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Other SportsAustralian Open 2024, Day Seven: Preview, how to watch, order of play...

Australian Open 2024, Day Seven: Preview, how to watch, order of play and predictions

The Headliners

Iga Swiatek returns to centre stage at the Australian Open tomorrow having survived an almighty scare in her second-round clash with Danielle Collins.

The world number one admitted after her three-set win against the experienced American she was “already at the airport” when she fell 4-1 down in the decider.

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Her comeback means she advanced to a clash with rising Czech star Linda Noskova. The 19-year-old enjoys playing Down Under having reached the final in Adelaide last year and the semis in Brisbane a fortnight ago.

Swiatek is confident, however, that having seen off Collins in a highly charged encounter, she is ready for anything.

She said: “I’m ready for every match to be intense. Obviously sometimes it’s more intense with players that have different styles, but she’s also playing really good and really fast. I’ll be ready.

“I don’t mind actually that it was intense [against Collins] because I remember also when I started the tournament with some easy matches, then I felt I was a little bit rusty when the tough moments came.”

Noskova advanced after dodging the Melbourne rain to see off American McCartney Kessler in three sets.

The subplots

Another player who rarely lacks intensity is Carlos Alcaraz and the second seed will look to keep his challenge alive when he takes on 18-year-old Chinese Jerry Shang, ranked 140 in the world.

Shang saw off India’s Sumit Nagal to reach this stage, and he heads into the Alcaraz showdown with nothing to lose.

“Very easy, right?” he said when asked about facing the second seed. “He’s one of the best players on tour. I’ve watched him the whole year. Basically in 2023 he’s had amazing runs, amazing matches in the grand slams.

“For me, again, low expectations. I expect nothing but a really nice crowd.”

Alcaraz has made relatively quiet progress to the last 32 and knows he will have to play well to see off Shang.

“I know he has the level, he’s already there. What I’ve seen so far from him, he’s an unbelievable player, he’s ready to make a good result,” said the Wimbledon and US Open champion.

“I think it’s going to be a fun match to play. For the fans I think it’s going to be great, as well.”

Third seed Daniil Medvedev and sixth seed Alexander Zverev are also in action on Saturday having survived five-set thrillers in round two.

Medvedev hit back from two-sets down to beat Emil Ruusuvuori while Zverev required a match tie-break to edge out Lukas Klein.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Russian as he takes on Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. Zverev meets 19-year-old American Alex Michelsen.

Order of Play – selected matches

Day session (from 00:00 UK time)

Jerry Shang v Carlos Alcaraz

Jelena Ostapenko v Victoria Azarenka

Cameron Norrie v Casper Ruud

Night session (from 08:00 UK time)

Iga Swiatek v Linda Noskova

Felix Auger-Aliassime v Daniil Medvedev

Alexander Zverev v Alex Michelsen 

When and how to watch

The Australian Open is available to watch live on Discovery+ and Eurosport in the United Kingdom, with the day session getting under way from 00:00 UK time on Wednesday morning. The night session is scheduled to take place from 8am.

Predictions

Swiatek should have too much for Noskova, as will Alcaraz against Shang and Zverev against Michelsen.

The other stand-out matches could be close, though. Auger-Aliassime will fancy his chances against a potentially jaded Medvedev, whose previous match didn’t finish until well into the early hours of Friday morning. Azarenka, a two-time winner in Melbourne, will hope Ostapenko has one of her erratic days while Ruud should have just enough to see off remaining Brit Norrie. 

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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