Australian Open 2019, Day 2: Men's singles predictions
Day 2 at the 2019 Australian Open will see world No.1 Novak Djokovic begin his quest for a record-breaking seventh Australian Open title. The Serb is currently tied with Roger Federer and Australian great Roy Emerson on six Australian Open crowns.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a potential round two opponent for the Serb. The Frenchman is a former Australian Open finalist and he will play Slovakia's Martin Klizan in his first round.
Nick Kyrgios is one of the four Australians in the men's draw who will be action on Day 2. The controversial 23-year-old will battle against Canada's Milos Raonic in what promises to be an electrifying first round match.
Here are the predictions of the best men's singles matches from Day 2 at the Australian Open:
Novak Djokovic vs Mitchell Krueger
World No.1 Novak Djokovic faces off against America's Mitchell Krueger in the opening round. This is a fairly straightforward assignment for the Serb who should have no problem whatsoever in beating the qualifier. However, much tougher tests await for the Serb starting with a potential second round match against Tsonga.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in straight sets.
Nick Kyrgios vs Milos Raonic
Not so long ago this was a Wimbledon quarter-final match and Kyrgios was touted as the next big thing in Australian tennis and we know how that has gone til now. Milos Raonic was establishing himself as a top 5 player until injury problems mounted but the Canadian has now returned to full fitness.
The head-to-head record between the pair is 3-3, with only one hard court meeting which was won by Kyrgios in Miami in 2016. But Kyrgios has been lackluster in the opening week in Brisbane. He was barely moving on any rallies and was simply disinterested. I am tipping Raonic to win this one with at least one tiebreaker.
Prediction: Milos Raonic to win in four sets.
Martin Klizan vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
I may sound a little bit tentative, but I think Martin Klizan could surprise us. Tsonga is the better player of the two and is certainly coming into this match with great momentum, but he will not fancy playing Martin Klizan.
The Slovak generates so much power on his groundstrokes on both wings and will look to attack Tsonga's backhand which is the weakest part of his game. Klizan has also won their only meeting to date at the US Open in 2012. That win may not have any relevance coming into this encounter, but the Slovak will know that he has the game to beat the Frenchman.
Prediction: Martin Klizan to win in five sets.
Benoit Paire vs Dominic Thiem
Paire and Thiem met at the Australian Open in 2017 in their only meeting and it was the Austrian who was triumphant in four sets. The dynamic Austrian is the French Open runner-up but he has failed to translate his brilliant clay court form to the hard courts and has often been a player vulnerable to so many defeats.
Benoit Paire seems to have attained the level of match play that would enable him to be competitive in this match. He lost in three sets to Gilles Simon in Pune during the first week, while Thiem lost on his first outing to Herbert in Doha. I don't think we can term this as an upset if Paire wins, because Thiem could lose to anybody on hard courts.
Prediction: Benoit Paire to win in five sets.
Stan Wawrinka vs Ernests Gulbis
It is great to see Stan Wawrinka competing again. He was very impressive in Doha where defeated an in-form Karen Khachanov in straight sets. I cannot see Gulbis troubling the Swiss here.
Prediction: Stan Wawrinka to win in straight sets
Alexander Zverev vs Aljaz Bedene
Aljaz Bedene has to be one of the unluckiest players in the Grand Slam draws. Last year he was drawn against Roger Federer in the first round and this year he plays the fourth seeded Zverev.
There was a slight worry that the German might pull out due to injury, but he has quashed those rumours and he is fit to play. The world no.4 owns a 2-0 on head-to-head record over Bedene and I believe it will be 3-0 after this match.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in straight sets.