Angelique Kerber vs Annika Beck
(Head-2-head: first meeting)
The German affair will see Angelique Kerber and Annika Beck meeting for the first time in their career. The Bremen native has had a good start in this season with the final reached in Brisbane, although she struggled in her first round match in Melbourne against Misaki Doi.
She has a unique opportunity to reach for the first time in her career the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, which remains the only tournament of the Grand Slam in which she hasn’t reached the last 8. Beck, on the other hand, has already achieved her best singles result in a Grand Slam but will try her best to upset the 7th seed.
Still, Kerber should be able to close it quickly.
Prediction: Kerber in two sets Victoria Azarenka vs Barbora Strycova
(Head-2-head: Azarenka leads 4-0)
The Czech has played a great match in the third round to oust Garbine Muguruza and secured a spot in the last 16.
However, the Azarenka we have seen playing in this first part of the season seems almost impossible to be beaten. They will be facing for third year in a row in Melbourne and in both their previous meetings in the Aussie land, Azarenka won in straight sets.
It looks like this time it will be no different and the Belarusian should sail easily to the quarter-finals.
Prediction: Azarenka in two sets Johanna Konta vs Ekaterina Makarova
(Head-2-head: Konta leads 1-0)
Probably the most interesting match of the day.
Konta is on a roll and she has played some flawless tennis since the second part of 2015. She faces a recovered Makarova, who has always had a good feeling with the Aussie Slam, given one semifinal and two quarterfinals appearances.
Makarova lost the only head-2-head in Eastbourne last year but her game suits pretty well to this surface and she will definitely stand more chances. A tough match, with few details that will actually make the difference.
Prediction: Makarova in three sets Madison Keys vs Shuai Zhang
A great opportunity for both players to reach the quarter-finals stage in Melbourne.
Zhang not only defeated Halep in the first round but went on playing some great tennis to reach the fourth round with great confidence. She meets Madison Keys, whose undeniable potential is finally turning into reality. The American survived a scary third round against Ana Ivanovic (where, however, the sudden illness of Nigel Sears played a key-role in the Serbian’s mind) and she is still there, ready to defend the semifinal of last year.
We are pretty sure it will be an entertaining match but Keys’ bigger experience may be a massive factor in this match.
Prediction: Keys in three sets
Also Read: AUSTRALIAN OPEN DAY 7 - Women's fourth round preview