Australian Open Day 2: Matches to Watch

After an exciting opening day’s play, it’s time for the most anticipated first round matches on the second day. Multiple major champions including former Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup holders are in action on day two. It’s an interesting fact that the top half of the men’s draw carry a total of 35 majors between them due to the strong field of Federer, Nadal, Murray, Hewitt and Del Potro. Also in action is women’s bottom half with two times reigning champion Azarenka and Sharapova.

Here is a list of watch worthy matches of the day two

Andreas Seppi vs Lleyton Hewitt

This fight of veterans would be the first blockbuster match of the open on the men’s side. Hewitt turned the clocks to early 2000s with his form when he beat Federer last week to win the Brisbane title. Rusty goes into the match as favorite to win with the Australian crowd firmly behind. Though Seppi has a great record in fifth set Hewitt wouldn’t want to take it thus far this time around. Australian no.1 may drop a set or goes through in straights.

Rafael Nadal vs Bernard Tomic

Talented Tomic who is widely considered as the future big thing in tennis has occasionally exposed his potential but failed to produce that grit and consistency in his performances. Though a very tough match to play world no.1 in the first round, it’s a great opportunity to play his best tennis and try to challenge Nadal as much as he can. In last two years, Bernie bowed to Federer putting on reasonable fight on both occasions. He should take the confidence from his past performances here and the Wimbledon. With the recent form carried from the Hopman Cup and Sydney, let’s hope Tomic would make Rafa work for his victory.

James Duckworth vs Roger Federer

Young Aussie James Duckworth plays his first match on the Rod Laver Arena and would remember his debut as he plays the Swiss maestro. Federer would like to finish the match as early as possible but the local talent Duckworth who played a five setter last year may not go away without a fight. If Roger finds his rhythm quickly it’s gonna be an hour or ninety minutes affair.

Ryan Harrison vs Gael Monfils

American young talent Harrison who once looked as a future prospect kept disappointing repeatedly. The epic five set loss to compatriot John Isner at Roland Garros last year is his best performance to date in a major. Though the athletic Frenchman Monfils would win comfortably, optimism towards Ryan forces to feature this match on the list.

Marinko Matosevic vs Kei Nishikori

Matosevic played considerably well in the lead up tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney. He would give his best to reproduce the same form in Melbourne against the determined Japanese Nishikori. Aussie crowd might expect him to entertain and make Kei work his victory.

Martin Klizan vs John Isner (USA)

Top ranked American Isner is the favorite to win this contest. On the other hand, Klizan boasts of a big game. It’s going to be a scintillating fight between John’s powerful serves against Martin’s strong ground strokes. Since Isner is in good form following the title run in Auckland he might win in three tight sets or possibly four.

Marin Cilic vs Marcel Granollers

Returning to the tour after a controversial season, Cilic would like to put on a good performance in this edition of the Aussie Open. He looked in good shape at Brisbane under the legendary Goran Ivanisevic coalition. Spaniard Granollers usually plays well in the opening rounds. It’s an interesting match up between these two. Though the 2010 semifinalist possesses a better game than that of Granollers. A good battle is on the cards if both players are fit and roaring to go.

Gotta give a special mention for the below women’s match.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs Maria Sharapova

Colorful American Bethanie might be a tricky opponent to start up for the 2008 champion Sharapova. Last year Maria rolled through the draw to the semifinals with the loss of very few games. But it’s not going to be the same story this time. Though she reached the last four in Brisbane and played competitively against Serena in the straight sets defeat, she hasn’t looked in good form throughout the tournament. It might be a tough pill to digest but there is a huge upset alert here as the American has already knocked out in-form Radwanska in Sydney. In order to prove that her victory isn’t a fluke Bethanie got to match that performance here.

-Harish Narahari [Harish Narahari is a Sports Analyst for the Tennis Galaxy. He tweets here]

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3 thoughts on “Australian Open Day 2: Matches to Watch

  1. Federer was tested initially, but came through in style. I don’t see too many upsets happening in any of these matches, unless you call Venus’s loss an upset. Don’t think Sharapova will lose either! All in all, the tournament has been a tad predictable till now. Of course, it has only started!

  2. Seppi vs Hewitt was an instant classic. Loved the fight from Hewitt, but even the great champ can only fight so much! :)

    Rafa is looking ominous. playing some real aggressive tennis. Delpotro was a little shaky but got the job done!

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