By Jake Davies
- Roger Federer  vs Tomas Berdych  H2H: Federer leads 16-6
- Jo Wilfried Tsonga  vs Jack Sock  H2H: Tsonga leads 2-0
- Stanislas Wawrinka  vs Viktor Troicki  H2H: Wawrinka leads 7-0
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – We pick our top three matches from the ATP side for Day Five.
Roger Federer  vs Tomas Berdych  H2H: Federer leads 16-6
It is up in the air how Roger Federer will fare in the coming months and whether he will return to grand slam glory at the age of 35 and beyond. The fire still burns bright inside the Swiss as he clearly feels he still has a lot to offer the game and loves the competition evidently. His drop in the rankings has led to Federer being drawn against some of the tougher hard court players on the tour including the likes of Kei Nishikori and his next opponent in the third round Tomas Berdych.
Not many players can say that they have beaten Federer six times and the Czech is one of the players that have bothered the Swiss man on the biggest of stages like Wimbledon and the US Open. Most of the matches that Berdych plays against the top players like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray is decided by the way the Czech approaches the matches. On most occasions he goes into these matches with very little confidence in his game and his groundstrokes, which identifies that he is fighting a losing battle before he even enters the court.
Federer has not collected a lot of match time in the lead up to the 2017 Australian Open, but I think his self-belief that he can come out the victor in this match will decide this particular duel.
Prediction: Federer in four sets.
Jo-Wilfried-Tsonga  vs Jack Sock  H2H: Tsonga leads 2-0.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is quietly navigating his way through the Australian Open draw without anyone really mentioning his name. The Frenchman has failed to recreate the dizzy heights he experienced when he made the 2008 Australian Open final, but still continues to be a dangerous player for the top players gunning for the first major of the year.
The No.12 seed may not ever claim the illusive grand slam that he longs for, but still has the ability and the correct mindset to threaten the very best on any given day.
His opponent in the third round is Jack Sock. The American has been utterly phenomenal in the beginning to his 2017 season and is yet to be defeated in 2017. He picked up the ASB Classic title in Auckland, a tournament that he always seems to play well in and now strives to leave his mark on the Australian Open. A win over a former finalist would be a starting point at doing just that.
Prediction: Tsonga in five sets.
Stanislas Wawrinka  vs Viktor Troicki  H2H: Wawrinka leads 7-0
This match-up looks a done deal on paper especially when you take into account the one-sided
head-to-head between the two players. The one factor that continues to make the outcome of this match unpredictable is that it is difficult to forecast how Wawrinka feels moving from match to match and round to round at a Grand Slam. In recent years it has been proven that Wawrinka is a man for the big occasion. This can be proven with Wawrinka’s unbeaten record in Grand Slam finals (3-0) and the fact that he won eleven ATP finals in a row before Alexander Zverev cut the streak in St.Petersburg last year.
A major statistic that works in the favour of Wawrinka is Troicki’s record against Top 10 players throughout the course of his career. Troicki has just 9 matches over Top 10 players and lost 60 in total, which is quite astonishing given the all-court game that the Serbian presents on a tennis court. It is hard to believe that he has not damaged the best on a regular basis.
Troicki could get a set over the current US Open champion like he did at Roland Garros last year, but Wawrinka shouldn’t have too many problems in this match-up.
Prediction: Wawrinka in four sets.
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