Australian Open 2019, Day 4: Men's singles predictions
It has been 11 years since Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga announced themselves on the big stage when they usurped Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal respectively to headline the final of the 2008 Australian Open.
The outcome of that final seemed to have bearing on both the players' career paths. Djokovic has went on to capture 13 more grand slams after that while Tsonga has never set foot on a major final since then. The Serb will play the Frenchman in the second round for their 23rd career meeting tomorrow in the last match on Rod Laver Arena.
Elsewhere, Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev will face Jeremy Chardy, while Canada's Milos Raonic who saw off Nick Kyrgios in the opening round, will play 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka.
Here are the predictions of the best men's matches from day 4 of the 2019 Australian Open:
Novak Djokovic vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Novak Djokovic is undoubtedly the man to beat at this year's Australian Open. The form he produced during the second half of last season was nothing short of magical. However, there has been a slight drop in the level of play by Djokovic most recently in Doha.
Tsonga will be buoyed by the fact that Djokovic has lost sets to the likes of Fucsovics and Basilashvili in Qatar. I think we also have to give credit to the opposition who raised their game when playing the Serb.
Tsonga is coming into this match with a bit of form after wobbling in 2018 and he will test Djokovic. Over the last couple of years, we have seen that Djokovic can be vulnerable to an early defeat in a grand Slam, but once he gets to the second week, it is almost impossible to compete, let alone beat him. Djokovic will win this one, but I think it will be a long one.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in five sets
Marton Fucsovics vs Borna Coric
The remarkable progress shown by Borna Coric over the last 18 months has put him in contention to become a top 10 player this year.
I was surprised to see that this is the first time he has made the second round of the Australian Open because we are talking about a player who has already beaten the likes of Federer, Nadal, Murray, Wawrinka and Zverev before. Coric is definitely a favorite here in spite of playing only his second match this year.
Prediction: Borna Coric to win in straight sets
Stan Wawrinka vs Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic surprised a lot of people with his straight sets win over Nick Kyrgios. But if anyone watched Kyrgios during the opening week of the year, that defeat was certainly expected of him. Raonic won an incredible 88% of his first serve points because at times Kyrgios barely returned.
Wawrinka, who benefited from Gulbis' retirement in the first round, is a better returner than Kyrgios and he will keep the Canadian engaged in rallies. However, Raonic defeated Wawrinka at last year's US Open albeit the Swiss was still not fit enough to play. If Raonic is able to maintain his first serve at an all-time high, he wins this match. I think we will get at least two tiebreaks in this one.
Prediction: Milos Raonic to win in four sets
Alexander Zverev vs Jeremy Chardy
Alexander Zverev brushed aside concerns about his ankle with a dominant victory over Aljaz Bedene while his second round opponent Jeremy Chardy could still be feeling the effects of a dramatic five-set win over Ugo Humbert. I cannot see Chardy doing any damage in this match.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in straight sets
Daniil Medvedev vs Ryan Harrison
Daniil Medvedev is projected to face Djokovic in the fourth round and if it were to happen, it could be fireworks. I don't think players like to play Medvedev because he is such an unorthodox baseliner. When his serve is on song he can be lethal. I actually fancy him to make the fourth at the very least.
Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win in straight sets
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