Australian Open Round of 16 Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Adrian Mannarino

Rafael Nadal Australian Open Round 3
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Reliable veterans like Gael Monfils and Rafael Nadal have reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open, they are joined by relative newcomers like Miomir Kecmanovic and Denis Shapovalov. Our panelists have predictions for every round of 16 match as the tournament in Melbourne reaches the money stage.

Miomir Kecmanovic vs Gael Monfils

Harsh Bhoot: Kecmanovic is still carrying the Serbian flag high in the absence of the World No. 1 but it’s likely his run ends here. Monfils was in a ruthless mood in his third round and his newfound confidence this year spells trouble for many. Expect the Serb to go out fighting here but the overpowering Frenchman goes through. Monfils in 4

Damian Kust: Miomir Kecmanovic is one of the most improved players of the early stages of 2022. The Serbian has only lost to Aslan Karatsev so far and is striking the ball much cleaner than before. Both players are keen to take advantage of the opening in the draw that was created after Novak Djokovic’s deportation. Gael Monfils is yet to drop a set and has, at times, looked like a pretty serious threat during this Australian Open. His experience at this stage of Major events should be a valuable asset. Monfils in 4

Jim Smith: If Miomir Kecmanovic really has been motivated by Novak Djokovic’s deportation, then his countryman has done him a favour. But although the Serbian played very well in the first week, he looks overmatched here. He won’t be able to hit through Gael Monfils and it’s hard to see him outlasting him either. Monfils in 4

Pablo Carreno Busta vs Matteo Berrettini

Harsh: Berrettini came out on top in what was easily the best match of the tournament so far. The Italian showcased his experience on the big stage and protected his backhand extremely well throughout the match. Carreno Busta will be more consistent than his fellow Spaniard Acaraz but lacks the power to hit through Berrettini. Expect Carreno Busta to nick a set but Berrettini moves on. Berrettini in 4

Damian: Both players have had their fair share of issues along the way. Pablo Carreno Busta played a five-setter against Tallon Griekspoor before looking physically spent in a huge chunk of his third-round, while Matteo Berrettini is dropping sets left and right but still coming out on top. It’s a tough call as the Italian’s serving can get him through and his backhand is definitely more steady than before, but Carreno Busta is an opponent that can work him around the court if he has the upper hand from the baseline. In the match against Alcaraz, Berrettini was heavily outplayed from the ground and will need to be much more aggressive here to avoid getting moved around. Not sure if he can do it with enough consistency. Carreno Busta in 5

Jim: There should be plenty of winners struck in this one with both Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov most comfortable, and most effective, playing on the front foot. The German has looked the better player so far though and by a distance. This should be a reasonably comfortable day at the office for Zverev, unless Shapovalov can find another gear and quickly. Berrettini in 4

Alexander Zverev vs Denis Shapovalov

Harsh: Zverev hasn’t really been tested so far. Against Shapovalov he should be. The Canadian trails the head to head 2-4 but came close to beating Zverev in the ATP Cup this year. That being said, the German is easily the more consistent from the baseline and that should prove critical. Expect Shapovalov to pounce on momentary hiccups by Zverev on his serve but the German should be able to regroup to clinch this. Zverev in 5

Damian: Denis Shapovalov has lost at least a set in each of his matches so far, struggling for consistency. The Canadian is getting better at winning matches he isn’t playing his best in, which is an ability required to make deep runs at Grand Slams on a regular basis. Alexander Zverev hasn’t been properly tested so far and this will be a step up. It hasn’t been an extremely comfortable matchup for the German in the past but if Shapovalov cannot find his peak level, Zverev’s counter-punching skills should help him lure out enough errors to prevail here. Zverev in 4

Jim: There should be plenty of winners struck in this one with both Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov most comfortable, and most effective, playing on the front foot. The German has looked the better player so far though and by a distance. This should be a reasonably comfortable day at the office for Zverev, unless Shapovalov can find another gear and quickly. Zverev in 4

Rafael Nadal vs Adrian Mannarino

Harsh: Nadal found the extra gear when he had to in the fourth set and it is that level of play he’ll be most pleased with. Mannarino can certainly make things awkward but possesses no real weapons to trouble the Spaniard. Expect a routine win for Rafa. Nadal in 3

Damian: Adrian Mannarino’s run comes completely out of nowhere, but the Frenchman is always tricky to play with his extremely flat strokes and the ability to redirect and absorb pace. Rafael Nadal defeated him on both previous occasions though and won’t find this matchup as much of a nightmare as Hubert Hurkacz or Aslan Karatsev. His baseline game has been looking great and the lefty topspin forehand should be a good tool to counteract Mannarino’s tricky style without going huge on the error count.
Nadal in 3

Jim: This looks like a very bad matchup for Adrian Mannarino. Trying to control Rafael Nadal’s rearing topspin is hard enough for anyone, but Mannarino’s short backswings stand to make it even trickier for the Frenchman. This should be pretty straightforward for the great Spaniard. Nadal in 3

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