We’re up to the quarterfinal round of this year’s Australian Open, and we will be treated to two elite men’s singles matches on Tuesday. As always, our writers here at LastWordOnTennis will share their thoughts on both matches. Predicting these matches are Damian Kust, Jordan Reynolds, Jack Edward, Jason Fernandes, and Yesh Ginsburg. Who do you think will advance to the semifinals?

Australian Open Men’s Quarterfinal Predictions

Andrey Rublev vs Jannik Sinner

Damian:
Sinner is yet to drop a set and it’s just hard to imagine him getting stopped by anyone not named Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz right now. He should have a safe passage to the semifinals here as well. In many ways, he’s an improved version of Rublev. More dynamic in his ball-striking, no backhand weakness, serve with more potential going forward, now even the added variety. It’s just very hard to see a path to victory for the Russian in the best-of-five format now, especially as he’s never even defeated Sinner in a completed match.
Prediction: Sinner in 4

Jordan:
I like Sinner a lot, but I find it hard to not want Rublev to end his Grand Slam quarterfinal curse at the 10th attempt. But I do not think he will. Sinner is in the form of his career. He plays the powerful baseline game of Rublev, but also has other superior variety like a better slice, second serve and net game. The Italian may drop a set, but he is unlikely to be denied victory.
Prediction: Sinner in 4

Jack:
There are two reasons I’m predicting a fairly one-sided victory for Sinner. Firstly, he won his two meetings against Rublev in 2023 without dropping a set—the new and improved Sinner has a lot of ways of hurting the Russian. Secondly, though Rublev is good enough to make the semifinals of a Grand Slam on paper, his 0-9 record in quarterfinals is starting to create a mental block.
Prediction: Sinner in 3

Jason:
Based on form in Melbourne alone, Jannik Sinner has been in another class to everyone in the men’s draw, absolutely bulldozing his way to the final eight. The issue, however, is we just don’t know how good his form really is due to most of the opponents he’s played, so in reality, this is his first real test. The Russian has been average for most of this event so far but in the last set and a half against Australian Alex de Minaur he turned up the heat to produce what many would say is the best few sets of his career so far. The issue is, can he bring out that level of tennis to match the Italian over five sets and given the head-to-head, it would suggest not. I do think whilst many think Sinner will win this comfortably, it could be closer than some expect, but it’s hard to see a Rublev win unless he serves and hits his huge forehand lights out for a few hours.
Prediction: Sinner in 4

Yesh:
Jannik Sinner is in absurd form right now. Of course, we’ve seen this from him before–only for him to find a way to lose crunch time matches. Will this time be different? I’m not sure, but it certainly feels like it.
Prediction: Sinner in 3

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Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz

Damian:
This is one of the matchups that Fritz dreads the most and the key will be to tackle it with the same mindset that he challenged Tsitsipas with in Round 4. He needs to swing freely here and just see if an opportunity pops up. The issue is that Djokovic is looking much better now after struggling with a cold in the first two rounds. He’s always been good at unpacking one-dimensional linear power coming at him and it’s tough to see what the American can do to break out of these patterns here.
Prediction: Djokovic in 4

Jordan:
Fritz’s win against Stefanos Tsitsipas was one of his best performances at a Grand Slam. Yet, I still think there is no hope for him here. Firstly, because of the head-to-head record where Djokovic leads 8-0. Secondly, this will almost certainly be played at night on Rod Laver Arena, where the conditions are very slow. That plays right into Djokovic’s hands.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3

Jack:
Djokovic and Fritz have met eight times–in those eight meetings, Fritz has taken two sets. Whilst Fritz can be dangerous, the world #1 has a firm stranglehold over this rivalry that will leave him brimming with confidence. Couple this with the fact Fritz has struggled to defeat top players at Slams and there can only be one winner.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3

Jason:
It’s hard to believe Djokovic had to save four set points in his second round match to avoid going down two sets to one to Alexei Popyrin, given in his fourth round match he dropped just the three games to Mannarino in what he said was one of his best performances in recent times. If the World #1 continues in such fashion, Fritz has no chance, to put it politely. The American did really well to beat Tsitsipas in the last round, especially on a hard court that isn’t fast–where his ground game held up better than it has in a very long time with 37 groundstroke winners to just the 17 unforced errors. To have any shot against the greatest player of all time, he needs to play the same way as he did against the Greek off the ground and on serve and also hope his opponent plays like he did early on in the event, which is hard to see happening.
Prediction: Djokovic in 4

Yesh:
There are very few players in history who could trouble a locked-in Djokovic. Taylor Fritz isn’t one of them.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3

Main Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

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