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Top 5 matches to look forward to on Day 6 of the Australian Open

SENIOR ANALYST
Feature
3.05K   //    23 Jan 2015, 19:29 IST

Day 5 of the 2015 Australian Open saw one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament, as second seed Roger Federer was knocked out by Andreas Seppi in four sets. Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova had a relatively easy outing as compared to their previous matches while Canadian sensation Eugenie Bouchard continued to dazzle the courts with another straight sets victory.

The players in the top half of the draw take to the court tomorrow for their third round matches. Here are five matches you can’t afford to miss:

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

1. Novak Djokovic vs Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco might be seeded 30 places below the World No. 1, but the Spaniard has an ‘x-factor’ to his game when it comes to Melbourne Park. Although Novak Djokovic is the favourite heading into the match, he will have to be careful to not allow Verdasco any time on his shots.

Djokovic is arguably playing the best tennis of his life. He dispatched Kuznetsov in straight sets in the second round, dropping only five games in the match. But Verdasco is also coming on the back of a straight sets victory, and the Spaniard has nothing to lose in this third round clash, which promises to be an entertaining affair. 

Match time: 1.30 pm IST

2. Serena Williams vs Elina Svitolina

World No. 1 Serena Williams seems determined to carry on from her US Open victory and clinch her 19th Grand Slam title. But in her path stands 26th seed Ukranian Elina Svitolina, who is capable of springing a surprise or two.

Serena has been in sublime form, handing a bagel to both of her opponents in two her straight sets victories. Svitolina, on the other hand, was taken to two tie-breaks in the second round against American Nicole Gibbs. Having already endured a tough contest, the 20-year-old will be facing a much more daunting task when she runs into the World No. 1. 

But the talented youngster will have a point to prove. An upset may be on the cards if the Ukrainian is able to dictate terms in the match.

Match time: Around 7 am IST

3. Feliciano Lopez vs Jerzy Janowicz 

In this mouth-watering third round clash, 12th seed Feliciano Lopez takes on Poland’s towering Jerzy Janowicz. Although unseeded, Janowicz can prove to be a strong force, having already beaten Gael Monfils in a five-set thriller.

Lopez on his part was a little lucky to enter the third round after being two sets to one down against Mannarino; the Spaniard progressed after an injury struck his opponent in the fourth set.

Both have had relatively difficult second rounds and we can expect another hard-fought battle when they take the courts tomorrow. 

Match time: Around 7 am IST

4. David Ferrer vs Gilles Simon

David Ferrer takes on Gilles Simon in another exciting third round fixture. Ninth seeded Ferrer hasn’t looked in the greatest of form as he dropped a set in both of his earlier rounds. 

Simon on the other hand has gone about his work like a thorough professional. Two straight sets wins in the opening rounds have earned him a shot at the fourth round. The Spaniard will be a completely different ball game though, and Simon will have to be on his toes if he is going to cause an upset. 

Ferrer has been starting slow so far in the Australian Open. If the pattern is repeated in the third round, he will be punished by the Frenchman.

Match time: 1.30 pm IST

5. Victoria Azarenka vs Barbora Zahlavova Strycova

After a stunning victory over eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka faces 25th seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the third round. The former World No. 1 impressed in her 6-4, 6-2 win over the Dane and heads into this tie having not dropped a set. 

Strycova has been consisten so far in the Australian Open, handing straight sets defeats to Timea Babos and Kai-Chen Chang in the opening rounds. The Czech will prove to be a stern test for Azarenka in what promises to be an unpredictable match.

Match time: Around 9.30 am IST

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SENIOR ANALYST
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