The Keys v Venus and Wawrinka v Nishikori matches have been covered for the Shark Tips service
WTA. 01:30 – S Williams v Cibulkova
Last year’s finalist, Cibulkova, had an excellent week last week. She beat Cornet in the third round and then Azarenka in the 4th. So she has limited the damage to her ranking points. Reaching the semi final would naturally be a lot better but the world number one stands in her way.
Serena has lost the opening set in her last 2 matches. Neither Svitolina or Muguruza were able to finish the job despite Serena suffering with a cold. Is she over it? We won’t know until the match starts.
Cibulkova’s ground strokes have been excellent and if Serena struggles from the service line then she could be punished.
Of course if Serena is sharp from the start she can win this in straight sets but another 3 setter looks more likely. Three of their 4 matches were in 2013 Cibulkova has managed to take a set just once which was on a hard courts in Miami. For some reason Cibulkova has been able to lift her game in Melbourne for the last 2 seasons and I’d say if she is going to beat Serena for the first time then the Australian Open looks the most likely venue.
I think Cibulkova can take this close and it would be great to see her go through.
Serena starts at 1.23 and I’d be surprised if we don’t see that a fair bit higher.
ATP, 08:30 – Djokovic v Raonic
Djokovic has won all 4 of their previous meetings. Raonic has managed just 1 set in those 4 matches which was on clay last season.
Djokovic looks like he is in top form but then Raonic has improved his game over the last 18 months. He now has more of an all round style rather than just being a big server.
Djokovic hasn’t lost a set so far. Raonic’s first 3 matches were over in 3 sets but he needed 5 sets to beat Lopez in the 4th round.
Djokovic starts at 1.15 which certainly isn’t a backing price. We could lay and hope Djokovic makes a slow start and gives us a better entry. the trouble is that as it’s best of 5 he would need to be a set and a break up before we got anything worthwhile.
I will watch the opening set and hope Raonic can push it higher for us. I am not too hopeful!