By Ros Satar, in Melbourne

  • Stan Wawrinka v Milos Raonic [16]
  • Simona Halep [1] v Sofia Kenin
  • Alexander Zverev [4] v Jeremy Chardy

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Former champion Stan Wawrinka leads our look at three matches to watch on Day Four of the Australian Open


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Stan Wawrinka v Milos Raonic [16] | H2H: Wawrinka leads 4-2

Milos Raonic has the distinction of having rendered Nick Kygrios (not really) speechless as the Aussie lauded his serving as something he had never seen before. The Canadian, who has had to battle with no end of injuries, but he looks back to health and will be tough to get past.

Stan Wawrinka is also back in the draw having had time off for knee surgery. At this stage he is a dangerous floater in the draw, but it has been a while Wawrinka has gotten the better of Raonic, as they meet in a Slam for the third time in a row.

Raonic, in the past has preferred to rely in his serve than to develop his all-court game, but Wawrinka may best that. The offensive baseliner, with a fierce single-handed backhand could well spring the surprise.

Prediction: Wawrinka in four sets.


Simona Halep [1] v Sofia Kenin | First Meeting

Simona Halep in the first round of the Australian Open 2019, Melbourne

Simona Halep in the first round of the Australian Open 2019, Melbourne | Jimmie48 Tennis Photograhy

It was quite the test for Simona Halep against Kaia Kanepi in her opening round, but it was probably worth her going through a little bit of struggle, having taken some extra time off after a gruelling year last year.

She said, after her first-round win: “Previous years I came earlier and I played maybe 10 matches before Melbourne. But this year was different. Everything was different. I work hard home. I don’t want to say that I did nothing. For the last four weeks in December, I work hard. I was very professional.

“But also, it was good to spend the time home. The balance was good. I’m not very far with my level. I feel good on court. I need just some matches.”

Kenin is playing with a lot of confidence at the moment – she won her first title in Hobart and unlike Halep, she has plenty of matches under her belt. Halep can expect to receive some of the treatment she dishes out to other players – Kenin will run down a lot of balls, not to mention sending them back with interest. This is Halep’s for the taking but do not be surprised if she gets taken the distance.

Prediction: Halep in three sets.


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Alexander Zverev [4] v Jeremy Chardy | H2H: Zverev leads 2-1

Alexander Zverev in the semi-final of the ATP Mutua Madrid Open, 2018

Alexander Zverev in the semi-final of the ATP Mutua Madrid Open, 2018 | JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev is certainly not short of confidence this season, despite a couple of niggling injuries already – a hamstring and a rolled ankle at last count. There are high hopes that this is the year Zverev will make his move at the Slams having finally broken his Round Four voodoo last year at Roland Garros.

Moreover, it will be interesting to see if Ivan Lendl can work the same kind of magic that he did for Andy Murray. Jeremy Chardy can be inconsistent and plays quite flat with no real weapons but he can get balls back.

Zverev should not really be troubled here, but it is all about if he can conserve his energy and give himself the best chances to heal up for the second week.

Prediction: Zverev in three sets.


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