The Australian Open is in full swing and and as the first major of the year, it serves as a chance for some of the game’s best players to get back into the swing of things and ramp their game back up to their top level.
This year’s tournament, though it has already seen some upsets of top players, some of the biggest names in the sport have been cruising along as expected. On the men’s side, each of the top 4 seeds have made it through to the third round with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic already on to the fourth. On the women’s side, the 1, 4 and 5 seeds are through to the fourth round, with #3 seed Garbine Murguruza still left to play.
In their most recent matches, Federer, the men’s #3 seed, and Maria Sharapova, the women’s #5 seed, each reached significant career milestones.
Starting with the winningest player of all time, Federer earned his 300th Grand Slam match victory by beating Grigor Dmitrov in 4 sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Federer is at this point simply expanding his own record as he sits 67 wins ahead of Jimmy Connors. Federer, at 34, is also the oldest man to reach the round of 16 since Andre Agassi in 2005. Federer will face the 15 seed, David Goffin in the next round.
Sharapova is a 5 time Grand Slam winner and won in a championship in Melbourne in 2008. Though she faltered in the second set, she did go on to win the deciding third against young American Lauren Davis by a score of 6-1, 6-7, 6-0. For Sharapova it was her 600th career victory, a milestone that she joked was a reminder that she was getting old. Sharapova will face #18 Belinda Bencic in the fourth round and might face another match against Serena Williams in the quarterfinals if both women win their next matches.
As the Open heads into its second week, the match-ups start to get much more interesting as many of the unseeded qualifiers will have fallen, setting up ranked matches such as the classic Sharapova-Williams bout.