Daniil Medvedev continues his title quest and Felix Auger-Aliassime looks to carry his momentum from his second-round escape when Day 5 of an unpredictable Australian Open dawns on Friday.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who survived in five sets to oust Lorenzo Sonego on Wednesday, will face another test: 20th seed Denis Shapovalov. Stefanos Tsitsipas hasn’t dropped a set this tournament and the Greek looks to continue his success and quest to reach World No. 1 this fortnight.

ATPTour.com looks at four key matchups on Friday’s action-packed card at Melbourne Park.

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[7] Daniil Medvedev vs. [29] Sebastian Korda (USA)

Eyeing his second Grand Slam crown and first Down Under, Medvedev has made quick work of his first two opponents. But 22-year-old Sebastian Korda will look to rely on his all-court game to spoil Medvedev’s Melbourne title hopes.

Medvedev is aiming to become the fourth man in the Open Era to reach three consecutive Australian Open finals. The only men to defeat him in Melbourne the past two years are all-time greats Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Although Korda has earned three Top-10 victories and twice reached the fourth round of a major (2020 Roland Garros, 2021 Wimbledon), victory over the 2021 US Open champion would mark the biggest win of his career.

In the first week of the season, Korda pushed Djokovic to the brink at the Adelaide International 1, where the American had a championship point before the Serbian rallied to win a gruelling three-hour, nine-minute battle 6-7(8), 7-6(3) 6-4 and claim his 92nd Tour-level trophy. The Florida native has bounced back since the Adelaide final, claiming a pair of victories in Melbourne against Cristian Garin and Yosuke Watanuki.

Medvedev and Korda’s only previous meeting came at the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters, where the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion rallied from a set down to defeat the American. Their contest on Rod Laver Arena is sure to provide exciting lung-busting rallies as they close out Friday’s evening session.

[6] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) vs. [28] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG)

Felix had his back against the wall in the second round against Alex Molcan. After early exits at the past two majors (US Open, Wimbledon), it looked likely the Canadian was headed out of the tournament on Wednesday. But the 22-year-old clawed his way back from two sets to love down for the second time in his career (2022 Roland Garros v. Varillas) and now finds himself in the third round.

Cerundolo, who earned his maiden Grand Slam win this week, looks to continue his run and upset the sixth seed. The 24-year-old Argentine, who won his first Tour-level title last year in Bastad, carries a lethal forehand that will test Felix.

Last year’s quarter-finalist Auger-Aliassime is aiming to book his ticket to the last 16 at a Grand Slam for the seventh time, while Cerundolo is bidding to become the fourth man in the past decade to reach the fourth round during his Australian Open debut. Set to play on John Cain Arena, it will be Felix and Cerundolo’s first encounter.

[10] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) vs. [20] Denis Shapovalov (CAN)

After a dramatic five-set victory in the second round, Hurkacz is aiming to become the third Polish man in history to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open (Wojtek Fibak in 1978 and Lukasz Kubot in 2010). The 10th seed must first outlast last year’s quarter-finalist Shapovalov.

The 23-year-old produced strong performances in the opening two rounds, defeating Dusan Lajovic and Taro Daniel. Despite trailing Hurkacz 1-3 in their ATP Head2Head series record, the Canadian could earn redemption should he capture their first Grand Slam encounter. The winner of the Margaret Court Arena clash could meet Medevdev in the next round.

[3] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Tallon Griekspoor (NED)

Tsitsipas can rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time by lifting his maiden Grand Slam crown in Melbourne. The 24-year-old must first get past Griekspoor to keep his hopes alive. And he’s caught the Dutchman on a six-match winning streak after he collected his maiden Tour-level title in Pune, India.

Tsitsipas, who is a three-time Australian Open semi-finalist, has made a fast start at Melbourne Park this week. Yet to play a match over two hours, the Greek was dominant in his first two performances against Frenchman Quentin Halys and home favourite Rinky Hijikata.

Griekspoor is bidding to defeat a Top-5 player for the first time on his second attempt (2021 US Open, l. Djokovic). The Dutchman hopes to add an upset on Rod Laver Arena to what is already his best Grand Slam performance.

Also In Action…

Last year’s US Open semi-finalists Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov will meet for the third time. The American looks to claim his first victory over Khachanov. Jannik Sinner looks to continue his hot start against Marton Fucsovics.

Cameron Norrie encounters Jiri Lehecka, whom he defeated during the first week of this season in Auckland, where the Brit finished runner-up (l. Gasquet).

Mackenzie McDonald sets his sights on backing up his straight-sets victory over Nadal. The American faces 31st seed Yoshihito Nishioka in the third round.

In doubles action, third seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo begin their quest for a second Grand Slam team title (2022 Roland Garros). The duo kicks off Court 8 action against Diego Hidalgo and Emil Ruusuvuori.


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