Former champs, an all-Aussie affair and more on Australian Open Day 6
Here are the matches to watch on Saturday on Day 6 of the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne. Play begins on all courts at 7 p.m. ET. Click here for the full order of play, and see the full TV schedule here.
Former champs and an all-Aussie affair at night
Melbourne Park’s main stage will see two former Australian Open champions take the court during the day session on Saturday, followed by a head-to-head match-up of two Aussies at night.
No. 3-seed Garbine Muguruza will start the day on Rod Laver against Barbora Styrcova. The pair has played twice in their careers, both last season, and Muguruza defeated the Czech in straight sets both times. The woman who prevails in that match will go on to face the winner of the match between of two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and 18-year-old Naomi Osaka. When asked about her third round opponent, Azarenka said she didn't know much about Osaka.
“If you think about it, it's my 12th year being here in Australian Open. Almost half of my life," Azarenka said. "I see a lot of young players coming up who I haven't seen before. They are a lot younger. But, you know, just a cycle of life, I guess."
2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will close out the day session on Rod Laver against Czech Lukas Rosol, who upset 25th-seeded American Jack Sock 7–6(6), 7–6(5), 6–3 in the second round. No. 4-seed Wawrinka is coming off a solid win over Radek Stepanek on Thursday, hitting 43 winners and sealing the victory in just over two hours on Hisense Arena.
In the night session, No. 15-seed Madison Keys will face off against No. 20-seed Ana Ivanovic. The pair has played only once before—on clay in Madrid in 2014, where Ivanovic edged the American 6–1, 7–6 (4).
“She's very dangerous; big game,” Ivanovic said of Keys after beating Anastasija Sevastova 6–3, 6–3 on Thursday. “We played once on clay when she was just coming up and we had tough second-set tiebreak. She played well last year here; a big serve; a big, powerful forehand actually on both wings.
“It's going to be the first shot, and I'm going to have to be composed also in my service games if I do face her. It's not going to be easy matchup, I think, but it's all about, you know, trying to find your way.”
Keys fought through a slow start against Zarina Diyas in the first round and came back to win in three sets against Yaroslava Shvedova. She made it to the semifinals in Melbourne last year, while Ivanovic lost in the opening round.
“It will be interesting because we do both play similar and the aggressive style,” Keys said. “I think whoever kind of gets to strike first is going to be the one who comes out on top.”
No. 16-seed Bernard Tomic will take on compatriot John Millman in the final match of the night on Rod Laver.
No. 2-seed Murray headlines Margaret Court lineup
Andy Murray will continue his quest for an Australian Open title on Saturday against Portugal’s Joao Sousa. Murray dominates their head-to-head 6–0 but Sousa took a set off Murray at the French Open last year.
“[Sousa] plays predominantly from the back of the court. Very solid from the baseline. Doesn't obviously serve so big, but makes a lot of returns,” Murray said of his opponent on Saturday. “He's a very good mover. Good athlete….So, you know, if I play well, I got a good chance obviously. But he's the sort of player that if your level's not quite there, he'll make it very tough for you, as he did when I played him at the French Open. I was in a bit of trouble against him there.”
Earlier in the day, No. 21-seed Ekaterina Makarova will take on 9th-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova, followed by a matchup between No. 13-seed Milos Raonic and No. 21-seed Viktor Troicki. Both men are coming off titles in the Australian Open warm-up tournaments—Raonic defeated Federer in the Brisbane final while Troicki beat Dimitrov to win in Sydney—and though the Canadian leads their head-to-head, Troicki won their most recent match last year in Beijing.
Feliciano Lopez vs. John Isner (second match, Hisense Arena): 18th-seeded Lopez is coming off a 7–6(2), 6–7(4), 7–6(3), 6–7(8), 6–4 win over World No. 75 Guido Pella in four hours and 31 minutes and will face American John Isner on Saturday, who has only once made it past the third round in Melbourne (2010). Lopez and Isner are even at 3–3 in their head-to-head. When they met in the third round of the Australian Open in 2012, Lopez advanced in five sets.
Gael Monfils vs. Stephane Robert (third match, Hisense Arena): It will be an all-French battle for a spot in the fourth round on Saturday on Hisense, as No. 23-seed Monfils looks to take advantage of his open section of the draw.
More matches to watch: Laura Siegemund vs. Annika Beck (first match, Show Court 2); David Ferrer vs. Steve Johnson (third match, Show Court 2); Johanna Konta vs. Denisa Allertova (first match, Hisense Arena); Varvara Lepchenko vs. Shuai Zhang (second night match, Margaret Court); Angelique Kerber vs. Madison Brengle (third match, Margaret Court)