Australian Open 2013: Previewing Best Matchups of Day 3
The first couple of days of the 2013 Australian Open have brought about few surprises—to the delight of the fans.
The fact that there have been no surprises means the favorites are still in it. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Serena Williams—all will live to play another day and fight for the crown in the first major of the calendar year.
Here's a look at some of the best matches to watch on Day 3 of the Australian Open on Wednesday. You can see the full schedule of play here.
Novak Djokovic vs. Ryan Harrison
Last year, Novak Djokovic started off 2012 with a win on these very courts, but despite the momentum he generated in Melbourne, he couldn't manage to get another victory in a major. Count this as his attempt to start off the year with some momentum—again.
By all indications, the Serb was feeling just fine in his Round 1 matchup against Paul-Henri Mathieu; the World No. 1 rolled to a 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 victory, and he feels right at home on these courts that have brought him so much success over the last few years. Something is clicking, he told The Guardian:
It's great to be back in Melbourne, this is by far my most successful court in my grand slam career. Twelve months ago I played a six-hour final here so it's amazing to be back.
If Djokovic wins once again, he will become the first man to win three straight Australian Open titles. But he still has a long road to the finish line, and the next step is a meeting with Ryan Harrison, who earned a come-from-behind 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 win over Santiago Giraldo on Monday.
Venus Williams vs. Alize Cornet
While all eyes are on sister Serena—and her Round 1 victory that she earned despite rolling her ankle—Venus Williams earned an impressive victory of her own in the early stages of the Australian Open. She registered a decisive 6-1, 6-0 victory over Galina Voskoboeva, which propels her into a second-round matchup against Alize Cornet.
Cornet's road to the second round was a bit more trying: Marina Erakovic took her down to the wire, but Cornet escaped with a 7-5, 6-7 (7-3), 10-8 victory. Still, the odds are heavily against her when she faces Williams, who has beaten her both times the two have faced each other in the past.
Given how good Venus looked in her first-round matchup—and alternately, how difficult Cornet's first test was—Williams should have this one in the bag.
Misaki Doi vs. Maria Sharapova
2012 was a good year for Maria Sharapova. She won the French Open, made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Open, advanced to the Olympic finals and made it to the finals of the Australian Open one year ago, where she lost to Victoria Azarenka.
This year, she's out to make up for last year's disappointment, and the next opponent to cross off her list is Misaki Doi.
In the first round, Sharapova certainly looked ready for domination, taking down Olga Puchkova 6-0, 6-0 in just 55 minutes. Doi, meanwhile, also rolled to a decisive win over Petra Martic, 6-3, 6-4—but with a No. 92 world singles ranking, she is a serious underdog against a Sharapova who looked as sharp as she did on Monday.
By all indications, Sharapova's quest for revenge got off to the perfect start, and she'll continue it on Wednesday.
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