Friday, January 18, 2013

AO Day 6 Preview: The Day the Internet Broke and All Was Still

Hey All.

I hope you're well. Due to the interweb breaking (my fault) on my laptop I am desperately short of time. I'll just say well done to Pova for an excellent win, and also on breaking an Open era record -- 28 games in a row. Anyway, I had best get started.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round RLA (Rod Laver Arena)

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) V Andy Murray (GBR) [3]

Ric is very talented. He is a little like Dimi and Goffin in the young and talented section. He won the Orange Bowl at one point like Dimi and Robredo, and Coria and Tomic, too. Neither man has dropped a set and both look extremely impressive. Berankis has had a harder two matches than Murray. I think he will test Murray. He hits hard and can mix up the play, too. This will be a good one to watch. I don't think this will be an upset, but neither is it a given. In the end, though, Murray looks pretty good right now tennis-wise. He will win in four.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round RLA

Bernard Tomic (AUS) V Roger Federer (SUI) [2]

This will be a fantastic match. I genuinely think Tomic will challenge Fed here. Both men look very good and so far have been very strong in the opening rounds. There will be a lot of slice and a lot of drop shots, too, most likely. This will be an excellent match to watch. The winner of this gets a tough test in the fourth round -- Kohlschreiber or Raonic. I think Tomic will hit hard and flat to the Fed backhand. He will also try to move Federer around, but unfortunately every area in which Tomic is strong Fed is strong, too. I think it will be tight and close, but surely in the end Fed should have too much. In the past three years at the Aussie, Tomic has run into Nadal, Federer and Federer. Poor guy. I'll go with Federer in four competitive sets.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round HSA

Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [6] V Jeremy Chardy (FRA)

Chardy is actually ranked higher than Benneteau -- the 32nd seed -- so Delpo will know this not a given. Chardy can hit the ball and he has won two four setters to get here. Del Potro has dropped just 13 games in two matches. Delpo has faced one break point in two matches and he defended it successfully. He is in devastating form. Chardy is 1-1 in finals (he has won a clay tourney and lost a hard court final), but Delpo is 4-0 in clay finals and 9-5 in hard finals. He has never been to a grass or carpet final. I think this contest will be very competitive and full of rallies for a set and a half, maybe even for two sets. But expect Delpo to run away with it. Delpo in three.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round HSA

Gilles Simon (FRA) [14] V Gael Monfils (FRA)

This is like the ultimate battle of Dull vs Bizzarre. If he wanted, La Monf! could be an offensive powerhouse. But he chose to be a passive Murray-esque player with a so-so forehand and an incredible amount of patience. But what makes him so watchable is his athletic approach. He can get the most incredible shots and he can do 100 metres in ten seconds -- he is that quick. Simon is the most patient player on tour, though, by some way. He is like a metronome in many ways. Simon leads the head to head 3-1. Monfils has had a four setter and a five setter. After a comeback from injury, he will be exhausted. Simon, though, has been pushed to four sets twice. I want La Monf! to win. For sure, I do, but the good guy doesn't always win...Simon in four very tight sets.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round MCA

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [7] V Blaz Kavcic (SLO)

First meeting between these two. It's the world number eight against the world number 93. Kavsy thrashed Bellucci and then beat Duckworth 10-8 in the fifth set last round. Tsonga has been extremely impressive. In two matches, he has faced four break points. He has saved three of those. I think both have good game styles and both will play aggressively, but there is a reason 85 places separate these two....Tsonga in straight sets.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round SC2 Upset Alert

Andreas Seppi (ITA) [21] V Marin Cilic (CRO) [12]

Seppi is having a late career revelation. He has had a great 2012 and is having a decent 2013 so far, too. Seppi has had a three setter and a five setter (over Istomin), whilst Cilic has actually looked very good. He hasn't dropped a set. Seppi is a dirtballer, a grinder. He is still a fantastic player on hard, though. The problem I'm having is I don't know which Cilic will turn up. It looks like it will be Upforit Cilic. Seppi will really push Cilic here, but the match is just about on Cilic's racket. If that's the case then Cilic in four. If not, then Seppi in four.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round SC3

Ivan Dodig (CRO) V Richard Gasquet (FRA) [9]

Vive la Gasquet! Nieminen upset Haas in five epic sets (Haas choked a little there, he had match points) and then Dodig upset Jarkko in five. Dodig also got past Wu in four. He will be tired. He has a big serve and a neat drop volley, too. He can spank that forehand, also. But Ricky has been fabulous all tournament. He has faced just three break points. He has saved one of those, but still only three break points in two match points is pretty good. I think this will be a good match, but Gasquet has so many options. I think Gasquet has too much quality for Dodig and right now the Frenchman is in serious form....Ricky in three.

Men's Singles - 3rd Round SC3 Upset Alert

Milos Raonic (CAN) [13] V Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) [17]

Two very talented guys here. They will likely play the Fed in round four, so this will be the last winnable match for either of them. I'm not ruling it out but Federer has been to 34 consecutive slam quarterfinals. Anyway, look for a few tiebreaks here. This could be an ATP final. Neither man has lost a set since Milos lost one in the first set of his first round clash. Both have great games off the ground and can serve very strongly, too. Kohl is 4-4 in finals and has titles on Grass, Clay and Hard courts. All at 250 level. Raonic is 0-3 in ATP 500 finals but 3-0 in 250's. They were all on hard. Anyway, I can't pick this. I'll go Raonic in four, I think but I suck at predictions.

Right, I'm busy busy busy, but I shall see you tomorrow, hopefully.

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