What to Expect on Day 3 at the Australian Open

Denis Shapovalov in action ahead of the ATP Seoul Open.

An Andy Murray thriller and a Daniel Medvedev domination later, and we find ourselves at Round 2 in Melbourne. So hold onto your hats as we take a look at the action to look forward to on Day 3 of the Australian Open:

What to Expect on Day 3 at the Australian Open

Daniel to shock Shapovolav

Taro Daniel has a nick of a second-round shock, as his straight-sets victory over Andy Murray at this stage last season showed. Moreover, Shapovalov has a terrible habit of losing matches that in all reality he shouldn’t be, especially on the Grand Slam stage. The Canadian is blistering when on form, but the off days really are off days, there is no tennis player alone more frustrating. On talent alone, he is Top 10 quality, but a lack of tennis IQ or plan B has cost him all too often. Daniel is the exact type of opponent that could cause difficulty. A solid baseline player who doesn’t give away points on the cheap, it’s almost a recipe for a Shapovalov exit. However, it will be tight. Expect it to be a grueling five-setter, with the present of Hubert Hurcakz in the next round.

Kvitova to come up short

How can you not like Petra Kvitova? Her resilience is an inspiration to the sport. Nowadays though, consistency escapes her. She looked formidable at the United Cup and strong again on the opening day at Melbourne. Yet, Anhelina Kalinina is no pushover. The 25-year-old Ukrainian is on the up and continues to cause issues for her competitors. Unfortunately for the Czech, it’ll be another early exit at a Slam.

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Gauff to win youngster’s affair

Any worries about horrendous form in the WTA finals and Billie Jean King Cup finals extending into the 2023 season have been completely squashed by World #7 Coco Gauff. Victorious in Auckland and ruthless against Katerina Sinakova, she is in no mood to hang around much longer for her first Grand Slam. Speaking of which, she faces former Grand Slam champion Emma Radacannu. Since that US Open victory though she has failed to reach the heights. Added to that there are legitimate fitness concerns over the Brit as her taped-up ankle is still recovering from a slight injury. As Catherine Whitaker pointed out, that’s trouble against Coco Gauff. The American’s powerful backhand and incredible movement will be far too strong and she’ll no doubt breeze past Radacannu in an unforgiving straight sets rout.

Nadal to win convincingly

Last year’s winner had an awkward first round against Britain’s Jack Draper and had to overcome the 21-year-old in four sets. The Spaniard doesn’t look in tournament-winning form but after 2022 exploits, we have learned never to write off one of the greatest. Not against Mackenzie Mcdonald anyway. The American had an impressive victory against Brandon Nakashima but will have slight fatigue after being on the court for four hours (not ideal against a man of Nadal’s quality). It has the feel of a routine second-round match for the former World #1 for me, with Nadal dropping no more than ten games the full afternoon.

Swiatek to dust off the cobwebs

Yes, I really hope that Swiatek and Andreescu meet as it would just be poetic in a way. Although the World #1 looked rusty against Jule Niemeier. Overall, neither of the two put an advert for tennis up and if unaware you wouldn’t have guessed you were watching the World #1. On the other hand, part of being #1 is winning without looking like #1, week in and week out. Novak Djokovic is a prime example of that. Don’t expect a worldly performance but instead, a steady improvement as Swiatek sees of Ecuador’s Osorio.

Andreescu to make a statement victory and set up a mouth-watering clash

The first shot was an inside-out backhand winner on a service return, which perhaps tells you as much as you need to know about the intent of Bianca Andreescu. She has been bullish in the media about her prospects for 2022 but with her talent wouldn’t we all be? She hit 23 winners in total and didn’t face a single break point against Bouzkova and looks well in the mood to return to her brilliant best this season. Up against a qualifier in Cristina Bucsa, who has failed to ever reach the Top 80–a victory should be a formality and set up an enticing battle with the current World #1, Iga Swiatek.

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Lehecka to continue impressive form

For all the talk-up that the likes of Lorenzo Musetti and Jack Draper have been receiving as stars for the future, World #59 Jiri Lehecka falls into the “criminally underrated” category, if I may say so myself. How good was he against Borna Coric? At Auckland, he was more than solid as well pushing World #12 Cameron Norrie to three sets. Moreover, up against a qualifier in Chris Eubanks, who has just come off a grueling five-setter, a win seems like all that can happen. Probably in straight sets as well.

Griekspoor to outlast Van de Zandschlup in all-Dutch showdown

There is something satisfying about seed #32 when looking at the draw. Is that just me? Okay. In all seriousness, though, this all-Dutch affair will be one to watch with intent. Although, I do not think it will be the seeded man who makes his way through to the next round. Both have solid games no doubt but the recent form of Tallon Griekspoor has really caught the eye. His maiden tour final in Pune ended with a well-fought victory, and even as of late impressive performances such as his straight-sets victory over Tommy Paul in the Davis Cup have impressed. As I say, there won’t be a lot to split the eerily similar players however Griekspoor’s steely nerves will help him through to the last 32, most likely in four sets.

Main Photo from Getty.