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Top 5 matches to look forward to on Day 3 of the Australian Open

Jai Prakash
2.80K   //    20 Jan 2015, 16:16 IST

Day 2 of the 2015 Australian Open saw most of the top seeds progress safely to the next round without too many hiccups. But Gael Monfils went the distance in his match against compatriot Lucas Pouille and emerged victorious from being two sets down, to provide his customary dose of high-octane entertainment. 

Day 3 looks set to add even more to the excitement, as second round matches begin in the bottom half of the draw in both the men’s and women’s sections. The likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard will seek to advance to the third round on Wednesday.

Reminder: You can watch all the action live on Sony Liv Sports here.

Here are five matches you should watch out for on Day 3 in Melbourne:

1. Sam Groth vs Thanasi Kokkinakis 

It will be an all-Aussie contest in Hisense Arena as Sam Groth takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis for a place in the third round. Groth was ruthless in his straight sets win over Filip Krajinovic in the opening round, while Kokkinakis came back from two sets to one down against 11th seed Ernests Gulbis.

Kokkinakis plays a solid game from the baseline and is not afraid to go for his shots off either wing. The 18-year old is seen as the next big thing in Aussie tennis along with Nick Kyrgios, and it’s easy to see why.

It will be interesting to see the young Australian’s approach against Groth, with whom he has practised a lot. The crowd will have a difficult time choosing the player to root for in this contest!

This is the first meeting between the two.

Match Time: Around 10:30 am IST.

2. Roberta Vinci vs Ekaterina Makarova

Another intriguing match-up kicks things off at the Rod Laver Arena, as Italian Roberta Vinci takes on the No. 10 seed Ekatarina Makarova. Both players had comfortable wins in their opening matches and will look to continue the winning momentum.

Vinci was ranked as high as No. 11 in the world a couple of years ago, but has concentrated more on her doubles game in recent times. The Italian is currently No. 1 in doubles and she completed her Career Slam by winning last year’s Wimbledon Championships. Makarova, meanwhile, reached the semifinals at last year’s US Open and has turned into a solid top-10 player in the last 12 months.

Vinci came into the Australian Open after losing in the first round to American Coco Vandeweghe at Auckland, while Makarova lost to Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in Sydney. Their head-to-head rivalry is 2-2.

Match Time: 5:30 am IST.

3. Nick Kyrgios vs Ivo Karlovic

Big serving Ivo Karlovic takes on local favorite Nick Kyrgios on Show Court 3 in what promises to be a highly entertaining match.

Karlovic took out World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Doha and comes into the second round here after a straight sets win over Ruben Bemelmans in the opening round. Kyrgios on the other hand did not have a great start to the season, having pulled out of the Hopman Cup and losing to Jerzy Janowicz in the first round of the Sydney International. 

The match would largely depend on how the Australian returns the serve of the big Croat, and also his break point conversion percentage. This will be the first time the two players will be facing off against each other.

Match Time: Around 10:30 am IST.

4. Andy Murray vs Marinko Matosevic

The British No.1 got off to a solid start in Melbourne with a straight sets win over Indian Yuki Bhambri. Although the No. 6 seed did not play any lead-up tournament prior to the Australian Open, he looked in fine form in his first match.

Marinko Matosevic trailed Alexander Kudryavtsev by two sets to one in the first round before staging a dramatic comeback in front of his home fans. Murray will not let his opponent off the hook like the Russian did, and the Australian will be well aware of that. He will have thousands of Aussie fans cheering for him in this second round match-up, but will that be enough to help him pull off the first big upset in the men’s draw?

The two have met on two occasions in the past and Murray leads 2-0. 

Match time: Around 7 am IST.

5. Roger Federer vs Simone Bolelli

Roger Federer looked in complete control in his convincing win over Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round. The Swiss maestro is looking for his 18th Grand Slam title and takes on Italian Simone Bolelli in the second round.

Bolelli dropped a set before overcoming Aregentine Juan Monaco in the first round. It will be an arduous task for the Italian to trouble Federer as he looks to put on a show in Rod Laver Arena.

Federer leads the head to head 3-0, and they last played each other in the 2014 Davis Cup.

Match time: Around 8:30 am IST.

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