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Australian Open 2023, Day 9: Men's & Women's singles predictions ft. Sebastian Korda vs Karen Khachanov, Jessica Pegula vs Victoria Azarenka

Bhargav
Australian Open quarterfinal action commences on Tuesday.
Australian Open quarterfinal action commences on Tuesday.

Day nine of the Australian Open on Tuesday (January 24) will see four of the eight quarterfinalists in both men's and women's draws in action. All four matches will be played on Rod Laver Arena.

The first match of the day session will see reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina take on first-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Jelena Ostapenko. While Rybakina stunned top seed Iga Swiatek in straight sets in the fourth round, Ostapenko rolled back the years to take out seventh seed Coco Gauff, also in straight sets.

The Rybakina-Ostapenko clash will be followed by a showdown between 18th seed Karen Khachanov and first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Sebastian Korda.

Australian Open Order of Play - RLA - Tuesday 24 January.#AusOpen #AO2023 https://t.co/KsUsjIylfB

Night session action on Rod Laver Arena will commence with a clash between two-time winner Victoria Azarenka and third seed Jessica Pegula. It's the American's third straight last-eight appearance at Melbourne Park, while Azarenka has returned to this stage of the competition for the first time in seven years.

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Jiri Lehecka, who went 0-4 in his first four Major appearances last year. Tsitsipas is a three-time semifinalist at Melbourne Park, including in the last two years.

On that note, here's a look at the predictions of the two men's singles and women's singles matches at the Australian Open on Day 9:

#1 Elena Rybakina (#22) vs Jelena Ostapenko (#17)

Rybakina has hit form at Melbourne Park.
Rybakina has hit form at Melbourne Park.

Elena Rybakina had somewhat gone off the boil since her Wimbledon triumph last year. However, the Kazakh has found form once again at Melbourne Park, dropping one set en route her first last-eight appearance.

Meanwhile, Ostapenko has seemingly rediscovered her mojo that saw her win the 2017 Roland Garros title, also dropping just one set en route her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since Wimbledon 2018.

Ostapenka has won both her previous meetings with Rybakina, including their last meeting in the Eastbourne 2021 semifinals. That could see her prevail again, albeit in a contest that could go the distance.

Predicted Winner: Jelena Ostapenko


#2 Karen Khachanov (#18) vs Sebastian Korda (#29)

Khachanov is looking to reach his first Australian Open semifinal.
Khachanov is looking to reach his first Australian Open semifinal.

Karen Khachanov will take on first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Sebastian Korda for a place in the last four.

The big-serving Russian is into the second week for the first time at Melbourne Park. After dropping sets in his first three rounds, Khachanov was at his ebullient best in the fourth round, seeing off Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets, including two bagel sets.

Meanwhile, Korda's golden run continues at the Australian Open. After stunning two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev in the third round, he lasted the distance against Hubert Hurkacz.

Korda leads Khachanov 2-1 in their head-to-head, but the American lost their only Grand Slam meeting in the Wimbledon first round two years ago. However, riding his momentum, Korda could emerge victorious once again.

Predicted Winner: Sebastian Korda


#3 Jessica Pegula (#3) vs Victoria Azarenka

Jessica Pegula is looking to reach her first senufinal at the Australian Open.
Jessica Pegula is looking to reach her first senufinal at the Australian Open.

Jessica Pegula is the highest seed alive in the women's side of the draw. Playing her third straight quarterfinal at the Australian Open, the third seed will take on returning quarterfinalist Azarenka.

Pegula has had an imperious run at Melbourne Park, strolling through the first four rounds without dropping a set. Azarenka, meanwhile, has rolled back the years at the venue where she won two titles. The 24th seed has survived consecutive three-set matches to return to the last eight for the first time since 2016.

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Pegula and Azarenka have split their four previous meetings, with the American winning the pair's lone Grand Slam meeting in the Australian Open first round two years ago. Considering the form she's in, another victory looks to be on the cards for Pegula.

Prediction: Jessica Pegula to win


#4 Stefanos Tsitsipas (#3) vs Jiri Lehecka

Tsitsipas has been on a roll at Melbourne Park.
Tsitsipas has been on a roll at Melbourne Park.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been on a roll at the Australian Open. The third seed rolled through the first three rounds without dropping a set before going the distance against Jannik Sinner in the fourth.

Meanwhile, Lehecka is having a dream run at the first Grand Slam of the year. Barring a straight-sets win over Borna Coric in the first round, the World No. 71 has dropped sets in his three other rounds. However, he could meet his match in Tsitsipas.

The 2021 Roland Garros finalist is looking to return from Melbourne Park as the World No. 1, which he will do so if he goes all the way.

Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay
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