By Jake Davies
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  vs Denis Shapovalov
- Katerina Siniakova vs Elina Svitolina 
- Elise Mertens vs Daria Gavrilova 
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – With Round One out of the way and half the field gone, we size up the best of the second round action on Day Three of the Australian Open.
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  vs Denis Shapovalov H2H: Tsonga leads 1-0
The first must-see match of Day 3 of the Australian Open is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga‘s second round match against Denis Shapovalov. Shapovalov has been climbing up the rankings at a fast pace and has started to take advantage of the experiences he’s already had at Grand Slam level. His Round of 16 showing at last year’s US Open has done him the world of good and in that run he actually beat the Frenchman in a straightforward three sets win, so Tsonga will be chomping at the bit to get a bit of revenge when they meet on Wednesday.
Tsonga’s backhand is a shot that has been well-documented. It won’t hurt you, it won’t push you back behind the baseline, but Tsonga does an awfully good job at making sure the backhand stays inactive due to his footwork to get the forehand into play. The question is whether Shapovalov has the experience to consistently go to that side without hitting big unforced errors like he did in a similar match against Juan Martin Del Potro in Auckland.
Prediction: Tsonga in four sets.
Katerina Siniakova vs Elina Svitolina  H2H: Svitolina leads 1-0
Arguably one of the biggest matches on the WTA draw is Katerina Siniakova going up against Elina Svitolina. The Czech is an extremely tricky draw for a second round match. She’s only just recently made the final in Shenzhen, so is one of those dangerous unseeded floaters. I still think the Ukrainian will win though. She’s now a Top Five player and although she has not yet shown that consistently at the majors, she is starting to show it over the course of a whole WTA season.
I think that Svitolina’s superior temperament and overall solidness from the back of the court will get her the victory in this one.
Prediction: Svitolina in two sets
Daria Gavrilova  vs Elise Mertens H2H: Tied at 1-1
Daria Gavrilova has the whole nation watching her as she makes another valiant attempt at going deep at the Australian Open. With Sam Stosur’s early exit from the tournament that will put even more pressure and expectation on her shoulders. Her second round opponent is the rising Elise Mertens of Belgium.
The two played an epic at Roland Garros last year, where Mertens won in a tight three set match, but it will be interesting to see how both players play with a completely different atmosphere in a match with even more on the line. Mertens is desperate for that Grand Slam seeding, while Gavrilova also recognises the importance of doing well at her home slam. Both players will want this win badly.
I give the edge to Mertens. I think she is ready to make huge steps at a major and the 2018 Australian Open could be the first of many very positive Grand Slam campaigns for her.
Prediction: Mertens in three sets
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