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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday January 22, 2024

Coco Gauff

Winning streaks are on the line as quarterfinal action kicks off in Melbourne on Day 10. Here's what we'll be keeping tabs on.

Photo Source: Robert Prange/Getty

It’s quarterfinal time on Tuesday in Melbourne, with the bottom half of the women’s draw and the top half of the men’s draw set to decide their semifinalists.

Tennis Express

Here’s what we’ll be keeping tabs on…


Streaks on the Line

When you get to the quarterfinals of a major, you usually run into a few players who are running hot. That is most certainly the case this year in Melbourne. First and foremost we have World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who carries a 32-match Aussie Open winning streak into his quarterfinal with Taylor Fritz. Djokovic is also riding an 11-match winning streak at the majors, as he closes in on his record 25th major title and 11th at the Australian Open.

Third-seeded Coco Gauff, who faces Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk on Tuesday, is riding an 11-match winning streak at the Slams as well. The American has been ruthless thus far in Melbourne, dropping 16 games through her four matches.

Speaking of hot, we also have defending champion Aryna Sabalenka, who will face Barbora Krejcikova in the first match of the night session on Tuesday. The Belarusian is riding an 11-match winning streak in Melbourne, and has dropped just 11 games to reach the quarterfinals.

Can Andrey Rublev Get Over the Grand Slam Quarterfinal Hurdle?

Given how well Jannik Sinner has played at this year’s Australian Open, we have to believe that Andrey Rublev is into a bit of trouble on Tuesday night. When it comes to Grand Slam quarterfinals, in fact, trouble is Rublev’s middle name. The Russian has lost all nine of his previous major quarterfinals, and he has only won a set in two of those nine matches.

Granted, Rublev has faced a veritable who’s who in men’s tennis over the years in his quarterfinals at majors (Medvedev three times, Djokovic twice, Nadal once to name a few), but to come away with only two sets is, well, disappointing.

So the message should be clear to the fifth-seeded Russian: He needs to go above and beyond to get the win. He has to summon inspired tennis, or else he’ll have to answer to reporters about how it feels to be 0-10 in major quarterfinals.

Rublev owns two career wins over Sinner in six tries. He has a chance to do it, but the odds, given the context and the opponent, can only be considered as slim.

Djokovic and Gauff in the Day Session

This week in Melbourne, and over the years, Djokovic has made it clear that he prefers to play in the night session, 7 PM sharp. Will it matter that he’ll play the day session for the second consecutive time in Rod Laver Arena? It surely didn’t matter in the third-round as he waltzed past befuddled Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-0, 6-0, 6-3. And it likely won’t matter against Fritz, a player that Djokovic has defeated - deleted? - all eight times he has faced him.

What will be important for Djokovic, is that he gets through Tuesday's tilt in the least complicated fashion. The Grand Slam maven has already been on court over 11 hours in four matches, and he’ll need all his energy for the battles to come. Jannik Sinner likely will be waiting in the semifinals, and the Italian has gone through two rounds in about eight and a half hours of court time. Every little bit matters, and when you’re 36, like Djokovic is, time – and stressful moments – on court tend to add up.

We're not going to say that he needs a straight sets win, but it surely wouldn't hurt.

Gauff will kick off the day session on Rod Laver, the American seeking her first Australian Open semifinal in this her last Grand Slam as a teenager. She’ll be the heavy favorite against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, a talented baseliner who lost to Gauff in three sets in their only previous meeting.


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