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Day 10 women's quarterfinal previews: Your five-point guide

  • Gill Tan

A pair of tantalising women’s quarterfinals await on Tuesday at Australian Open 2024.

Marta Kostyuk looks to extend her career-best run at a major against fourth seed and last year's US Open champion Coco Gauff, while ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova looks to subdue second seed and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, who has been in devastating form across the opening four rounds.


1. How they got here

Gauff, the reigning US Open champion, is having a drama-free AO 2024 run – she’s dropped three games or fewer in seven of the eight sets she’s won. The world No.4 spent less than five hours on court through her first four rounds, and is yet to face a seed. She never faced a break point in the third and fourth round, which is all part of the American’s plan.

MORE: Day 10 schedule of play

“I've always had the goal of trying to do better at making the first couple rounds not easier, but closing them in straight sets, and not putting too much stress on the mind and the body,” she said.

Contrastingly, Kostyuk has amassed eight hours and 44 minutes on court, battling through a trio of three-set matches before posting a more straightforward 6-2 6-1 fourth-round win over qualifier Maria Timofeeva. The Ukrainian has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions already, and saved match point en route to her upset over 25th seed Elise Mertens, a battle that lasted nearly three hours.

2. What it means

It’s a maiden AO quarterfinal for both, and a victory would propel Gauff, 19, to just two wins away from capturing her second Grand Slam, a helpful addition as she chases an ambitious goal of "double-digits" majors.

MORE: AO 2024 women's singles draw

Kostyuk, the world No.37, is producing results that are overdue, at least based on her own expectations of her game. The 21-year-old has never made it this deep at a Grand Slam, and has an opportunity to break new ground.

3. What to expect

Kostyuk, who admits she’s an underdog, will leave it all on the line. “It will be exciting, I have nothing to lose really,” said the 21-year-old. “I'm in my first quarterfinal, she's a top-five player. I just want to go out there, really play aggressive and just enjoy still having this journey.”

Kostyuk is embracing her underdog status for Tuesday's quarterfinal

The innovative shotmaker and agile mover will seek to test Gauff in long rallies (her average rally length so far this tournament is 5.7 shots), while Gauff will aim to earn more free points by lifting her first serve percentage, which has hovered at 60 per cent. Despite boasting the fastest women’s singles serve, the American has struck just 10 aces in total.

4. Head-to-head

Gauff enters the match with a 1-0 advantage, having won the pair’s only prior meeting at the Adelaide International in 2022. Because the duo have been stalwarts on the WTA Tour and able to observe each other from afar for several years, there will be no surprises.

“She's young, but very experienced … she's a tough competitor, she runs, she has very fast serve, especially first, very solid backhand,” said Kostyuk, who knew Gauff won the ASB Classic final by defeating fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. “She’s in good shape.”

5. Who wins and why

The American has the advantage of more experience on tennis’ biggest stages and is far fresher than her foe. Her matches have been so quick that she’s had time to practice after matches and squeeze in extra gym sessions.

Winner: Gauff in three.


1. How they got here

Sabalenka, the second seed, has dropped just 11 games during the tournament and recorded three bagel sets. She’s spent just four hours on court and been broken just once – by second-round opponent Brenda Fruhvirtova. The 25-year-old has faced just one seed: 28th seed Lesia Tsurenko, who she beat 6-0 6-0.

Though Krejcikova is yet to meet a seed, she’s reached the last eight in arduous fashion, losing the first set in three of her first four matches. The Czech right-hander has spent eight hours and 24 minutes on court during singles, and an additional three hours and 37 minutes doing doubles duty.

2. What it means

Sabalenka, the first woman since Serena Williams to reach six or more successive major quarterfinals, is hunting for three more wins at Melbourne Park this week to defend her AO 2023 title. After losing the 2023 US Open final as the favourite, the right-hander is eager to prove that she’s not a one-hit wonder.

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Back in the final eight for the first time since AO 2022, Krejcikova – the former world No.2 – wants to reclaim what she believes is her rightful place near the top of the women’s game. The 2021 Roland Garros champion was hampered by injuries in the past two seasons. Now healthy, she’ll be eager to reach her first major semifinal outside Paris.

3. What to expect

Krejcikova, who charged the net 42 times in her fourth-round match against Mirra Andreeva, will try to end points at the net in an effort to neutralise Sabalenka’s powerful groundstrokes. The ninth seed will test her rival’s agility with drop shots, but will also not hesitate to go toe-to-toe with Sabalenka from the baseline.

Krejcikova has been able to battle back from slow starts so far at AO 2024

On serve, Sabalenka – based on recent form – has an advantage. The second seed recorded the third-fastest serve in the women’s singles draw, and has won an average of 81 per cent of first serve points during AO 2024, outpacing Krejcikova’s 67 per cent.

4. Head-to-head

Krejcikova trails Sabalenka 1-5, but will take confidence from her sole win in Dubai last year, where she secured victory after dropping the first set 6-0. But the second seed has recency bias on her side, dropping just five games to her Czech rival in each of her two recent victories.

5. Who wins and why

The second seed is unburdened by the pressure of being defending champion and should have conviction that her best tennis can dismantle Krejcikova, as it has in the past.

Winner: Sabalenka in two.