As the Australian Open enters its crucial phase, only eight players remain in contention for the first Grand Slam title of the year. Before we embark on the journey of the quarterfinalists, let's look back on the standout moments that have defined the tournament's opening four rounds.

Top Performers

[2] Aryna Sabalenka: The World No.2 and defending champion was formidable and flawless through the first four rounds. She's dropped only 11 games across those matches.

[4] Coco Gauff: The reigning US Open champion is the only player with an undefeated record in 2024, now 9-0 after her fourth-round win. Like Sabalenka, she hasn't dropped a set in Melbourne, losing 18 games. 

[12] Zheng Qinwen: Into her second straight Slam quarterfinal, Zheng is been equal parts dominant and battle-tested. She needed three sets to get past Ashlyn Krueger and Wang Yafan, but cruised against Katie Boulter and Oceane Dodin. And with that, the 2023 Most Improved Player is the only seed remaining in the top half of the draw.

[19] Elina Svitolina: The leader of the record-breaking Ukrainian effort in Melbourne saw her tournament end in heartbreak, retiring with back spasms in the fourth round. But before that match, Svitolina was an absolute buzzsaw. Through her three wins, she lost a total of 13 games. 


Linda Noskova: Is it a surprise that Noskova is into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open? Not necessarily. The Czech has been a hot prospect for the last two seasons and she's played well in Australia the past two years. But that performance to beat Swiatek was a statement. She's arrived.

Dayana Yastremska: The 23-year-old Ukrainian has always been a dangerous talent in the same mold as Jelena Ostapenko, but stringing wins together has been the hurdle. Including her qualifying campaign, she's won seven consecutive matches in Melbourne. In addition to her big baseline game, she's moving better than ever and handling the tight moments like a veteran. Her straight-sets win over two-time champion Victoria Azarenka was impressive. 

Anna Kalinskaya: In a quarter that included Rybakina, Daria Kasatkina and Sloane Stephens, it was No.75 Kalinskaya who survived to make it into her first major quarterfinal. How unexpected is this? She came into Melbourne without a main-draw win, going 0-4 in the first round. And in 13 main-draw appearances at the Slams, she had won just four matches. They all came in the first round of the US Open. 

Oceane Dodin: At 27 years old, Dodin had never made it past the second round of a Slam. In fact, in her 19 previous Grand Slam appearances, she lost in the first round 13 times. But after overcoming injuries and illness over the last few seasons, Dodin beat Zhu Lin, Martina Trevisan and Clara Burel without losing a set to make the Round of 16.

Biggest Upsets

Linda Noskova def. [1] Iga Swiatek, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, third round

When the draw came out, all eyes were on Swiatek's half of the draw. There were obstacles nearly at every turn for Swiatek, with the potential of needing to defeat Sofia Kenin, Danielle Collins, Jelena Ostapenko or Victoria Azarenka and Elena Rybakina just to make the final. 

As it turned out, it was unseeded 19-year-old Noskova who had Swiatek's number. Playing fearless first-strike tennis, Noskova never let Swiatek out of her sights and coolly pulled off the upset of the tournament. 

Anna Blinkova def. [3] Elena Rybakina, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6[20], second round

If the ATP Tour has "70-68," the Hologic WTA Tour now has "22-20" thanks to Blinkova and Rybakina. The World No.3 came as a true shortlist favorite for the title after her dominant start to the season in Brisbane. 

The match tiebreak will go down in history as the longest Grand Slam tiebreak ever played. Rybakina saved nine match points, and Blinkova saved six in a thrilling tiebreak that lasted longer than most sets. And ultimately, it was Blinkova's courage that got her over the line. 

Clara Burel def. [5] Jessica Pegula, 6-4, 6-2, second round

Ranked No.51, Burel had never beaten a Top 20 player and had progressed past the second round of a Slam just three times in her career. Meanwhile, Pegula was looking to make her fourth consecutive Australian Open quarterfinal. 

Dayana Yastremska def. [7] Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1, 6-2, first round

Ranked No.93, Yastremska scraped her way into the main draw via a dramatic qualifying campaign that included a trio of three-set matches that went 6-4 her way in the final sets. Then she overwhelmed the Wimbledon champion to pave her path to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. In total, Yastremska knocked out three seeds, notching wins against Emma Navarro and Victoria Azarenka.

Biggest Comebacks

Wang Yafan def. [22] Sorana Cirstea, 0-6, 7-5, 6-2, first round

No.94 Wang Yafan dropped the first nine games of her Australian Open before storming back to knock off Cirstea. Wang nearly pulled off another Houdini act two rounds later, coming from 4-2 down in the final set to force Zheng Qinwen into a 10-point tiebreak. Zheng narrowly edged her out, 10-8.

[1] Iga Swiatek def. Danielle Collins, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, second round

The World No.1 said it herself: Down 4-1 in the final set, her mind was already at the airport. But point by point, Swiatek stormed back to win five straight games to steal a win from the jaws of defeat. 

Mirra Andreeva def. Diane Parry, 1-6, 6-1, 7-6[5], third round

Oh, the audacity of youth. Mirra Andreeva, 16, was down 5-1 in the third set to Frenchwoman Diane Parry. She appeared to be tearing apart at the seams emotionally, but as Andy Murray observed on Twitter, Andreeva's competitive fire fueled her to a resounding comeback win. She saved match point to book her second Round of 16 appearance at a major.

Marta Kostyuk def. [25] Elise Mertens, 6-7, 6-1, 7-6(6), second round

Kostyuk's route to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal was paved by her gripping win over Mertens in the second round. The Ukrainian came from a set down and saved a match point deep in the third set to get the win after nearly three hours. 

Notable numbers

16: Number of match points generated by Anna Blinkova and Elena Rybakina in their record-breaking second-round match. 

4: Number of break points Aryna Sabalenka has faced through four matches. She's been broken only once.

34: Aces served by Zheng Qinwen. That's nearly double the number of aces served by the No.2 on the list, Barbora Krejcikova, who has hit 19.

66: Percent of return games Coco Gauff has won (21 of 32). That's the best break-rate of the final eight. 

4: First-time Grand Slam quarterfinalists in Linda Noskova, Marta Kostyuk, Anna Kalinskaya and Dayana Yastremska. 

1: Qualifier remaining in the draw: Dayana Yastremska

Bits and Bobbles

Female coaches under the spotlight: With Sandra Zaniewska (Marta Kostyuk) and Patricia Tarabini (Anna Kalinskaya), two of the eight quarterfinalists are coached by women. If their charges can finish their remarkable runs with the title, they'll be the first female coach of a Grand Slam champion since Conchita Martinez's work with Garbiñe Muguruza during 2017 Wimbledon. 

Zheng Qinwen's good luck charm: Ten years after Li Na captured her Australian Open title in 2014, Zheng Qinwen is into the quarterfinals for the first time. By ranking, it's hard not to like the 21-year-old's chances to become China's second Grand Slam finalist. In one of the feel-good moments of the tournament, Li surprised Zheng at the tournament and offered some sage advice that Zheng said she can't stop thinking about: Don't think too much.

Noskova's idol worship: While reporters were quick to assume the 19-year-old Czech grew up worshipping home-grown champions, Noskova doubled down on her adoration for Serena Williams. Asked if her win over Swiatek supplanted her dream come true of playing Williams in doubles at the 2022 US Open, Noskova said no. 

"I think that the match with Iga is probably still second," she said. "So yeah, I don't think that anything will probably ever top the doubles."

Too much of a good thing: Don't expect Swiatek to be dropping her playlist ever again. The World No.1 told reporters she was listening to the Rolling Stones as her hype music, but didn't want to reveal the specific song. When she told the press she liked listening to "Welcome to the Jungle," the song was played so much for her that she doesn't want to hear it again.

Best Quotes

"I know she's 16 years old, but she's very tough. I might be her idol, but she wants to go there and kick my a--, for sure." -- Ons Jabeur, ahead of playing Mirra Andreeva in the second round. 

"The competitive in me is really frustrated that I'm not winning these matches, of course. So I wouldn't say this comeback is how I thought because I'm delusional enough to think I could have won the tournament. I think my delusion is what allows me to win the tournaments." -- Naomi Osaka, after her first-round loss to Caroline Garcia

"I just checked the Instagram. I was, like, 'What the hell happened?' I was doing mine for like three years. I had 5,000 followers. Now I opened it. Like, I gained 8,000 in one match. That's crazy." -- Qualifier Maria Timofeeva after defeating Caroline Wozniacki to make the third round

"Well, normally you guys just talk s--- about me and say how flat I am and unhappy I look on the court. This is the opposite of that. So whatever emotion you want to get from that. Yeah, just happy to be out there fighting for every point. Whatever comes out, comes out." -- Sloane Stephens on her emotional reaction on match point after defeating Daria Kasatkina in the second round.

"I used to be a perfectionist. I used to never be happy with how I play. For example, if I win the point not in the way that I want, not with a beautiful shot, I was not happy with that. [Now] any point that I win is a good point. Any shot that I put in the court is a good shot. That's what I tell myself. I've been doing a lot of mental work to not panic, to stay calm, to breathe, to not be frustrated after mistakes. I always tell myself that everybody does mistakes, it's normal. As soon as the intention is good, as soon as my intention is to put the ball in the court, that's a good shot. I just have to keep doing it." -- Anna Blinkova after her second-round win over Elena Rybakina

"Honestly, I will try to print it out somehow. I don't know, I will put it in a frame. I will bring it everywhere with me. I will maybe put it on the wall so I can see it every day." -- Mirra Andreeva on Andy Murray tweeting about her after her comeback win in the third round.