Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will both play their quarterfinal matches at the Australian Open on Tuesday after facing tough tests in the fourth round over the weekend.
Both Williams and Osaka needed three sets to get by their seeded opponents on Sunday.
Williams Faces Halep in Quarterfinals
Williams got past No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to continue her run toward a 24th Grand Slam title. After Williams took a 4-1 lead in the third set, Sabalenka made things tense by winning the next three games before the American put the match away.
“I am happy to get through that one,” Williams said after the match. “She was teeing off on every shot.”
Meanwhile, Osaka faced an even tougher test from No. 14 seed Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard took the first set before Osaka mounted a comeback to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. Osaka was down 5-3 and faced two match points on her own serve in the final set, but rallied to win four straight games and take the match.
“I was a bit intimidated because I knew that she was playing really well coming into this match,” Osaka said Muguruza. “I know that today I probably hit a lot of unforced errors, but I feel like it was what I needed to do, because I couldn’t really give her any short balls because she would finish it.”
Williams will now take on No. 2 seed Simona Halep, who advanced to the quarterfinals by beating defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek in three sets. Williams has won nine of 12 career meetings against Halep, though it was Halep who convincingly won their last match 6-2, 6-2 at Wimbledon in 2019. FanDuel Sportsbook rates Williams as the -120 favorite over Halep (+102) in their Australian Open quarterfinal.
Injury Hampers Djokovic’s Australian Open Run
Osaka gets a different challenge in the form of 35-year-old Su-Wei Hsieh. The unconventional Hsieh has always presented a tricky challenge for high-ranked players, and that’s been especially true at this year’s Australian Open, where she has already beaten No. 8 seed Bianca Andreescu and No. 19 seed Marketa Vondrousova on her way to her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal. Osaka comes in as a strong -1200 favorite over Hsieh (+720).
|Australian Open Quarterfinals Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Hsieh Su-wei: +650||No. 3 Naomi Osaka: -950|
|No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov: -270||Aslan Karatsev: +215|
|No. 10 Serena Williams: -120||No. 2 Simona Halep: +102|
|No. 1 Novak Djokovic: -180||No. 6 Alexander Zverev: +152|
Two men’s quarterfinals are also on tap at the Australian Open for Tuesday. Novak Djokovic is back in action after beating Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to notch his 300th career Grand Slam match victory. An abdominal injury continued to hamper Djokovic, but he fought through it and will now hope to recover further before facing No. 6 seed Alexander Zverev.
“If it’s any other tournament than a Grand Slam then I would retire, withdraw from the event, that’s for sure,” Djokovic said after beating Raonic. “When it warmed up, it was fine. During the match, it was kind of on and off.”
Even with the injury, Djokovic comes into the quarterfinal as a -180 favorite over Zverev (+152). Also on Tuesday, No. 18 seed Grigor Dimitrov (-270) will attempt to finally stop Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev (+215), who has never before qualified for a Grand Slam main draw in his career.