Thursday January 22nd, 2015

MELBOURNE -- Here are the matches to watch on Day 5 of the Australian Open. Play begins on all courts at 7pm ET on ESPN2. Click here for the order of play, and see the full TV schedule here.

Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal look to get back on track after near upsets

Both Sharapova and Nadal were a handful of points away from being sent home on Wednesday. Sharapova bravely saved two match points to come back from from two breaks down in the third set to win. She rued her negative mentality throughout the match, where she struggled with her rhythm. Her opponent on Friday night is No. 31 Zarina Diyas. The 21-year-old Kazakhstani player does not have the same level of power as Sharapova's last opponent, Alexandra Panova, so look for Sharapova to rebound here.

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The big question for Nadal is his recovery. He played four hours of grueling tennis while struggling with stomach cramps and fatigue on Wednesday night and reportedly had a light practice session indoors on Thursday. The tournament has given him as much time as possible to recover, scheduling him and No. 106 Dudi Sela for the last night match on Rod Laver Arena. 

 

Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer are each a win away from a fourth round clash

Don't look now, but this massive clash is just one round away. Kyrgios takes on No. 75 Malek Jaziri (7 p.m. local time, 3 a.m. ET, Margaret Court Arena), who became the first man from Tunisia to advance to the third round of a Slam.

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​Kyrgios has done a fantastic job of putting aside all the distractions of his back injury as well as the hype and chatter surrounding every move he makes here in Melbourne. 

Federer should have no problems with Andreas Seppi (third match, Rod Laver Arena). He's 10-0 against the Italian and has lost just one set to him. 

 

Eugenie Bouchard may encounter first challenging task in Melbourne

Bouchard has rolled through the first two rounds, losing just nine games. But she faces a big step up in quality in the third round when she faces No. 36 Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round, has not lost a set and beat Bouchard in their only meeting last year on hard court in Acapulco. 

More matches to watch

Karolina Pliskova [22] vs. Ekaterina Makarova [10] (first match, Margaret Court Arena): This should be a tough match between the surging Czech and the Russian lefty, who always plays well in Melbourne. Makarova beat Pliskova in the Pattaya City final last year 6-3, 7-6 (7).

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Tomas Berdych [7] vs. Viktor Troicki (second match, Margaret Court Arena): Troicki is on a 10-match win streak after winning the title in Sydney and making the third round in Melbourne. But how does his game stack up to the game's elite? Berdych has won their last five matches. 

Simona Halep [3] vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (third match, Margaret Court Arena): Halep looked sharp in her second round win over Jarmila Gajdosova, while Mattek-Sands beat Kristina Mladenovic in two tiebreakers. The two are 1-1 in their head-to-head but have not played since 2010.

Andy Murray [6] vs. Joao Sousa (third match, Hisense Arena): Will this be another cruise control match for Murray? He's looked very good through two rounds. 

Bernard Tomic vs. Sam Groth (5 p.m. local time, 1 a.m. ET, Hisense Arena): Hisense Arena will be hopping when these two Aussies face off. Can Tomic solve Groth's big serving game?

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