• Sofia Kenin [4] v Madison Inglis [WC]
  • Daniil Medvedev [4] v Vasek Pospisil
  • Ashleigh Barty [1] v Danka Kovinic
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The first day of the Australian Open finished with a corker of a match – can Day 2’s picks be just as good?

 

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Sofia Kenin [4] v Madison Inglis H2H & Match Fundamentals

Sofia Kenin [4] v Madison Inglis [WC] H2H: First Meeting
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$100,000
Scheduled first on Rod Laver Arena at 11am (Midnight GMT) Tennis TV/Eurosport Player if available

 

 

It is always fascinating to see how a defending champion starts their campaign, especially where a maiden Slam is concerned. The pressure has looked to have told on Sofia Kenin, who spoke often about wanting to ask reigning men’s champion Novak Djokovic for advice. He should know – he is aiming for an historic (again) ninth title and is the favourite to bag it, and to inch ever closer to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s tally of Slam titles.

Thankfully Kenin has a chance to ease in against a home-crowd favourite in Aussie wildcard Maddison Inglis but she had a decent enough run to get warmed up, but it will be interesting to see how she copes – we have seen first timers buckle under the pressure so can Kenin buck that trend?

Prediction: Kenin in straight sets.

 

Daniil Medvedev [4] v Vasek Pospisil H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Daniil Medvedev [4] v Vasek Pospisil H2H: Medvedev leads 2-1
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$100,000
Scheduled third on Margaret Court Arena not before 2pm  (3am GMT) Tennis TV/Eurosport Player if available

 

 

Daniil Medvedev established himself as Slam worthy (not to mention being a dab hand at dealing with partisan crowds) when he not only found his way to the 2019 US Open final, but coming back against Rafael Nadal to force a decider.

He also showed he was no flash in the pan when he made it to the semi-finals the following year, as well as winning the ATP tour finals, and helping to bring the ATP Cup home for Russia. So is this the year he can get past the fourth round?

He has a winning record against Vasek Pospisil but they have a competitive head to head, and Pospisil turned around some decent results over a fragmented 2020, so can the Canadian add to the upswing of his country’s emerging talent by pushing Medvedev hard?

The Russian was pivotal in winning four singles matches for Russia, even if he did have to tape his limbs up, but things might be a bit tricky for Pospisil who has yet to strike a ball on the match court this year.

Prediction: Medvedev in three sets.

 

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Ashleigh Barty [1] v Danka Kovinic H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Ashleigh Barty [1] v Danka Kovinic H2H: First Meeting
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$100,000
First night match on Rod Laver Area, not before 7pm (8am GMT) Tennis TV/Eurosport Player if available

 

 

World No. 1 and pragmatic Aussie Ashleigh Barty came back to the tour has if she had not had a long break from the sport, winning the Yarra Valley Classic at the weekend. Other players truly struggle with the pressure of playing in their home slam but for Barty it had been a steady progression since her return to the tour after taking a time-out. A couple of third round runs before the quarter-final in 2019, and semi-final last year – is this the year that she makes it to the final?

She has proved that she has the chops to win a Slam but did not have the chance to try and defend it – and should ease through her opener with no issues, but it was a stressful week in the lead-up to the Australian Open – so it will be interesting to see if there are any lingering effects of the late tournament finish.

Prediction: Barty in straight sets

 

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