Three talking points for Day Three at the Australian Open
The opening Grand Slam of the year has wasted little time in throwing up some epic tennis, some mega battles and more than one big-name casualty in Melbourne.
Rafael Nadal is already out, so is Simona Halep while Johanna Konta claimed a scalp by ending Venus Williams’ hopes.
The first-batch of Second Round matches get underway on Day Three, and will see reigning champion Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova all take to the court under the blazing Australia sun.
Here’s a few things to look out for on Day Three…
Don’t expect big names to slip up
Novak Djokovic doesn’t do upsets. Djoko has reached at least the third round in 40 of his 44 Grand Slam entries, and the Serbian has reached the quarter-finals or better for every Slam since Wimbledon in 2009.
The 28-year-old also won the ATP Qatar last week without dropping a set, and his next opponent is 19-year-old Frenchman Quentin Halys – making his Slam debut no less – whose daunting task will be simply keeping the scoreline respectable.
Roger Federer faces a slightly trickier task against the experienced Alexander Dolgopolov, but in two previous meetings R-Fed hasn’t dropped a set.
Ukrainian Dolgopolov suffered a poor 2015, and needed a bruising four sets to see off Ricardas Berankis in the opening round, and shouldn’t trouble the Fed Express too much.
Serena Williams will have been relieved to get through the first round without antagonising her troublesome knee, and the American should have little problem ousting 30-year-old Su-Wei Hsieh. The Taiwanese’s best performance in Melbourne came in a fourth-round run eight years ago.
Big matches come early in women’s draw
A year or two ago Agnieszka Radwanska and Eugenie Bouchard would never have met so early in a Slam, but such has been Bouchard’s troubles in 2015, that a second round meeting ensues.
Both players have reached Slam finals in recent years, and Canadian Bouchard looks to be heading back to her superb 2014 form.
Radwanska is understandably favourite, but Bouchard is keen to prove her form of two years ago was no fluke, and this clash could well run to three sets.
In-form Kyrgios will keep the home crowd happy
The bad boy of tennis, Nick Kyrgios is quickly becoming prime-time viewing – Andy Murray has called him ‘box office’ and the Aussie delighted a packed crowd in his straight-sets win over Pablo Carreno Busta in the opening round.
Next up is Pablo Cuevas, but the Uruguayan shouldn’t pose too many problems for the outspoken 20-year-old.
Kyrgios is 4/5 to win in straight sets, and his first-round performance suggests the youngster is in fine shape to at least match last year’s run to the quarter-finals.
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