Australian Open Day 6: 3rd Round Predictions

Roger Federer
1. Roger Federer v Bernard Tomic
The women headlined yesterday’s schedule with some star-studded clashes, but tomorrow it will be the men who take centre stage.  The most anticipated mens match of the tournament so far will see Roger Federer face his toughest challenge against Bernard Tomic.  The young Aussie has yet to lose in 2013 and has looked strong in his first two matches although he was certainly tested by Daniel Brands in the second round.  Federer has looked typically effortless in his first two matches against Benoit Paire and Nikolay Davydenko despite playing no competitive matches before the Australian Open.  Federer blazed past Tomic at last year’s Australian Open, but Tomic has consistently bigged up his chances in the media that he can win this encounter.  No doubt he will be confident, but I think Federer will be number one.  In fact, this is one of the rare occasions where I hope Federer wins and puts the arrogant Aussie in his place…

Prediction – Federer to beat Tomic in 4 sets

2. Laura Robson v Sloane Stephens
In a section of the draw that is missing its highest seeds, Laura Robson and Sloane Stephens both have a terrific opportunity to reach a first-ever Grand Slam quarter-final.  Robson battled to a stunning 11-9 third set win over Petra Kvitova in the second round, meanwhile Stephens progressed with a comfortable straight sets win over Kristina Mladenovic.  Stephens and Robson met for the first time in Hobart where the American won in straight sets.  Robson was not at her best in that match, but no doubt she can can improve on that performance and out of the two, I would say that Robson raises her game more for the big, big occasions.  As much as I would like to see Robson make her second consecutive Grand Slam 4th rounder, I think Stephens will be too consistent…

Prediction – Stephens to beat Robson in 3 sets

3. Gilles Simon v Gael Monfils
Milos Raonic
An all-French 3rd rounder between Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils promises to entertain the late night crowd on the Hisense Arena.  Monfils somehow made it into the third round by virtue of a crazy win over Yen-Hsun Lu, which saw him lose a 6-0 set and blow a string of match points on double faults.  Simon has won both of his matches in four sets and overcame the improving American, Jesse Levine in round two.  Simon has won three of his last four encounters with Monfils including a thumping in Bangkok last year.  Monfils is just about unpredictable as they came; over a five set match he is likely to have a wave of ups and downs so who knows how this will turn out.  After his last match, I am backing Simon to set up a 4th round showdown with Andy Murray

Prediction – Simon to beat Monfils in 4 sets

4. Milos Raonic v Philipp Kohlschreiber
The young Canadian, Milos Raonic has escaped many of the headlines so far at this year’s Australian Open, but he enjoyed a comfortable straight sets win over an always potentially dangerous, Lukas RosolPhillipp Kohlschreiber will offer a significant test in the third round; the German, who made the final in Auckland last week, has not lost a set this week with wins over Steve Darcis and Amir Weintraub.  This will be a first ever encounter between the pair and I predict a very tight match.  Despite a solid start to the tournament, I still think Raonic is overrated in his potential at this stage of his career.  I like Kohlschreiber’s game and he has some confidence from Auckland to battle past the heavy serving, but too defensive on returns, Raonic.
Prediction – Kohlschreiber to beat Raonic in 5 sets

Best of the rest: women
Victoria Azarenka to beat Jamie Hampton in 2 sets
Serena Williams to beat Ayumi Morita in 2 very easy sets
Yanina Wickmayer to beat Maria Kirilenko in 3 gruelling sets *upset alert*
Caroline Wozniacki to beat Lesia Tsurenko in 2 sets
Elena Vesnina to beat Roberta Vinci in 3 sets *upset alert*
Svetlana Kuznetsova to beat Carla Suarez Navarro in 3 sets
Kimiko Date-Krumm to beat Bojana Jovanovski in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: men
Andy Murray to beat Ricardas Berankis in 3 sets
Juan Martin Del Potro to beat Jeremy Chardy in 3 sets
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to beat Blaz Kavcic in 3 sets
Marin Cilic to beat Andreas Seppi in 5 sets
Richard Gasquet to beat Ivan Dodig in 4 sets
You can keep up-to-date with my original predictions for the womens and mens tournament; I had a particularly good day in the womens today correctly predicting both Makarova and Flipkens into the 4th round.

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