The temperature may be cooling but the action is only heating up at the Australian Open. On a packed Saturday night schedule, the tournament will see the premier women’s match between Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova.
Sharapova leads 4-3 over the German in this meeting of former Australian Open champions. Kerber has won the last two but Sharapova won easily in their only Australian Open meeting in 2012.
“It’s another tough match here,” Kerber said Thursday. “We both played in the past a lot of good matches. I know that I have to play my best tennis again. I think it will be a good match. She played very good the last two here.
“I’m just looking more about me, like how I will prepare, just playing my game from the first point, just of course trying to do my best.”
World No. 1 looked good despite a left ankle injury in her last round win over Eugenie Bouchard. Today, she’ll meet Amercian Lauren Davis.
And Australian favorite Ash Barty battles the hard-hitting Naomi Osaka. Two-time semifinalist Agnieszka Radwanska is also in action against Hsieh and Madison Keys is also on court.
For the men, Roger Federer will look to improve to 17-2 over Richard Gasquet. The Swiss hasn’t dropped a set in two matches so far in his title defense. He’s won 9 straight in Melbourne.
Novak Djokovic returns against lefty Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Djokovic had dominated the Spaniard winning all four. But we have yet to see the Serb be pushed in this comeback. Maybe Ramos-Vinolas will.
And Juan Martin del Potro locks up with Tomas Berdych. Del Potro has won 5 from 8 against the Czech.
“It’s going to be a difficult, difficult challenge to me,” del Potro said. “Tomas is one of the players who has the power to beat all the guys on tour. When he’s feeling good, he’s very dangerous guy. I will try to feel better for that match and then see if I am still winning.”
Elsewhere, Alexander Zverev meetings Hyeon Chung in a NextGen clash and Dominic Thiem takes on Adrian Mannarino.
SATURDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
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