenchman who will prove to be in over his head.
Anything less than a straight-sets win for Murray would surprise me.
Remaining Bracket For Men's and Women's Singles Draw
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 4 David Ferrer
Jeremy Chardy/No. 3 Andy Murray vs. No. 7 Jo-Wilfried-Tsonga/No. 3 Roger Federer
Victoria Azarenka/Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. No. 3 Serena Williams/No. 29 Sloane Stephens
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