Australian Open Day 3 Women’s Predictions Including Ashleigh Barty vs Polona Hercog

Alison Riske Australian Open Day 3

After rain delayed play on day one, the second day at the Australian Open saw a busy day of tennis across both draws. Now the competition is set to intensify as the remaining 64 players battle for a place in the third round and, as ever, we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for matches across the board, including Coco Gauff vs Sorana Cirstea and Serena Williams against Tamara Zidansek, as well as Naomi Osaka’s battle with Zheng Saisai. Giving their picks for this slate of matches are Jim Smith, Andy Watson and Yesh Ginsburg. Who do you think will advance?

Australian Open Day 3 Women’s Predictions

Ashleigh Barty vs Polona Hercog 

Jim: Not unexpectedly, Ashleigh Barty didn’t have things all her own way up against the talented Lesia Tsurenko, but after losing the first set the Australian dug in and turned the match around, rallying to beat the Ukrainian 5-7 6-1 6-1. With that win under her belt, expect her to prove too strong for Polona Hercog.

Prediction: Barty in 2

Andy: Barty recovered well from a set down in the first round to look impressive by the end of the match. Hercog’s win against Rebecca Peterson was fairly straightforward and the Slovak will not be a pushover for the world #1. However, Barty is likely to outfox Hercog with movement not the Slovakian’s best attribute.

Prediction: Barty in 2

Yesh: Hercog looked good against Rebecca Peterson, but she’s nowhere near on the level of Barty. This should be a pretty straightforward match.

Prediction: Barty in 2
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Caty McNally vs Zhang Shuai

Jim: After coming through the qualifying, Caty McNally thrashed Samantha Stosur to continue the Australian’s poor record at her home Slam. Zhang Shuai, meanwhile, came back from the brink to beat the struggling Sloane Stephens. This is a match that looks like it could go either way on paper, but McNally’s win in the first round was sufficiently emphatic to suggest that she can back it up here.

Prediction: McNally in 3

Andy: McNally will be confident after a dominant display against Sam Stosur. However, her unforced error count was too high and Zhang played well to defeat Sloane Stephens. Much will depend on who serves better and Zhang’s consistency and high first serve percentage may prove decisive.

Prediction: Zhang in 3

Yesh: McNally is in really good form now, and she brings her best for big tournaments. The Ohioan is about to reach her first Slam third round.

Prediction: McNally in 2
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Caroline Garcia vs Ons Jabeur

Jim: Caroline Garcia rallied past Madison Brengle in impressive fashion, claiming a much-needed win. One she will hope to back up against Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian proved far too strong for a Johanna Konta short of match sharpness. Jabeur also beat Garcia comfortably at the US Open last season, but if the Frenchwoman plays with confidence, she should have the power and the versatility to reach the round of 32.

Prediction: Garcia in 3

Andy: The Tunisian was impressive in dismissing Jo Konta in round one. Garcia managed 48 winners in her match against Brengle but will not get the same opportunities against the skilful Jabeur. This could be a tight battle but the level of performance that Jabeur produced gives the Tunisian the edge here.

Prediction: Jabeur in 3

Yesh: Jabeur is in good form, and the only reason Garcia reached the second round is a collapse by Madison Brengle in the final two sets. Look for the Tunisian to win another match here.

Prediction: Jabeur in 3
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Alison Riske vs Zhu Lin

Jim: Alison Riske, who enjoyed an excellent 2019, impressed in negotiating a tough first-round draw at the Australian Open in the shape of Wang Yafan and the 18th seed may need to be at her best again up against Zhu Lin. The Chinese scored a hard-fought opening win over Viktoria Golubic, ten points to five in a deciding-set tiebreak. But that could leave her a little short of energy against Riske, who should be able to capitalise.

Prediction: Riske in 3

Andy: Both players came through tough three-set matches in the opening round. Riske will have been slightly disappointed with her level. The American was broken seven times despite making 69% of her first serves. But Zhu is unlikely to have the power to hit through the American though and Riske should find the improvement required to win.

Prediction: Riske in 3

Yesh: Riske played a good match over two days, while Zhu needed a third-set tiebreak to get past Viktorija Golubic. I think the American should survive another match here.

Prediction: Riske in 3

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