2016 Australian Open: What to watch on Day 8

The former champion, Stan Wawrinka has been eliminated from the tournament.

The fourth round action continues at the 2016 Australian Open on Monday as the players in the bottom half of the draw seek quarter-final berths at Melbourne Park. The men’s draw especially has some mouth-watering matches in store that will be full of entertaining shots.Which are these and the other must-watch matches of Day 8? Here’s our pick:

#1 (4) Stan Wawrinka vs (13) Milos Raonic

The former champion, Stan Wawrinka has been eliminated from the tournament.

After negotiating the Sydney titlist Viktor Troicki in the third round, the Brisbane champion Milos Raonic has another in-form opponent up next who started the 2016 season with a title. Chennai winner Stan Wawrinka is a rival the big-serving Canadian wouldn’t like playing. His record against the two-time Major champion is a dismal 0-4 and he has been able to take a set off the Swiss just once.

Their last showdown in Rotterdam was a two-tiebreak affair and the way the Canadian has been serving so far, tie-breaks are a certainty in this clash too. Wawrinka’s record at this tournament for the past two years has been excellent and the 2014 champion would surely like to make his deadly backhands do most of the talking on Monday.

Update: This really turned out to be the match of the day and Milos Raonic put up a breathtaking display of attacking tennis to oust the former champion Stan Wawrinka, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3

#2 (2) Andy Murray vs (16) Bernard Tomic

The second seeded Andy Murray is expected to dominate in his match against the 16th seeded Bernard Tomic.

The 16th seeded Bernard Tomic is 0-3 against the four-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray. All of them were straight-set losses and quite one-sided too. The only one time that the Aussie managed to compete well with the Scot in a set was when he took five games off Murray at Great Britain’s Davis Cup semi-final match versus Australia last year.

Clearly, this is a tough match-up for Tomic, even though he has become pretty consistent of late. He might make one or at the most two sets competitive, but Murray’s experience and all-round game will have the final word.

#3 (8) David Ferrer vs (10) John Isner

Ferrer, the 2013 French Open runner-up, has a 6-1 record against John Isner.

The eighth-seeded David Ferrer, with his dogged resistance, is the worst kind of opponent John Isner would like to face. The Spaniard’s endurance will be a big test for Isner especially because Ferrer is adept at exposing the 6’10’’ American’s dodgy movement on the court.

It is thus no surprise that the 2013 French Open runner-up leads their head-to-head record 6-1 and the only time Isner managed to beat Ferrer was way back in 2011 on the superfast hardcourts of the Paris Masters. Ferrer has been playing well at Melbourne and won’t be in the mood to allow a repeat of that.

#4 (21) Ekaterina Makarova vs Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta had won her previous encounter with Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-4.

The only time that Johanna Konta and the lefty Ekaterina Makarova met was in 2015 on the grass courts of Eastbourne and the British player stormed to a 6-2, 6-4 victory. That was the beginning of her meteoric rise and she now sits perched at 47th in the world after jumping more than 100 spots in the span of 12 months. Confidence-wise, it is the Sydney-born Konta who has to be slightly favoured. Her Australian Open run has been impressive and she opened her campaign by knocking out Venus Williams.

Having said that, Makarova too has returned successfully from an injury-plagued end of 2015. This Slam happens to be her most consistent Major with a semi-final finish last year, besides two other quarter-finals.

This is a great opportunity for both. Konta has some added incentive though. If she wins, she will become the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1983 to reach the last-eight at this Slam. Will she grab her moment?

#5 Indian interest

Mirza and Hingis have advanced to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 2016.

Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis will look to win their 33rd match in a row when they take on the Russian-Italian duo of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Roberta Vinci in the third round of women’s doubles. In mixed doubles, third seeds Rohan Bopanna and Yung-Jan Chan will aim for a berth in the quarter-finals against the Polish-Czech pair of Lukasz Kubot and Andrea Hlavackova.

In juniors, 10th seeded Pranjala Yadlapalli and unseeded Karman Kaur Thandi continue their quest for the girls’ singles title. While Yadlapalli faces Mira Antonitsch, Thandi squares off against Panna Udvardy for a place in the third round. The Indians have also teamed up in girls’ doubles and they are up against the local duo of Petra Hule and Selina Turulja in the opener.

Update: Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis continue their ruthless domination and they are now into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. In mixed doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Yung-Jan Chan too won their match, 4-6, 6-3, [10-6].

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Edited by Staff Editor
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