Australian Open Day 5 Predictions Including Karen Khachanov vs Rafael Nadal

Karen Khachanov Australian Open 2022
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Karen Khachanov is a clear underdog against Rafael Nadal but will have a fighting chance in the their third round match at the Australian Open. We have predictions for all of the third round matches, including a set of matches featuring Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev.

Reilly Opelka vs Denis Shapovalov

Damian Kust: Denis Shapovalov certainly wouldn’t get any style points for how he’s progressed in this tournament so far, struggling to beat both Laslo Djere and Soon-Woo Kwon. That’s not what’s important in tennis though as he’s still in the tournament and certainly cannot be underestimated, having played so well to win the ATP Cup earlier in the month. Reilly Opelka probably has the advantage here as he can target Shapovalov’s backhand return with his serve to give himself a reliable point-winning tactic. He’s also been a hundred times steadier in this event so far. Opelka in 5

Harsh Bhoot: Another extremely watchable third round match. Opelka is always dangerous when he’s feeling it and so far he is. Shapovalov has worked hard for his wins so far and it’ll be interesting to see how well he can return the Opelka serve especially off of his backhand wing. Shapovalov’s swing suggests to me it’s going to be tough. Opelka has a real chance in this quarter and he should move on to a well deserved fourth round. Opelka in 5

Yesh Ginsburg: Shapovalov has not looked great this week. His shaky service game is a very bad sign when facing a player like Opelka. Opeka in 4

Sebastian Korda vs Pablo Carreno Busta

Damian: Both players survived five-setters in their previous rounds, Sebastian Korda struggling to beat the always tricky Corentin Moutet, while Pablo Carreno Busta stopped Tallon Griekspoor’s 29-match winning streak. The American had a stellar performance in his opening round against Cameron Norrie and his drop-off in quality can be related to Moutet’s very unusual style. This is a more pleasant matchup and if his offensive shotmaking can be excellent again, he has a slight edge in my view. Korda in 5

Harsh: Both players endured five setters when they shouldn’t have on the basis of the quality they bring to the tennis court. Carreno Busta’s will to fight for every point is a joy to watch and his consistency is going to frustrate Korda into more unforced errors than he would like to. Expect Korda to put up a great fight just to fall tantalizingly close. Carreno Busta in 5

Yesh: Korda was beyond impressive in his opening-round demolition of Cameron Norrie. He was the exact opposite in his second match. Of course, neither was Carreno Busta. Korda in 4

Karen Khachanov vs Rafael Nadal

Damian: Even despite winning five matches in 2022 already, it still feels like Rafael Nadal is yet to be properly tested. This will be the first time this year the Spaniard plays an opponent ranked inside the top 50. While he’s never lost to Karen Khachanov before, it’s still unclear exactly how good Nadal is on hard courts at the moment. If the Russian has a stellar serving day, he’ll have his chances. He’s also one of the select few who can compete with the 20-time Grand Slam champion in grueling baseline rallies. Nadal in 4

Harsh: The test for Rafa begins. The first two rounds for Rafa have been easy pickings but Khachanov should prove to be a sterner test. That’s all it’s going to be though. The Russian has lost all seven previous meetings to Rafa. No evidence suggests Khachanov has improved since their last meeting. Expect Rafa to put up another solid performance. Nadal in 4

Yesh: Khachanov has never beaten Nadal. In fact, in seven matches, the Russian has only ever taken one set off the Spaniard. That’s surprising, given that Khachanov’s game should trouble Nadal. I can’t go against history, though. Nadal in 4

Gael Monfils vs Cristian Garin

Damian: (Formerly) Novak Djokovic’s quarter is a great opportunity for someone else than the usual suspects to step up and Gael Monfils is making sure not to miss it. The Frenchman was barely losing games in straightforward dismissals of Federico Coria and Alexander Bublik. Cristian Garin has already played two five-setters to get here and on a hard court, should be quite heavily outmatched. Monfils in 3

Harsh: Monfils is making the most of his new found form in 2022. The Frenchman has breezed past his opponents so far and while Garin is ranked slightly higher, he hasn’t played like one so far. Expect Monfils to continue his strong showing here. Monfils in 4

Yesh: Monfils looks in strong form, and his draw is wide open. Garin is better on clay than hard courts, which is good news for the Frenchman. Monfils in 4

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