• Naomi Osaka [3] v Ons Jabeur [27]
  • Denis Shapovalov [11] v Felix Auger Aliassime [20]
  • Dominic Thiem [3] v Nick Kyrgios
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The third round brings some tasty matches and we have picked our three of the best to watch on Day Five of the Australian Open.

 

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Naomi Osaka [3] v Ons Jabeur [27] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Naomi Osaka [3] v Ons Jabeur [27] H2H: First Meeting
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$215,000
Scheduled second on John Cain Arena, not before 1:30pm (2:30am GMT) Tennis TV/Eurosport Player if available

 

 

So far it has been pretty plain sailing for the former champion Naomi Osaka, as she has shaken off some the rust we saw in Adelaide and pulling out of the lead-up tournament has paid off. She has breezed through her first two rounds and is going to face a tricky customer in Ons Jabeur.

It has not been quite as straight forward for Jabeur who needed three sets to get past Andrea Petkovic but looked a lot more assured with a straight sets win in her second round.

Jabeur will offer up a very different look on the ball for Osaka – she will mix things up with volleys, slices and Osaka will have to expect her to charge to the net. Osaka will look to try and dominate from the baseline, and out-power Jabeur, but this has the potential to be Osaka’s first real test this week.

Prediction: Osaka in three sets.

 

READ MORE | Tennis | Australian Open 2021 | Latest Schedule, Draws, Results & How to Watch

 

Denis Shapovalov [11] v Felix Auger Aliassime [20] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Embed from Getty Images
Dennis Shapovalov [11] v Felix Auger Aliassime [20] H2H: First Meeting
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$215,000
First night match on Margaret Court Arena, not before 7pm (8am GMT) Tennis TV/Eurosport Player if available

 

 

Denis Shapovalov gave us one of the first battles of the tournament when he had to come from a set down against Jannik Sinner and indeed had to get his first round done in five sets. Thankfully for the sometime-rapping Canadian, his second match against Bernard Tomic was a lot more straightforward.

Felix Auger-Aliassime lost his seventh final to Britain’s Dan Evans, and while the Murray River Open champion was flat and fatigued in his opening round, Auger-Aliassime has recouped to come through his opening rounds efficiently without dropping a set.

Both have strong serves, both play a lot of flashy crowd-pleasing strokes and Shapovalov enjoys coming in to finish his points off at the net. While Auger-Aliassime will also approach it is probably fair to say Shapovalov is a little more accomplished at the net.

There is not much in this, but the edge probably goes to Shapovalov.

Prediction: Shapovalov in four sets.

 

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Dominic Thiem [3] v Nick Kyrgios H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Dominic Thiem [3] v Nick Kyrgios H2H: Thiem leads 1-0
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: A$215,000
First night match on John Cain Arena, not before 7pm (8am GMT) Tennis TV/Eurosport Player if available

 

 

Dominic Thiem will not want a long dragged out early round in the first week, but with Nick Kyrgios you never really know what to expect. In front of a raucous home crowd on his favourite court, Kyrgios will have home advantage for sure, and Thiem will need to gather up resources to expect to play at least four or five sets.

It was a tough win for Kyrgios, but he always finds a way to raise his game on home soil, while Thiem still looked a little rusty in his opener but Thiem has learned in recent slams that it is possible to advance in rounds without dropping sets!

What has been impressive is Kyrgios’ levels of fitness in the pandemic down-time, and this is an early test for Thiem. Both play an aggressive style of tennis, so it will come down to temperament, and how Thiem can handle the Aussie crowd.

Prediction: Thiem in four sets.

 

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