Australian Open 2013: Highlighting Under-the-Radar Day 4 Matchups Down Under

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 15:  Milos Raonic of Canada plays a backhand in his first round match against Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic during day two of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 15, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Andy Murray will all be in action on Day 4 at the 2013 Australian Open, but all four big names are set to cruise through their second-round matches on Thursday.

Therefore, instead of focusing all of their attention on the top seeds in the early rounds, fans should be keeping an eye out of for the underrated first-week clashes. 

Here we'll preview a trio of under-the-radar Day 4 second-round matchups Down Under.


Milos Raonic (13) vs. Lukas Rosol

The last time tennis fans were hearing Lukas Rosol's name, the underrated Czech player was taking out 11-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon last summer. Rosol outlasted Nadal in five sets in one of the greatest upsets in Slam history.

On Day 4 of the 2013 Aussie Open, Rosol will match up against Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic, who is eyeing his second straight berth in the third round of this tournament. The No. 13 seed will be the favorite thanks to his massive serve, but as the 27-year-old Rosol has demonstrated in the past, no opponent is unbeatable.

Rosol took out Jamie Baker in straight sets in Round 1, but wasn't nearly as impressive as Raonic, who beat Jan Hajek in four sets, recording a ridiculous 30 aces in the process. 

Both players possess big serves, and the one who can end his service games the quickest should advance.


Petra Kvitova (8) vs. Laura Robson

British youngster Laura Robson will turn 19 this January, but not before her second-round showdown with the No. 8-seeded Petra Kvitova, who is best known for winning Wimbledon in 2011.

Kvitova is poised for a deep run after making the semis Down Under a year ago, but will have her work cut out for her on Day 4 against Robson. The 18-year-old crushed 11 aces and 28 winners in all in her first-round victory over American Melanie Oudin on Day 2.

As always, the favored Kvitova will need to keep her unforced errors to a minimum in order to avoid the early upset. She committed 42 in her first-round win over Francesca Schiavone, surrendering the second set in 40 minutes thanks to 15 unforced errors. 


Juan Martin del Potro (6) vs. Benjamin Becker

Juan Martin del Potro is coming off a quarterfinal appearance at the Australian Open last year, while Benjamin Becker has never been past the second round at Melbourne.

Still, this match has tremendous potential and could prove to be one of the biggest early-round upsets if Becker brings his A-game, as del Potro has lost in the second round Down Under three times since 2007. But both men have begun play in Australia with some clean tennis. Becker committed just seven unforced errors in his four-set win over Aljaz Bedene, while del Potro made just eight in his straight-set victory over Adrian Mannarino. 

The player who commits the fewest amount of unforced errors and cashes in on the most first serve points should advance on Day 4.

Del Potro is clearly the more talented of the two, and boasts younger legs, but Becker has experience at this tournament and the talent required to pull off an upset if del Potro doesn't play his best game.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter throughout the 2013 Australian Open for more reaction and analysis on the year's first Grand Slam.

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