Australian Open Schedule 2014: Day 2 Matchups, Predictions and Analysis

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2014

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 11:  Andy Murray of Great Britain trains during a practice session ahead of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 11, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

With any luck, Day 2 of the Australian Open will build upon what was a thrilling Day 1 and provide even more big-name upsets.

The first rounds of Grand Slams always have a few surprises here and there, but down in Melbourne, the upsets come hard and fast.

Having the tournament so early in the season means that players don't have a ton of time to prepare. That levels the playing field and results in players like Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova and Roberta Vinci crashing out on Day 1. Meanwhile, Tommy Haas was forced to retire after a first-round injury.

Day 2 should feature more of the same, so here's a quick preview for Tuesday's action.

 

Where: Melbourne Park

When: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m. AEDT; Monday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

 

Day 2 Schedule (view full schedule here)

Notable Matches
MatchupCourtCourt Start Time (Local)Match #
Johanna Larsson (SWE) vs. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [2]Rod Laver Arena11 a.m.1
James Duckworth (AUS) vs. Roger Federer (SUI) [6]Rod Laver Arena11 a.m.2
Andres Seppi (ITA) [24] vs. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)Rod Laver Arena11 a.m.3
Rafael Nadal (ESP) [1] vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)Rod Laver Arena7 p.m.1
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS) [3]Rod Laver Arena7 p.m.2
Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [10]Hisense Arena11 a.m.1
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [10] vs. Filippo Volandri (ITA)Hisense Arena11 a.m.2
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [5] vs. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)Hisense Arena11 a.m.3
Andy Murray (GBR) [4] vs. Go Soeda (JPN)Hisense ArenaNot Before 5 p.m.4
Katarzyna Piter (POL) vs. Simona Halep (ROU) [11]Margaret Court Arena11 a.m.1
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) vs. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) [20]Margaret Court Arena11 a.m.2
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) [8] vs. Misaki Doi (JPN)Margaret Court Arena11 a.m.3
Rhyne Williams (USA) vs. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [5]Margaret Court Arena11 a.m.4
Ryan Harrison (USA) vs. Gael Monfils (FRA) [25]Margaret Court ArenaNot Before 5 p.m.5
Marinko Matosevic (AUS) vs. Kei Nishikori (JPN) [16]Show Court 211 a.m.1
Sloane Stephens (USA) [13] vs. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)Show Court 211 a.m.4
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [16] vs. Vania King (USA)Show Court 311 a.m.1
Martin Klizan (SVK) vs. John Isner (USA) [13]Court 611 a.m.2
Milos Raonic (CAN) [11] vs. Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)Court 811 a.m.1
Elina Svitolina (UKR) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [19]Court 1311 a.m.4
www. AusOpen.com

 

Top Matches to Watch

No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Bernard Tomic

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12:  Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand during practice ahead of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 12, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal missed last year's Australian Open while recovering from an injured left knee. He returned in February at the VTR Open, and the rest was history.

Nadal was brilliant in 2013, sans his Wimbledon debacle. Now, with a full season ahead, who knows what Nadal is capable of on the court? The 27-year-old looks like a genuine bet to actually pull off the Grand Slam for 2014.

Melbourne has always been a bit of a trouble spot for Nadal, a 2012 finalist there. His one Aussie Open title is the fewest of the four Grand Slam event titles he owns, and he's only made the Australian Open final twice in eight attempts.

It will be important for Nadal to get off to a quick start this year.

Prediction: Nadal wins, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2

 

No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Go Soeda

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27:  Andy Murray of Great Britain holds the runner up plate after losing his men's final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during day fourteen of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2013 in Melbour
Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Andy Murray has become a fixture in the final rounds at the Australian Open. In three of the last four years, he has made the Australian Open men's title match, and lost in the semifinals in the other year (2012).

Although Murray is staring up at a glass ceiling in terms of matching the overall success of Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Melbourne is the perfect place for him to get an edge on his rivals. He has always been great on hard courts, and it's much easier to spring a surprise earlier in the season.

Some feel that Murray has a cakewalk in the first round against Go Soeda. Simon Briggs of The Telegraph, however, believes the 29-year-old Soeda could give the reigning Wimbledon champion a tough go of it:

Since the draw came out, Soeda has been widely painted as a patsy – an ideal first opponent for Murray as he feels his way back from a four-month lay-off.

Yet this is more than a tad disrespectful: Soeda’s ranking of 112 conceals the fact that he cracked the top 50 last year before picking up an injury. Now restored to full fitness, he is the sort of energetic terrier – or perhaps we should call him a Spitz – who will scamper all over the court and keep Murray short of breath.

Briggs also noted how the hot temperatures in Melbourne could level the playing field a bit between the two competitors.

Murray should win this one in straight sets. Soeda may present a stern test in the first or second sets, but he'll fade as the match goes on.

Prediction: Murray wins, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

 

Johanna Larsson vs. No. 2 Victoria Azarenka

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26:  Victoria Azarenka of Belarus poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning her women's final match against Na Li of Chinaduring day thirteen of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2013 i
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

In each of the last two years, Victoria Azarenka has reigned supreme in Melbourne. The last women's player to win three straight singles titles there was Martina Hingis from 1997 to 1999.

Even with her success at the Australian Open, Azarenka could only earn the second seed in 2014 behind No. 1 Serena Williams. Rather than taking umbrage with what some may perceive as a slight, the 24-year-old Azarenka said that she didn't need any additional motivation to take down Williams, per The Telegraph:

I don’t really care about it, honestly. I never cared about it. For us, it’s a matter of playing tennis and giving your best on the court. Everybody will be motivated to beat her.

Azarenka shouldn't have any trouble with Larsson in the first round. The two have already met once, with Azarenka having coasted to a 6-1, 6-3 win in the first round of the 2011 U.S. Open. 

Prediction: Azarenka wins, 6-2, 6-2

 

No. 8 Jelena Jankovic vs. Misaki Doi 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 06:  Jelena Jankovic of Serbia plays a backhand her match against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia during day two of the Sydney International at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre on January 6, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by
Mark Nolan/Getty Images

At 28 years old, Jelena Jankovic has passed her best opportunity to win a Grand Slam title. During her prime, few female singles players did less with more, as time and again she had let mental lapses be the ruination of her run to Grand Slam finals.

However, as her climb up the rankings would attest, Jankovic remains a steady presence on the court. Of course, she's equally capable of laying a major egg early in the tournament and getting bounced in the first few rounds, thus making for a captivating first-round match in Melbourne.

Jankovic has met Misaki Doi once—at a 2012 WTA event in Birmingham, England. It was a close match, with the Serbian star winning, 6-3, 6-4. A similar result should follow at the Australian Open, as this should be one of the more competitive first-round matches featuring a top-10 seed.

Prediction: Jankovic wins, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3