2021 Australian Open: What to Watch on Friday Night
how to see: 6 to 9 pm Eastern on Tennis Channel and 9 to 7 pm on ESPN2 in the United States; Streaming on ESPN + and ESPN3 app.
Rafael Nadal defeated 23-year-old American Michael Mamoh in his second round match, drawing only seven games in three sets. Although there was considerable flash in the courtroom, an unhappy fan had the most memorable moment, hacking Nadal and making lewd gestures at him before he was removed by security. During a post-match news conference, Nadal gave the stunt a laugh and was surprised not by the fan’s displeasure but rather.
There will be no hecklers in tonight’s matches as fans will not be allowed to the tournament for the next several days A coronavirus lockdown in the Australian state of Victoria, But they are sure to provide plenty of entertainment as the third round of the Australian Open concludes.
Here are some matches to keep an eye on.
Due to the number of matches cycling through the courts, the timing for individual matchups is the best estimate and when the first game is completed, fluctuations are certain depending on it. All times are eastern.
Rod Laver Arena | Friday at 7 pm
Karolina Muchova vs Karolina Pliskova
Sixth seed Carolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic is one of the best players on the women’s tour without a Grand Slam title. Her only appearance in the final was at the 2016 US Open, and although she had reached two semi-finals, she could not advance past more agile.
Pliskova and Karolina Munova, her compatriots, have only played each other in the Grand Slam, with Pliskova winning the first round of the 2019 Australian Open and Motova in a three-set match in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon that year. Won.
Muchova can adapt her game and employ a variety of shots to push her opponents around the court who rely on cunning more than power. Pliskova will need to grab control of the points as quickly as possible with her powerful baseline shots if she is going to bother.
Margaret Court Arena | Friday night at 11
André Rublev vs Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano Lopez defeated Lorenzo Songo, the 31st seed, in a five-set match in the second round. Lopez, a 39-year-old Spaniard, is playing in his 75th consecutive Grand Slam tournament, continuing a streak that began at the 2002 French Open. After being eliminated in the first round at the last four Australian Open, Lopez is enjoying the tournament deeply.
Seventh seed Andre Rublev has been raising his opposition for the past few weeks. The 23-year-old Rublev dropped just one set in singles, as he helped Russia win the ATP Cup, and he won his first two rounds at the Australian Open in straight sets. His explosive forehand shots are run on the fast courts of Melbourne Park, enabling him to move opponents around the court even when under pressure. While Lopez certainly has more experience than Rublev, it will be difficult for him to keep up with the pure pace of Rublev’s game.
Rod Laver Arena | Midnight saturd
Belinda Bencic vs Ellis Mertens
In her return to a Grand Slam after leaving the United States and the French Open in 2020, Belinda Bencic is not particularly satisfied with her game going into the third round. The 11th seed from Switzerland needed three sets to defeat each of their invincible rivals in the first two rounds. She is an incredibly intelligent player, but sometimes struggles to keep pace with some of her teammates, who can dominate her. The 23-year-old Bencic will need to improve to reach the round of 16.
Belgium’s 18th seed Elys Mertens is on a good run: she won the Gippsland Trophy, beating fifth-placed Alina Svitolina last week. The 25-year-old Mertens has a particularly consistent game, which is reflected in his Grand Slam results. She was a semifinalist at the 2018 Australian Open, and did not lose before the third round at the Grand Slam. Given Bencic’s middling play in the match, Mertens should be a clear favorite.
John Caine Arena | Saturday at 3 am
Matteo Beretini vs Karen Khachanov
Karen Khachanov, 19th seed, and Matteo BeretiniThe styles of the ninth seed are so similar that one might think that they were coached together from an early age. Both are 24 years of age, and are made in the same vein, with models of strength sticking out among a generation of players who aim to be light and flexible.
Barretini a Breakout year in 2019, When he reached the US Open semi-finals but struggled last year, did not make the final of any of the ATP events. Now, she is looking to return to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal after running the US Open. Khachanov has not made a major quarter-final since the 2019 French Open.
When these two Brewers meet, especially on a fast court, expect plenty of points to end with a stunning winner or an unexpected error when a player chooses the wrong moment to strike.
Here are some more matches to keep an eye on.
Elena Switolina vs Yuliya Putinseva – 7 PM
Mackenzie McDonald vs Lloyd Harris – 9pm
Ashleigh Barty vs Ekaterina Alexandrova – 3pm
Rafael Nadal vs Cameron Norry – 5 AM