Tennis News
Saturday, 20 January 2024 at 15:00
After 1073 days, Novak Djokovic will play a day session at the 2024 Australian Open with the schedule now confirmed for the first round of Last 1`6 ties in Melbourne with only one match pencilled in during the Night Session on Rod Laver Arena.
Our preview looks ahead to Day Eight which also features Alex de Minaur - Andrey Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka - Amanda Anisimova, Jannik Sinner and Mirra Andreeva as well as Coco Gauff. The order of play is now confirmed and the second week well and truly begins.

Djokovic's night session streak gone as De Minaur favoured

In a shock scheduling, Novak Djokovic will not play in the Night Session for the first time since 2021 and will play during the day when he tussles with French veteran, Adrian Mannarino in the second match of the session. The 24-time Grand Slam champion struggled with Dino Prizmic and Alexei Popyrin, but unlocked something against Tomas Martin Etcheverry. But many see the battle despite Mannarino's high ranking as likely being a foregone conclusion with the Frenchman going through multiple five set ties so far this tournament.
Instead Alex de Minaur v Andrey Rublev has been prepared which given the form of the Aussie and the chance to reach the Quarter-Finals, it isn't no shock and it will likely be a lot more entertaining and given only one match being in the Night Session, they are predicting it will be a long drawn out affair.

Gauff also on RLA as Sabalenka headlines Margaret Court Arena

Also on Rod Laver Arena, Coco Gauff who starts off proceedings against Magdalena Frech. With Iga Swiatek now out of the tournament, the American will be one of those sensing a big opportunity. The same can be said for Aryna Sabalenka in particular in defending her crown, she will be the main leading light on Margaret Court Arena when she opens up against Amanda Anisimova.
Anisimova herself will sense a chance. Coming into this tournament with modest expectations, she has smashed those and finds herself facing Aryna Sabalenka a familiar foe who she has a superb record against. She is currently 4-1 up on the current champion so knows how to unlock her game and given the ease in which the Belarusian has gone about her business so far, it could be her toughest test yet.

Sinner, Fritz-Tsitsipas and Andreeva pick of the rest

Two top ties flank the Margaret Court and John Cain Arena schedule as Jannik Sinner who has been expert in this tournament so far will resume his quest for a first Grand Slam and unlike the leading lights has gone about it with an under the radar feel compared to Djokovic and Alcaraz. He faces a spoiler though in Karen Khachanov who comes alive at Grand Slams and could yet prove to be the spanner in the works for Sinner.
As two players who have struggled with injury in recent times seem to be hitting form at the right time on John Cain Arena as Taylor Fritz will face Stefanos Tsitsipas. The latter in particular has shown why he reached the final last year despite a crippling back injury in the months leading up to this tournament and it will be one to watch.
As will 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva who faces Barbora Krejcikova aiming to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final against a former Roland Garros champion who believes she should be talked about more, well taking out one of the leading stories of the tournament so far would go some way in doing so. Finally Maria Timofeeva who took out Caroline Wozniacki will face Marta Kostyuk in the bottom half which features Gauff and Sabalenka.


* Day session: From 12 p.m. (0100 GMT)
* Night session: From 7 p.m. (0800 GMT)
Magdalena Frech (Poland) v 4-Coco Gauff (U.S.)
1-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) v 20-Adrian Mannarino (France)
Night session
10-Alex de Minaur (Australia) v 5-Andrey Rublev (Russia)
Amanda Anisimova (U.S.) v 2-Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus)
4-Jannik Sinner (Italy) v 15-Karen Khachanov (Russia)
12-Taylor Fritz (U.S.) v 7-Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece)
Mirra Andreeva (Russia) v 9-Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic)
Marta Kostyuk (Ukraine) v Maria Timofeeva (Russia)

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