Australian Open Schedule 2014: Day 3 Matchups, Predictions and Analysis

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Australian Open Schedule 2014: Day 3 Matchups, Predictions and Analysis
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Second-round action at the 2014 Australian Open will get underway on Day 3 as favorites Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams look to punch their tickets to the third round. 

In addition to the pair of marquee names, dark-horse contenders like Li Na, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka will also take to the court on Wednesday, Jan. 15, as the temperaturesand singles actionheat up Down Under.

With the Tennis Channel kicking off coverage at 7 p.m. ET and ESPN2 taking over from 9 p.m. ET until 7 a.m. ET, there will be plenty to watch for. 

Here we'll get you set with a preview of what's to come on Day 3 at Melbourne Park.

Day 3 Schedule of Play (Singles)
Venue (Start Time) Matchups
Rod Laver Arena (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Li Na (4) vs. Belinda Bencic
Serena Williams (1) vs. Vesna Dolonc
Novak Djokovic (2) vs. Leonardo Mayer
Rod Laver Arena (3 a.m. ET) Second Round
Samantha Stosur (17) vs. Tsvetana Pironkova
Vasek Pospisil (28) vs. Matthew Ebden
Hisense Arena (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Tomas Berdych (7) vs. Kenny De Schepper
David Ferrer (3) vs. Adrian Mannarino
Kirsten Flipkens (18) vs. Casey Dellacqua
Margaret Court Arena (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Sabine Lisicki (15) vs. Monica Niculescu
Flavia Pennetta (28) vs. Monica Puig
Angelique Kerber (9) vs. Alla Kudryavtseva
Ernests Gulbis (23) vs. Sam Querrey
Margaret Court Arena (3 a.m. ET) Second Round
Stanislas Wawrinka (8) vs. Alejandro Falla
Show Court 2 (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Richard Gasquet (9) vs. Nikolay Davydenko
Tommy Robredo (17) vs. Julien Benneteau
Eugenie Bouchard (30) vs. Virginie Razzano
Ana Ivanovic (14) vs. Annika Beck
Show Court 3 (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Ekaterina Makarova (22) vs. Irina Falconi
Jerzy Janowicz (20) vs. Pablo Andujar
Yanina Wickmayer vs. Alison Riske
Fabio Fognini (15) vs. Jarkko Nieminen
Court 6 (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Mona Barthel vs. Luksika Kumkhum
Jeremy Chardy (29) vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov
Kevin Anderson (19) vs. Dominic Thiem
Court 8 (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Mikhail Youzhny (14) vs. Florian Mayer
Dmitry Tursunov (30) vs. Denis Istomin
Jie Zheng vs. Madison Keys
Lauren Davis vs. Julia Goerges
Court 13 (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Ivan Dodig (32) vs. Damir Dzumhur
Daniela Hantuchova (31) Karolina Pliskova
Court 19 (7 p.m. ET) Second Round
Lucie Safarova (26) vs. Lucie Hradecka
Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Djoker, Serena Remain Heavy Favorites 

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Don't expect three-time defending men's champion Novak Djokovic or five-time women's champion Serena Williams to fall on Day 3. 

Both players will take to Rod Laver Arena in the afternoon session against overmatched foes. 

Djokovic will battle world No. 98 Leonardo Mayer while Williams is scheduled to take on world No. 104 Vesna Dolonc. Although neither favorite has history with their second-round opponent, their opening-round performances and favorable draws suggest they'll cruise in Round 2, per The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg:

Williams' unrivaled serve was exceptional in her win over Ashleigh Barty, as she dropped just six of 34 total points on serve in the match. The world No. 1 was also good for 31 winners in the straight-sets rout.

Meanwhile, Djokovic's serve was every bit as lethal. The men's No. 2 seed won 78 percent of his total service points for the match and recorded 10 aces to zero double faults in his straight-sets win over Lukas Lacko.

While both players will tell you there are areas where they can improve moving forward, there's no doubt they are playing well enough to reach the third round at Melbourne Park.

Day 3 Predictions for Top Seeds
Projected Result Projected Score
Serena Williams (1) def. Vesna Dolonc 6-1, 6-1
Novak Djokovic (2) def. Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
David Ferrer (3) def. Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
Li Na (4) def. Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-1
Tomas Berdych (7) def. Kenny De Schepper 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
Stanislas Wawrinka (8) def. Alejandro Falla 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Richard Gasquet (9) def. Nikolay Davydenko 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-3
Angelique Kerber (9) def. Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 4-6, 6-2


Underrated Matches to Watch For on Day 3

No. 23 Ernests Gulbis vs. Sam Querrey

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After surviving four-set matches in Round 1, American Sam Querrey and Latvian Ernests Gulbis will square off in one of Day 3's most intriguing second-round singles matchups.

The two players have split their previous four matches dating back to the 2009 French Open and have had some competitive encounters over the past few years. In addition to an experienced and challenging opponent, Gulbis will have to overcome the fact he's never been past the second round in Australia.

Querrey reached the third round Down Under in 2013 but will need to continue to serve big in the second round if he hopes to improve upon that performance. 

Keep in mind Querrey landed 24 aces in his first-round triumph over Santiago Giraldo. He'll need to maintain that pace against Gulbis, who has been known to unravel. The world No. 24 got away with committing 79 unforced errors in his opening-round win over Juan Monaco, but he will need to clean up his swing and be more patient on Day 3 if he hopes to prevail.

No. 9 Richard Gasquet vs. Nikolay Davydenko

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Tennis fans certainly won't want to miss Nikolay Davydenko vs. No. 9 Richard Gasquet, the first match scheduled on Show Court 2 on Day 3. 

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It's rare that we get two accomplished and dangerous players matched up against one another so early in a Grand Slam. However, Davydenko's descent in the rankings in recent years has set up a second-round showdown with tons of potential.

Gasquet is the No. 9 seed in the men's draw and leads the overall head-to-head with Davydenko 5-2, but a lack of success at the Australian Open makes him anything but a lock against a four-time Aussie Open quarterfinalist in Davydenko.

Still, there's no doubt that the Frenchman will be a bit fresher on Day 3 after making short work of countryman David Guez in Round 1. Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Davydenko needed nearly four hours and all five sets to get past Poland's Lukasz Kubot.

While Gasquet will be favored to advance, this match could easily go the distance.

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