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Australian Open Day 3 Men’s Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Mackenzie McDonald

Francisco Cerundolo in action at the Australian Open.

It promises to be an entertaining third day at the Australian Open with the second round set to get underway at Melbourne Park. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for all 16 matches on the schedule, including Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Rinky Hijikata, Daniil Medvedev vs John Millman and Frances Tiafoe vs Shang Juncheng. But who will reach the third round?

Australian Open Day 3 Predictions

Rafael Nadal vs Mackenzie McDonald

Jim: There were some concerns over Rafael Nadal’s form coming into the tournament, but the great Spaniard looked sharp enough in beating Jack Draper in the first round. Will he win the tournament? Probably not on the basis of his showing so far this year, but he still should have the beating of Mackenzie McDonald here.

Prediction: Nadal in 3

Damian: Nadal survived Draper and now gets a few easier rounds as he tries to keep playing himself into form. McDonald is actually a tougher rival for him than Brandon Nakashima would have been in my opinion, but he would have to absolutely redline his game for at least three sets and constantly rush the Spaniard. That’s so unlikely to happen.

Prediction: Nadal in 3

Jack: There were rocky moments in his first match with Draper but Nadal isn’t 177-11 in the first three rounds of Grand Slams for nothing. It doesn’t matter who’s standing on the other side of the net, the Spaniard is ultra focussed from the word go with the highest stakes on the line. McDonald doesn’t have the firepower to buck this trend.

Prediction: Nadal in 3
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Jason Kubler vs Karen Khachanov

Jim: It’s been a great few weeks for Jason Kubler, with the Australian excellent in the first round against Sebastian Baez. Karen Khachanov will represent a much sterner test, however, with the Russian in decent touch at the moment. With the crowd behind him, Kubler could spring the upset, but Khachanov is the likelier winner.

Prediction: Khachanov in 4

Damian: Could be one of the matchups of the round if Kubler is able to deliver on his early season form. The Australian is one of the players who can make use of the crowd support and ride that energy to play even better than they usually do. Khachanov’s physical style might get to him in the long run though.

Prediction: Khachanov in 5

Jack: Kubler defeated Baez to win the first Australian Open main draw match of his career. It wasn’t really a surprise though with the Argentine unable to make a dent on hard-courts at this stage of his career. The slower conditions won’t make much of a difference to Khachanov who is a pretty confident favourite against nearly any player outside the top 50 in most conditions.

Prediction: Khachanov in 4
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Tallon Griekspoor vs Botic van de Zandschulp

Jim: Not an ideal draw for Dutch tennis. Both are in good form and will be eyeing a spot in the second week. Botic van de Zandschulp won their only previous hard court match and has more experience at this level, but the momentum is with Tallon Griekspoor after winning in Pune. Expect him to just about have the edge.

Prediction: Griekspoor in 5

Damian: These two know each other so well and broke through to the main tour at a very similar time, but through very different routes. They also just played in the final of the Dutch National Championship last month with van de Zandschulp winning 7-6 7-5. Griekspoor might get revenge this time as he seems to be on fire after that first ATP title in Pune.

Prediction: Griekspoor in 5

Jack: A very even match between two players that can continue to exceed expectations. Van de Zandschulp appears to have the slightly higher peak of the two players however possessing more strength and variety than Griekspoor to more frequently finish the point in middling conditions.

Prediction: van de Zandschulp in 5
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Corentin Moutet vs Francisco Cerundolo

Jim: This could go either way, but Francisco Cerundolo has to be accounted the favourite. With his clean ball-striking, particularly off the forehand wing, he likes quicker courts and although Corentin Moutet will try to keep things difficult for the Argentine, expect Cerundolo to get enough looks that he likes to reach the third round.

Prediction: Cerundolo in 4

Damian: Moutet would be a big favorite of this clash for me, but he was struggling with some wrist and shoulder issues in his win over Wu. If he can fix that before Wednesday, he’s right back in the driver’s seat and this could set him up for a wonderful season. Cerundolo hasn’t had a great forehand day on hard courts in a while.

Prediction: Moutet in 5

Jack: Moutet is a gritty player that makes a brutal competitor in best-of-five set matches whilst Francisco Cerundolo has lost some of the bite that led him to a hard-court Masters semifinals last year. Though few things come easily for the Frenchman, he should scrap through to victory.

Prediction: Moutet in 4

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