Madison Keys will look to make her fifth quarterfinal in the last six Grand Slam events when she takes on World No. 6 Elina Svitolina in the fourth round of the 2019 Australian Open.
For those in the United States looking to watch, the match is scheduled to start Sunday at about 7 p.m. ET. It won’t be on TV, but you can watch the entire match live on your computer, phone or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN (no cable subscription necessary) that will have coverage of all non-televised 2019 Australian Open matches.
You can sign up for a free seven-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Keys vs Svitolina on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One or other compatible streaming device via the ESPN app.
Keys vs Svitolina Preview
Though she’s yet to capture a Grand Slam title, Keys has recently been remarkably consistent at the year’s biggest tournaments. She made it to the final at the 2017 US Open, quarterfinal at the 2018 Australian Open, semifinal at the 2018 French Open and semifinal at the 2018 US Open.
Now, despite not playing any lead-up tournaments to this year’s Australian Open, she’s once again thriving under the bright lights. In her wins over Destanee Aiava, Anastasia Potapova and World No. 12 Elise Mertens, Keys has won all six sets and only dropped 16 games. She has been especially dominant on the return, picking up average of two breaks per set.
Conversely, Svitolina has enjoyed lots of overall success but hasn’t quite broken through at the Grand Slams.
Since the start of 2017, the 24-year-old Ukranian has piled up nine titles, including four Premier 5 wins and a triumph at last year’s WTA Finals, and she’s been inside the Top 10 since May of that year. However, she has just two quarterfinal appearances in Grand Slams during that stretch–the 2017 French Open and 2018 Australian Open.
“Yes (that’s surprising),” Keys said. “I definitely think she has figured it out, obviously, in a lot of the other tournaments. It’s difficult, obviously, to play well for however many matches it takes to win a Grand Slam. But I think at the same time she’s always deep in a slam. She’s usually in the second week. I mean, it’s a difference of winning one or two matches. I definitely think that she’s always a contender at a slam.”
Svitolina looked strong in her first two matches in Melbourne, making easy work of Viktorija Golubic and Viktoria Kuzmova. She was pushed to the brink against Shuai Zhang, however, as she lost the first set and was down a double break in the third, but she managed to claw her back to a thrilling 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory that took nearly three hours.
“It was a great fight today, I think for both of us,” Svitolina said. “I left everything on court today. I just told myself I’m going to die or win so it was just a mental game. I just had to stay very strong. I was fighting to the last point and trying to stay out there as long as possible.”
Keys and Svitolina have faced off twice in their professional careers, with the American winning both. Svitolina retired down a set and a break in a 2015 match at New Haven, and then they met in fourth round at the 2017 US Open, with Keys pulling out the 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-4 win. In that match she hit twice as many unforced errors (52 to 26) but also piled up 46 winners.
“We all know she hits the ball very strong,” Svitolina said. “It’s not a big surprise for anyone. Have to be ready for those kind of balls. Yeah, we’ll see.”
The winner will face either US Open champ Naomi Osaka or World No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova in the quarterfinals.