MELBOURNE, Australia — A quick glance at the Australian Open:
LOOKAHEAD TO SATURDAY
And soon they’ll be one: There are two Grand Slam singles champions left in the women’s draw, and they will play each other Saturday in the third round — Maria Sharapova (2008 Australian Open winner) vs. Angelique Kerber (2016 Australian Open champion).
Sharapova, who was off the tour for 15 months serving a doping ban, has a 4-3 edge in career meetings. The first time they met was also at the Australian Open, and also in the third round, when Sharapova won in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. But Kerber has won their last two meetings, including the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2014 in three close sets. “I’m around 50 in the world at this point, so I know I’m going to be facing seeded players, first, second, third round,” Sharapova said. “She (Kerber) just happens to be the next one that’s in the draw that I have to play.” Kerber referred to it as “another tough match. … we’ve both played in the past a lot of good matches, and she’s played two very good ones here.” Elsewhere in the third round, top-seeded Simona Halep plays American Lauren Davis.
Defending champion Roger Federer will continue his quest for a 20th Grand Slam singles title and his sixth at Melbourne Park when he plays Richard Gasquet. Federer has won 16 of the 18 times he’s played Gasquet. Six-time Australian champion Novak Djokovic, coming off an elbow injury layoff, plays Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Federer and Djokovic could meet in the semifinals, although Djokovic could have a tough fourth-round match — fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev.
Chance of showers, high of 26 Celsius (79 Fahrenheit).
Sunny and hot, high of 40 C (104 F).
Day: 37,142; Night: 28,009; TOTAL: 65,151.
Men’s Third Round: No. 1 Rafael Nadal beat No. 28 Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov beat No. 3 Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; No. 6 Marin Cilic beat Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (4); No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta beat No. 23 Gilles Muller 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5; No. 17 Nick Kyrgios beat No. 15 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5); No. 24 Diego Schwartzman beat Aleksandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3;
Women’s Third Round: No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki beat Kiki Bertens 6-4, 6-3; No. 4 Elina Svitolina beat Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-2; No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova beat Kateryna Bondarenko 7-5, 3-6, 6-1; No. 32 Anett Kontaveit beat No. 7 Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
STAT OF THE DAY
52: number of aces by Ivo Karlovic in his five-set loss to Andreas Seppi, his second consecutive match here with 50-plus aces.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“How much do you have to pay Svitolina to have (a) one-hour lesson? I got it for free.” — 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk putting a positive spin on being outclassed by her more-experienced Ukrainian compatriot in 59 minutes.