We're three days down in the 2014 Australian Open and so far, there have been few surprises. We've seen multiple players exit the tournament due to either injuries of heat, and some big names have been eliminated in Venus Williams for the women and Lleyton Hewitt for the men.
But aside from that, the big names have all advanced, as most figured they would. Thursday's matches, which will be on TV on Wednesday for those of you in the United States, are set to begin with the second half of the second round, which means men's top seed Rafael Nadal and women's No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka will be in action.
Nadal has a tougher road to the semifinals and finals than No. 2 seed, tournament favorite and defending champion Novak Djokovic, but he had an easy victory in the first round. The matchup with Bernard Tomic was cut short due to Tomic retiring after the first set due to injury. Nadal will take on Thanasi Kokkinakis in his matchup on the day.
One underrated matchup is Gael Monfils, the No. 25 seed, against Jack Sock, an unseeded American. Monfils was on crutches just a few days ago due to an injury, yet he played in a thrilling match in round one. It will be interesting at this point to see if the match took anything out of him.
Azarenka, like Nadal, seems to have a tougher route to the finals than No. 1 Serena Williams, but she's expected to win her round two match against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Other top women in action on Thursday include No. 3 Maria Sharapova, No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 8 Jelena Jankovic.
Other top men in action include No. 4 Andy Murray (vs. Vincent Millot), No. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro (vs. Roberto Bautista Agut), No. 6 Roger Federer (vs. Blaz Kavcic) and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (vs. Thomaz Bellucci).
Television coverage of Thursday's matches will begin on Wednesday evening. ESPN2 will pick up the action at 9 p.m. ET and run through 7 a.m. The Tennis Channel has you covered for the earlier matches, though. Their coverage will begin at 7 p.m. and run through 9 p.m. There's also live streaming from the Australian Open website here, if you qualify.
The full schedule can be found here.