The Australian Open has been hot thus far. No, not just the temperatures but the action as well.
The tournament typically known as the "Happy Open" has been anything but for several competitors. With heat that's extreme even by Australian standards, the tournament was finally put on hold on Day 4, according to BBC Sport.
Along with the weather stealing the headlines, a top-five upset has also already taken place. With Juan Martin del Potro getting bounced in the second round by Roberto Bautista Agut, the action on the court has been as hot as, well, the courts themselves.
With the first upset out of the way and the temperatures set to cool down over the weekend—according to The Weather Channel's forecast—it's time to look at a few of the favorites who could falter and where it will eventually happen in the women's and men's side of the bracket.
Can Djokovic four-peat?
Despite being the No. 2 player in the world, the dominance that Novak Djokovic has put together over the last two seasons at the Australian Open puts him firmly atop the favorites' list.
Perhaps one of the most exciting tennis players in the world thanks to his fiery personality on the court, the Djoker has claimed the last three straight Aussie Open titles. Even after all of his success, the Serbian is flexing his muscle once again through the first two rounds without losing a set.
But with other players showing equal showing supremacy on the court, the depth of the men's bracket will make it tough for Djokovic to repeat again. Chris McKendry of ESPN tweets about Andy Murray's match in the second round and how he exerted his power to win the final 23 points:
End of Murray match... never seen anything like it. Millot up 5-1 40-30. Lost the next 23 straight points... He never won another pt!— Chris McKendry (@CMCKENDRY_ESPN) January 16, 2014
What Djokovic faces in his side of the bracket is the possibility of facing players such as No. 8 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals and either No. 7 Tomas Berdych or No. 3 David Ferrer in the semifinals.
Much like his counterpart on the women's side, Victoria Azarenka, Djokovic could very well end up facing off with a tough competitor in the final with either Murray, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. And with his toughest test possibly coming in the final, the Djoker could still be alive all the way until the end.
Serena Williams may be the No. 1 player in the world in the women's bracket, but Azarenka is still atop the Australian Open throne for the time being. The female equivalent to Djokovic, Azarenka has won the last two Australian Opens and dominated the tournament.
Despite the bright lights being put on Azarenka in this year's Aussie Open, the Belarusan said she thrives under the pressure, according to Reuters:
I like pressure because I think it motivates you to be better. I know that I won here twice before but this is completely a new year for me and I always take it one at a time. I know it's a long road where I only just played the second round. I just really want to focus on one game at a time.
The fortunate part for Azarenka is that the women's bracket doesn't feature the same depth that the men's bracket does. After Maria Sharapova struggled in her third-round match and had to go three sets against Karin Knapp, she doesn't appear to be playing her best in the Aussie Open.
Will Azarenka three-peat?
Then there's Li Na who, despite making the finals in 2011 and 2013 at the Australian Open, has never won the event after losing to Azarenka last season. That leaves Williams as the resounding favorite to trump Azarenka in the finals.
Azarenka could stumble against Sloane Stephens (No. 13) in the fourth round or Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 5) in the quarterfinals. But if Azarenka can get through Sharapova, she could make it back to the final again.
And with the talk being centered on Williams coming into the tournament, Azarenka could ultimately see her winning streak at the Aussie Open end against any of the aforementioned opponents.