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Day 7 On Tap: Djokovic, Sharapova Take Aim For Second Week

Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova aim for the second week at the Australian Open. Tennis Now's Erik Gudris previews must watch matches on Day 7.

By Erik Gudris

Novak Djokovic Australian Open (January 19, 2013) -- Several intriguing Round of 16 men's matches highlight the end of the the first week of the Australian Open. On the women's side, the question being asked by many is can anyone stop Maria Sharapova's imperious form?

Novak Djokovic vs. Stanislas Wawrinka

Top seed Djokovic aims for a bit of history today as he attempts to reach his 15th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, which would put him third behind Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors on that exclusive list. Djokovic will meet Swiss No. 2 Wawrinka, a man he has only lost to twice in 13 previous meetings, the last time in 2006.

With all those numbers against him, it's hard to see Wawrinka, who is currently without a coach, coming up with a winning formula against the World No. 1. We expect Djokovic to glide through in straight sets as the final night match on Rod Laver Arena.

David Ferrer vs. Kei Nishikori

The Japanese No. 1 was a bit of a question mark heading into Melbourne as he dealt with an early injury, but Nishikori has displayed fine form to reach the round of 16. Nishikori 
won their last meeting at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and holds 2-1 lifetime edge over Ferrer.

But Ferrer has been rock solid, as usual, so far in reaching this round and Nishikori will have to step it up a notch. Fans at Rod Laver Arena should pack an extra lunch as this one could go on for five very long sets.

Tomas Berdych vs. Kevin Anderson

The No. 5 seed, who is now known as "Mr. H&M" for his recent high profile apparel deal will be looking to enter the second week in fine fashion as he takes on another big serving big man in South Africa's Kevin Anderson.

Berdych has flown under the radar during the first week by notching routine straight sets wins. Anderson meanwhile just scrapped past Fernando Verdasco in a five set battle in the last round. Both men play similar games, but Berdych does everything just a bit better and has also never lost to Anderson in four meetings. Anderson will have to hope he can get Berdych in a few tiebreaks and take advantage there to pull off the upset.

Maria Sharapova vs. Kristen Flipkens

Flipkens, who is into the round of sixteen at a Major for the first time ever, has never beaten Sharapova in two tries. The Belgian may have to get some last-minute advice from friend Kim Clijsters on how to stop the Russian who has shown ominous form throughout her early matches including a near-domination of Venus Williams in the previous round.

Li Na vs. Julia Goerges

Fans sitting in the front rows of Hisense Arena may want to wear a helmet as they watch Li and Goerges in this first time meeting. Both women are equally capable of hitting amazing winners and spraying balls all over the court. Whoever plays the cleaner match will be the victor here.

Ana Ivanovic vs. Agnieszka Radwanksa

Ivanovic, if she wants to get back into the top ten, will have to start winning some high profile matches at the Majors. She gets another chance today against No. 4 seed Radwanska who enters having the longest current win streak on tour this season.

(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve)


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