The second week of the 2013 Australian Open is winding down, with both women's semifinals and one men's semifinal scheduled for Day 11 in Melbourne.
Maria Sharapova will face Li Na in the first women's semifinal of the day, the second match scheduled at Rod Laver Arena. Sharapova has been dominant down under, rolling through her first five matches with straight set victories. The No. 2 Sharapova has dropped only five games in her first five matches. While not as dominant, Li Na has had comparable success -- moving through in straight sets in each of her five matches. She was impressive in her upset, albeit mild, of Aga Radwanska in the quarters but facing Sharapova will be an altogether different test. Their match will not start before 1:30 p.m. local time, or 9:30 p.m. ET Wednesday night in the United States.
Following the Sharapova-Na match on center court will be the second women's semi, featuring American Sloane Stephens and No. 1 Victoria Azarenka. Stephens provided the biggest upset of the quarterfinals round on Day 10 in Melbourne, shocking Serena Williams in three sets to advance to her first Slam semis. The "changing of the guard" narrative was instantly fired up, but now Stephens must turn around 24 hours later against the top seed. Stephens and Azarenka will play the final match of the day session at Laver, with the start time obviously dependent on what happens in the first semifinal. It should begin around midnight in the States.
The men will then take center court for the evening session at Laver, with Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer playing the first semifinal. Djokovic's biggest test came in the fourth round, when he survived a five-set duel with Stanilas Wawrinka. Ferrer was pushed to the limit by fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the quarters, dropping the first two sets before rallying to beat a hobbled Almagro in five. Djokovic and Ferrer are scheduled to start their semifinal at 7:30 p.m. local time, or 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday in the States.
The Tennis Channel will start TV coverage at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday night, carrying a doubles semifinal that will feature the Bryan brothers. ESPN 2 will then take over at 9:30 p.m. ET and broadcast the two women's semifinals, and then come back on the air at 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday for the Djokovic-Ferrer match.
Day 11 TV schedule:
Tennis Channel -- 7 to 9:30 p.m. ET
- Men's doubles semifinals (Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan vs. Simon Bolelli / Fabio Fognini)
ESPN 2 -- 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET
- No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 6 Li Na
- No. 1 Victoria Azarenka vs. No. 29 Sloane Stephens
ESPN 2 -- 3:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. ET
- No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 4 David Ferrer