No.5 seed Elina Svitolina and former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza have played on 10 previous occasions, stretching back to 2012, when they first met in consecutive Grand Slam qualifying competitions at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Svitolina leads 6-4 overall, 5-1 on hard courts and 2-1 over the past year: since Muguruza won that pair of 2012 qualifying meetings, the Spaniard's only wins have come 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-0 in the fourth round of Indian Wells 2017 and 6-3, 6-3 in the third round of Roland Garros last year (a win that means Muguruza has won all of the pair's matches in majors). Their most recent meeting was in the second round of Wuhan last September, won by Svitolina 7-5, 6-2.
No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova owns a dominant 6-0 head-to-head over No.30 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and has conceded only one set to the Russian in that series. That was in their most recent meeting: Pavlyuchenkova was unable to win more than four games from Pliskova over their first 11 sets, but stretched the Czech to 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the second round of Eastbourne 2018. The pair have played in one previous Grand Slam (Pliskova winning their 2016 US Open third round 6-2, 6-4) and once before in Australia (Pliskova winning their 2016 Sydney second round 6-3, 6-0).
No.9 seed Kiki Bertens lost to Zarina Diyas 6-4, 6-4 in their only previous meeting, in the first round of Tokyo 2015 - a match that took place when Diyas was the World No.35 and No.2 seed, and Bertens was outside the Top 100. Both players are bidding to reach the second week of a hardcourt major for the first time, and Diyas the fourth round at any major since Wimbledon 2015. A win for Bertens would make her the first Dutchwoman in the Australian Open fourth round since Brenda Schultz-McCarthy in 1996.
No.17 seed Angelique Kerber will play Camila Giorgi for the fifth time in total today - and fourth time in Australia. Kerber is unbeaten against the Italian, having dropped just a single set to Giorgi in their second meeting, winning 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of Brisbane 2016. Since then, they have met in consecutive years in Sydney, with the German triumphing 6-2, 6-3 in the 2018 semifinals and 7-6(3), 6-2 in the 2019 second round.
Playing the third round of a Grand Slam in her fourth tournament back from a 17-month layoff, Catherine Bellis has the opportunity to go for her ninth career Top 20 win against No.16 seed Elise Mertens. Bellis was the victor in their only previous meeting, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of Dubai 2018 - three tournaments before the American was sidelined for a wrist injury that would necessitate four surgeries.
No.6 seed Belinda Bencic has not played No.28 seed Anett Kontaveit since their junior days, when Bencic won their only meeting 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the 2013 Wimbledon girls' semifinals en route to the title. The pair were due to play in the third round of last year's US Open, but Kontaveit was forced to withdraw due to an infection that would sideline the Estonian for the rest of the season. Both players are bidding for their second last-16 showing in Melbourne, Bencic having reached that stage in 2016 and Kontaveit in 2018.
Kazakhstan had the most third-round representatives of any country besides the USA this week, and today Zarina Diyas and Yulia Putintseva will both seek to become the first Kazakh women ever to reach the second week of the Australian Open. Only once before have two Kazakhs reached the fourth round of a major - Diyas and Yaroslava Shvedova at Wimbledon 2014. Putintseva is also bidding for her ninth career Top 10 win in her first meeting with No.4 seed Simona Halep.
A first-time Australian Open quarterfinalist is guaranteed following Carla Suárez Navarro's second-round loss: either No.6 seed Belinda Bencic, No.19 seed Donna Vekic, No.28 seed Anett Kontaveit or teenage phenom Iga Swiatek will make their debut at that stage here. Kontaveit and Swiatek would also be going for their first quarterfinal at any major.
In a mark of the WTA Tour's global diversity, the last 16 will feature players from Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas - the first time this has happened since Roland Garros 2010.
Congrats @CaroWozniacki on an amazing career. It was an honour to share the court with you today. Your fighting spirit has always inspired me and I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life. You'll be missed but I'm sure we will see you around.— Ons Jabeur (@Ons_Jabeur) January 24, 2020
@australianopen 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ceKeJf11iP
What an amazing career, every little girl would dream about!!! Congratulations to every person on this picture for incredible effort and dedication!!! P.S. I will not miss our endless rallies 😁 @CaroWozniacki pic.twitter.com/ztcpyuDavh— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) January 24, 2020
Can’t wait for that Selfie 🤦🏾♀️😂 https://t.co/likluSEDyL— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) January 24, 2020
ORDER OF PLAY
Click here to view the order of play for Day 6.
How did Wang Qiang, who lost to Serena Williams in just 44 minutes four months ago, turn it around to upset the 23-time Grand Slam champion today? Ravi Ubha gains some insights in an interview with Wang's coach Thomas Drouet for tennis.com.
After losing her first seven Grand Slam third-round matches, Maria Sakkari has finally broken through to the second week of a major this week - appropriately enough, given that the Greek fans in Melbourne have made the Australian a home away from home for the No.22 seed, finds Reem Abulleil for ausopen.com.