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Australian Open - Day eight preview: Djokovic and Rune in among the stars in action

Day eight of the Australian Open sees the conclusion of the fourth round and nine-time Melbourne champion Novak Djokovic will be hoping to showcase his title credentials against home hope Alex De Minaur.

Djokovic is 1/1 to claim his 10th Australian Open crown and victory over De Minaur would see him tee-up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with either Holger Rune or Andrey Rublev.

The other two fourth-round encounters in the men's draw, which take place in the early hours of Monday morning, feature three Americans with Ben Shelton taking on compatriot J. J. Wolf and Tommy Paul squaring-up against seasoned Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

The women's action is headlined by a showdown between fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka and Swiss star Belinda Bencic, who warmed-up for the Australian Open with a title in Adelaide.

Experienced Czech Karolina Pliskova and French world number four Caroline Garcia are two more heavy hitters involved later.

Rune's rapid rise to continue

WhatAndrey Rublev v Holger Rune
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
When03:30, Monday 23rd January
How to watchEurosport, discovery+ and bet365's Sports Live Streaming
OddsAndrey Rublev 1/1, Holger Rune 4/5

A tight fourth-round tie can go the way of rising star Rune, who at 19 years of age is capable of taking tennis by storm. 

Rune, who is already at a career-high ranking of 10, has come a long way in a short period of time and the signs are that he is managing well with the pressure. 

The Danish youngster claimed a notable scalp when winning last season's Paris Masters, with him landing his maiden ATP 1000 event by beating Djokovic in the final. 

That highlighted his potential and, having already landed three titles on the ATP Tour, Rune must now challenge for Grand Slam silverware. 

And the talented teenager could make his second career Grand Slam quarter-final by beating Rublev, who he defeated 6-4 7-5 on his way to that landmark success in Paris. 

Rune has won all three of his assignments in Melbourne in straight sets, meaning he has now suffered just two defeats in his last 20 matches. 

Rublev is undoubtedly his toughest opponent to date but the Russian did need four sets to see off Emil Ruusuvuori in round two. Rublev is the world number six and an immense talent in his own right, but he has had more chances to show his quality than Rune, who at 4/5 to win could be worth siding with.

Sabalenka should show her class

WhatAryna Sabalenka v Belinda Bencic
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
When00:30, Monday 23rd January
How to watchEurosport, discovery+ and bet365's Sports Live Streaming
OddsAryna Sabalenka 8/13, Belinda Bencic 13/10

Sabalenka and Bencic both came into this season's Australian Open on the back of title successes and whoever comes out on top in this fourth-round clash could have a big say in the outcome of the tournament. 

Sabalenka is 10/3 for title honours while Bencic is a 9/1 chance and it promises to be a tight clash between two of the world's top 10. 

But preference is for Belarusian world number five Sabalenka, who has now won all seven of her matches in 2023 in straight sets. 

The 24-year-old has bullied her way past Tereza Martincova, Shelby Rogers and Elise Mertens in the opening three rounds and could be too powerful for Bencic. 

The Swiss star is also in scintillating form but she has been more tested and Sabalenka is simply irresistible when operating at the top of her game. 

At 8/13, there is still some value siding with the brilliant Belarussian.

Garcia may have to do things the hard way

WhatMagda Linette v Caroline Garcia
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
When01:30, Monday 23rd January
How to watchEurosport, discovery+ and bet365's Sports Live Streaming
OddsMagda Linette 11/4, Caroline Garcia 2/7

Garcia has long been talked-up as a future Grand Slam champion but at 29 the French star is still waiting to make her mark in the Majors. 

That said, Garcia did make the US Open semi-final to suggest there is still plenty of time to reach her goal and many think this year's Australian Open could be when she delivers. 

Garcia will need to perform better than she did in the third round, though, when she lost the opening set 6-1 to Laura Siegemund before fighting back to triumph. 

And although the Frenchwoman should have the answers for Linette, the Pole is a consistent performer who shouldn't be taken lightly. 

Linette has impressed at Melbourne Park, particularly in the last two rounds as she defeated world number 19 Anett Kontaveit and world number 18 Ekaterina Alexandrova. 

That suggests she can give Garcia some cause for concern, with her capable of capitalising on another slow start from her higher-ranked French opponent. Linette is 2/1 to win the opening set and Garcia is 12/5 to win 2-1, both of which make plenty of appeal.

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