AO2014 Day Three : Day Session Preview

Big stars like Serena Williams, Li Na and Novak Djokovic headline the day three in Melbourne park. With the Mercury levels rising, following matches heat up the courts on day three. Here is the line up of great matches to look forward in the day session.

After a couple of top 8 seeds in Errani and Kvitova fell early in the women’s section. The top half has some interesting matches to come in the second round.

Li Na vs Belinda Bencic

Rod Laver Arena can’t get a better match to start the day. Swiss teenager earns her first appearance on the big stage. Belinda can push the two times runner up Chinese Li Na hard in the match if she’s not overwhelmed about the occasion. It will be interesting to see if this future star can make any impact on the veteran’s game.

Casey Dellacqua vs Kirsten Flipkens

Soaring hot Melbourne conditions might favor the local woman Dellacqua in this match. But Flipkens surprised everyone with her dominant performance in the first round against big hitting Laura Robson. It will be a nice contest between these two unpredictable women.

Lucie Hradecka vs Lucie Safarova

Two Czech players battle for the third round spot. The top Czech Kvitova already beaten by the Thai woman in the first round, Safarova looks to carry the weight of expectations here. Like Kvitova,  Safarova is a strong leftie too. It’s going to be interesting to watch if the Czech no.2 Safarova can keep her Fed Cup teammate at bay.

Men’s bottom half hasn’t seen many surprises on the first day. Though there was a classic battle between the two youngsters in Aussie Jordan Thompson and the seeded Pole Janowicz on Hisense Arena wasn’t good enough to cause an upset. Here is a list of some high profile contests in the R64.

Sam Querrey vs Ernests Gulbis

Latvia’s Gulbis has what it takes to beat the game’s best on his day. American no.2 Sam Querrey also got a great potential to perform well on the game’s highest platform. But he has been in and out of form throughout the last season. With Isner pulling out due to fitness concerns, American hopes fully rely on Querrey. If both players play their best, there is a five setter written all over it. If Sam relaxes even for a couple of games, Ernest runs away with the win comfortably.

Nikolay Davydenko vs Richard Gasquet

Another veteran in Davydenko is looking to make it count in his twilight years. French no.1 Gasquet hasn’t looked his best in the first round match though he won it in straight sets. If the former ‘Baby Fed’ lifts his level a little bit, it’s going to be tough outing for the former world no.3 Nikolay.

Tommy Robredo vs Julien Benneteau

The 31-year old Spaniard Robredo may have to play another five setter if the 32-year old Frenchman Benneteau plays some inspirational tennis. Given the Melbourne heat, Tommy could come on top with his grit and fight.

Jeremy Chardy vs Alexandr Dolgopolov

Both these guys played memorable matches here in the last two editions. Dolgopolov lost to Tomic in a tough five setter in 2012 and Chardy pulled off an improbable upset of Del Potro in five sets last year. Frenchman Jeremy looked in good shape at Brisbane where he lost in three sets to Federer in the semifinals. Ukrainian no.1 Alexander is known for his fighting spirit. Both players are baseline grinders and have got range of shots on two wings. It’s gonna be an entertaining match and not surprisingly a five set marathon if neither player struggles under the Sun.

Mikhail Youzhny vs Florian Mayer

It’s nice to watch veteran Russian Youzhny still competing so well on the tour. He is inside the top 20 now and is expected to go as deep as R16 here. But the German Florian Mayer could be tricky to face in the second round. Fresh from the victory against the comeback Brit Andy Murray in Doha, Mayer is a big threat to Youzhny. It won’t be a surprise if the match goes to a fifth set. In that case, the German holds the advantage since he’s younger than the Russian.

Dmitry Tursunov vs Denis Istomin

Another scintillating contest is on the cards if the Russian Tursunov matches the shots with the talented Istomin. A close match is possible here and might end in the favor of the guy from Uzbekistan.

Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Frenchman Roger-Vasselin has good talent and impressive game. Spaniard Garcia-Lopez has a big task to deal with here if he’s to reach the third round. Edouard was a runner up in the Chennai Open coming into the championship here. If he carries the same momentum, it will be good to watch him go through to the R32.

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

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3 thoughts on “AO2014 Day Three : Day Session Preview

  1. Gasquet – was so full of promise – will he ever live up to the initial expectations that the tennis world has – is a question that can be answered this year!

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