2021 Australian Open: What to Watch on Sunday Night
The fourth seed, Daniel Medvedev, lost in the third and fourth sets in spectacular fashion while struggling in his third-round matchup against Filip Krajinovic. Medvedev found himself cycling between the volcano, shouting in Russian, his coach in French, and Krajinovic’s well-placed English. In the fifth set, Medvedev returned and won six straight games.
To upset McDonald’s, he would need to exploit Medvedev’s natural instability. Medvedev should be able to keep McDonald’s at bay if he can calm down and pull the American around the edges of the court using his various shots.
Rod Laver Arena | Sunday at 11 o’clock
Rafael Nadal vs Fabio Fognini
No.2 seed Rafael Nadal has struggled in the first week of the Australian Open with a minor injury. However, this did not stop him from advancing his opposition without dropping a set. Nadal’s powerful toppin shots have consistently pushed his opponents around the court, depriving him of the time needed to implement his ideas at the rally.
16th seed Fabio Fognini had a roller coaster week. He struggled in a five-set contest against a fellow Italian, Salvatore Caruso, but then edged out 21st seed Alex de Minaur in just three sets. Fogini, who won the doubles title at the Australian Open in 2015, has reached the 16 rounds in Melbourne four times, and Nadal will have a tough time overcoming him.
Rod Laver Arena | 3 am on monday
Ashley Barty vs Shelby Rogers
Ashleigh Barty, the world’s No.1, has gone through the fourth round without dropping a set. In their third round win over Ekaterina Alexandrova, she played smart tennis, not for big shots and allowed Alexandrova to overplay and extract 30 unexpected errors.
Shelby Rogers, an unregistered player, has reached two major quarter-finals, but has never won the WTA tournament. Her inconsistency on the seizures can be partially blamed on the broken cartilage in her knee, which required surgery in 2018.
Barty and Rogers faced off in the quarter-finals of the Yarra Valley Classic last week, with Barty winning in the third-set tiebreaker. For Rogers to reverse his luck, he would need to play aggressively without over-hitting, a hard needle to the thread.