After a tricky start to the tournament, Iga Swiatek sent out a huge statement of intent by blasting her way past Cristina Bucsa in 45 minutes. The world number one proved that on her day she can cruise past most of the draw and will now look to continue her march through the draw. There are still question marks over Swiatek’s second serve which will be tested as the tournament goes on but it’s expected that the Pole will raise her game as we approach the latter stages of the event.
A huge test awaits Swiatek in the last 16 though as she takes on Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. After storming past her first two rounds, Rybakina had to work hard to defeat last year’s finalist and 13th seed Danielle Collins. Rybakina has had a tricky time since winning her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon but will now look to rediscover her form on the big stage as she looks to power past the rest of the draw.
Rybakina will look to keep the points short and be aggressive with her serve and forehand will Swiatek will look to use her variety to force the errors from the Kazakh in uncomfortable positions in the court. It will be a tough test for Swiatek given the slightly faster conditions during the day but the Pole should soak up Rybakina’s power and counter-punch her way to the last eight.
Prediction: Swiatek in straight sets.
Stefanos Tsitsipas  v Jannik Sinner  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Stefanos Tsitsipas has raced through the first week with the Greek yet to drop a set at this tournament so far. After Daniil Medvedev’s exit, Tsitsipas will feel he is firm favourite to reach his first Australian Open final but will know that there is still a lot of work to do. Tsistipas has shown his consistency and talent for so long but is yet to show that he can beat the big players when it matters most at the Grand Slams. Now Tsitsipas looks to have the best tournament of his career and finally achieve his lifelong dream.
If Tsitsipas wants to think about winning the title, he will first have to get past Jannik Sinner. The Italian survived a big scare against Marton Fucsovics but displayed his mental resilience as he came back from two sets to love down to claim victory for the first time in his career. The Italian’s improved mental fortitude joins the long list of things that is impressive about his game but Sinner will need to start producing deep Grand Slam runs to back that up.
This will be Tsitsipas’ toughest test to date as Sinner will be aggressive and unlike their match last year has much more consistency about his game. However the Greek’s serve has been very impressive this year and that will be the key to victory here as Sinner has a habit of overcommitting on return. This will be an entertaining contest but Tsitsipas’ experience and overall variety in tactics should see him through to the quarter-finals.
Hubert Hurkacz’s five set victory over Denis Shapovalov was further proof as to why he is one of the more steadier players on the tour at the big events. The Pole’s effortless baseline hitting mixed with clean net skills sees him as one of the more tricky players to play against. Now Hurkacz looks to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final in Melbourne and who knows maybe even go deeper and take advantage of a depleted draw.
However Hurkacz has a tough test in his last 16 match as he takes on Sebastian Korda who is still on a high after his straight sets win over Medvedev. The talented American’s mixed of aggression and defensive patience saw him prove too strong for the Russian and now Korda has the belief and skillset to go all the way in Melbourne. Having tested Novak Djokovic the week before the 29th seed’s confidence will be stronger than ever before as he looks to turn the future into the present day.
This will be a match that’s expected to go all the way with both players playing a very similar style in terms of their athleticism and strengths. The American’s return makes him slight favourite heading into this match especially on a slower court but Hurkacz will have experience on his side as he will test Korda to the very last ball.
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