Day 3 at the ATP Adelaide International will unlock a slew of big names. Novak Djokovic’s presence is sure to garner a lot of attention as he is set to play his first singles match on Australian soil in two years. We have predictions of the remaining first-round matches covered including Daniil Medvedev’s match against Lorenzo Sonego. Who will book their place in the second round?
ATP Adelaide Day 3 Predictions
Denis Shapovalov vs Rinky Hijikata
Head-to-head: first meeting
Hijikata was notorious for giving Nadal a headache at last year’s US Open, bagging a set before losing in four. He has since used that result as a springboard to more success. He clinched his first ATP Challenger Title in Playford last October. The Aussie won both of his qualifying matches against the odds in Adelaide, beating Gregoire Barrere and then James Duckworth in straight sets to reach the main draw. But this is where the level of competition will get significantly harder. We have seen quite a handful of upsets already this week and Shapovalov will be wary of taking on an in-form player exuding confidence. The Canadian has to get his bearings right otherwise he could easily walk into a trap. But getting some game time in doubles might give him the perfect headstart in singles.
Prediction: Shapovalov in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Constant Lestienne
Head-to-head: first meeting
Djokovic’s return to Australia is expected to be evocative. While memories of last year’s controversial deportation will stay with him, he has decided to move on. And moving on is what I would expect of Djokovic in this match. He is playing his first match of this brand new season and has reportedly added Claudio Zimaglia to his backroom team as the new physio. Zimaglia has previously worked with players such as Milos Raonic, Jannik Sinner, and Brandon Nakashima. Djokovic hardly plays any tuneup events in January even during his trophy-laded years, and it is not like his form dipped, but maybe he wants to iron out a few kinks before Melbourne.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
Andy Murray vs Sebastian Korda
Head-to-head: Korda 1-0 Murray
From a physical standpoint, Murray admits he is happy heading into the new season. And he has done remarkably well to slash that ATP ranking by half. But he has been thrown into the deep end of the draw in Adelaide. He starts off against Sebastian Korda and could meet Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner in back-to-back matches. Murray has the element of surprise this week, but it almost feels like he is not in control of his matches at this juncture. Korda continues to improve by leaps and bounds despite a rollercoaster year. The Americans should hold a slight edge in this matchup.
Prediction: Korda in 3
Main Photo from Getty.