The 2021 Australian Open quarterfinals get underway tonight with some appetizing matchups as players seek entry into the event’s final four:
(18) Grigor Dimitrov vs. (Q) Aslan Karatsev
Grigor Dimitrov pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament with his win over third-seed and last year’s finalist Dominic Thiem in the previous round, and will take on a much different opponent in the quarterfinals. Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev is the lowest ranked player in three decades to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals, but has shown he can play with the biggest players after defeating eighth-seed Diego Schwartzman and 19th seed Felix-Auger Aliassime in his last two matches.
(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (6) Alexander Zverev
The lingering question heading into the quarterfinal showdown between Djokovic and Zverev is the severity of Djokovic’s leg injury which he suffered a few nights ago against American Taylor Fritz. He responded with a four-set win over Milos Raonic and seemed to look healthy, but has spent nearly three hours more time on court than Zverev through their first few matches. Zverev has two all-time wins over the eight-time Aussie champion, and has a great opportunity to make it three victories this evening.
(3) Naomi Osaka vs. Su-Wei Hsieh
A contrast of styles will be at the heart of this matchup as the power-hitting Osaka meets the crafty Hsieh. Osaka is 4-1 all-time against Hsieh, but the 35-year-old is making her Grand Slam quarterfinal debut and has looked impressive thus far Down Under, and creates an intriguing matchup to open play up this evening.
(2) Simona Halep vs. (10) Serena Williams
This will be the fifth matchup between Halep and Williams at Grand Slam events, with the most recent coming at Wimbledon in 2019, a straight-sets win for Halep. Williams is 9-3 all-time against Halep, and both players have looked sharp in Australia over the last week. Halep is coming off a comeback win over French Open champion Iga Swiatek, while Williams came back to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in her previous round.