Australian Open 2013: Predictions for Top Matches on Day 7
There is no shortage of terrific matches on tap for Day 7 at the Australian Open.
A lack of upsets in the first three rounds took some of the initial thrill out of the season's first major, but the reward for tennis fans is great matchups starting in Round 4.
It will lead to a lot more competitive matches, which have been few and far between in the early going. Most of the top contenders have been able to breeze by their opponents so far, but that should change starting today.
Let's examine the top matches of Day 7 and make predictions for each on what should be a great day of tennis around Melbourne Park.
Nicolas Almagro vs. Janko Tipsarevic
Almagro was almost eliminated in the first round by upstart American Steve Johnson but managed to survive in five sets. He's played exponentially better since that narrow victory, winning six straight sets over the next two matches, including an elimination of young star Jerzy Janowicz.
Now he'll face Tipsarevic, who's been playing with fire for the past two rounds. He allowed Lukas Lacko to fight back from two sets down to force a fifth before finally prevailing, and then he needed to go the distance against Julien Benneteau, as well.
Tipsarevic is an exciting player and, when he's on the top of his game, can hang with anybody. But he's just not consistent enough to rely on a Grand Slams. Given Almagro's return to form and added rest, he should send the No. 8 seed packing.
Prediction: Almagro in four sets
Who will win this match?
Novak Djokovic vs. Stanislas Wawrinka
Djokovic arrived in Melbourne in search of his third straight Aussie Open title. Nothing from the first three rounds would suggest he can't pull it off. He hasn't dropped a single set and won't have to face Roger Federer or Andy Murray until the final.
While a major breakthrough for Wawrinka was expected for awhile, it's reached a point where everybody understands what type of player he is. He's capable of reaching the fourth round or quarterfinals, but that's where the run normally ends.
The two have faced each other 13 times, and Djokovic has won 11 of them. Wawrinka's last victory over the world's top-ranked player came in 2006. It would take an off-match from the Serbian star for him to have a chance, and those just don't happen at this event.
Prediction: Djokovic in three sets
Ana Ivanovic vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
Maria Sharapova is the biggest name in action on the women's side, but she should have very little trouble with Kirsten Flipkens. Ivanovic and Radwanska should be a far more competitive match. They have met seven times and Radwanska holds a 4-3 edge.
Ivanovic has always possessed elite talent, as she displayed en route to the 2008 French Open title. The mental side of things have been an issue, however. But she's finally showing confidence again and that makes her dangerous.
That said, it's hard to pick against Radwanska. She stormed through her first three matches with ease, dropping no sets and just 15 games. Ivanovic should put up more of a fight than those opponents, but expect the No. 4 seed to earn the win.
Prediction: Radwanska in three sets
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