Australian Open quarters: Women titans Bouchard and Sharapova clash
Coral preview four crunch clashes from the men and women singles draws of the quarter-finals at the Australian Open.
Title chances Andy Murray (4/1) and Rafael Nadal (11/2) face respective encounters against home hope Nick Kyrgios and Tomas Berdych. In the women’s section, meanwhile, Eugenie Bouchard’s battle with Maria Sharapova highlights the day and Simona Halep can continue her faultless run against Ekaterina Makarova.
Tomas Berdych v Rafael Nadal
This duo have faced each other before in this round of the Australian Open back in 2012, with Spaniard Nadal winning 3-1 after a close first two sets. He is the odds-on favourite at 4/7 for victory again and a more enticing 11/4 chance for that same scoreline.
Nadal, who has beaten Berdych in their last 17 meetings, meanwhile, is a 4/1 shout to claim the opening set 7-6, while Coral are offering odds of 7/4 for set one to go to a tie-break.
Andy Murray v Nick Kyrgios
Murray’s only duel with Australian teenager Kyrgios to date came last year at the Toronto Masters, where the Scot demolished him 6-2 6-2. He is the heavily odds-on favourite at 1/7 again, and is evens for another straight sets win.
Double Grand Slam champion Murray, who knocked out Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round, is looking more and more a genuine contender to claim his first title here, following the exit of Roger Federer and Nadal’s concerns over fitness.
Ekaterina Makarova v Simona Halep
Young Romanian star Halep (4/1 title third favourite), who is vying for her first Grand Slam, is yet to drop a set at this competition this year, and then faces Russian Makarova, who has matched that achievement.
This duo have faced each other once before, with Halep winning in two sets, and she is odds-on at 1/3 for victory again, and 5/6 for another 2-0 scoreline.
Eugenie Bouchard v Maria Sharapova
This is arguably the clash of the quarters in both the men and women’s section on both half of the draws.
Australian Open second-favourite and 2008 winner Sharapova (10/3), though, has never lost to rising Canadian star Bouchard (11/1) from their three meetings, and the Russian is also odds-on at 1/3 to beat her again.
Bouchard is a tempting 12/5 chance to claim a victory, but Sharapova is 11/4 to win in three sets.