Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are through to the quarterfinals.
Djokovic will face Ken Nishikori. For non-tennis fans, Nishikori is that polite Japanese bloke who plays quite well, but knows his place and bows out when he has to face the top men.
Nishikori and Djokovic have played 17 times, with the Djoker holding a 15 – 2 advantage. We may be a bit overly harsh, as Nishikori beat Djokovic in the semifinal of the US Open in 2014, which would have to be considered a major accomplishment. He also beat Djokovic in 2011 in Switzerland. Since that 2014 win, Djokovic has reeled off 13 consecutive wins over Nishikori and nine of his careers wins over Nishikori have been straight set victories.
Nishikori will perhaps take a page out of the book of young S. Tsitsipas, who claims to have beaten Roger Federer by watching Federer match videos on YouTube.
Nadal next faces American Frances Tiafoe. The two men have played twice and Tiafoe has yet to win. The bookmakers we consulted have Nadal to win for $1.05, with Tiafoe quoted at $10, so punters can make of that what they will, as it is hardly worth the effort to back Nadal and the $10 quote for Tiafoe seems more like an opportunity to throw away a stake.
On the women’s side Serena Williams surrendered a set to no. 1 AO seed and current world no. 1 Simona Halep, but rankings are inadequate in the case of Williams, who took time off to have a baby and now shows every indication that she is back and will again reach the top, where she will stay until she decides otherwise.
Ash Barty will next face Petra Kvitova. Barty has never won in three previous meetings, but she recently took a set in a final in Sydney and another in a final in England. Kvitova won the first meeting back in 2012 in straight sets, but that was on French clay.