2010 Australian Open: Picking the Third Round

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2010 Australian Open: Picking the Third Round
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

22 of the 32 seeds advanced to the third round at the Australian Open, but do any of those 10 unseeded men have a chance of moving deeper into the year's first Grand Slam?

I correctly predicted 43 of the 64 first round winners and 21 of the 32 players to reach the third round.

Let's take a look at the 16 matchups in the Round of 32.

 

Roger Federer (1) def. Albert Montanes (31)

As expected, the top-ranked player in the world struggled in his first round match against Russian Igor Andreev, but he had no problem vs. Romanian Victor Hanescu and should breeze past Montanes, whom he's defeated twice on clay, Federer's weakest surface. 

Circle that potential quarterfinal meeting with No. 6 seed Nikolay Davydenko, however.  The Russian has beaten Federer the last two times they've played, including earlier this month at Doha, so we could see the incredible streak of 22 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals come to an end.

 

Lleyton Hewitt (22) def. Marcos Baghdatis

Earlier this month, Baghdatis beat Hewitt in three sets at Sydney, so this is actually a tougher matchup than the Australian would've had with No. 17 David Ferrer.  However, you have to wonder how much Baghdatis has left after that long five-setter with the Spaniard.

 

Fernando Verdasco (9) def. Stefan Koubek

Koubek got a break when No. 23 Juan Carlos Ferrero lost to qualifier Ivan Dodig in the first round, but I think Koubek's run ends against last year's semifinalist.

 

Nikolay Davydenko (6) def. Juan Monaco (30)

I thought it would be Ernests Gulbis standing here instead of Monaco, but the Argentinian won the first round meeting between the two and advanced to the Round of 32.  Davydenko holds a 3-1 lead in his career against Monaco, including a hard court win last year in Valencia.

 

Novak Djokovic (3) def. Denis Istomin

I had the unseeded Istomin getting this far, but I still don't see him beating the '08 champ.

 

Mikhail Youzhny (20) def. Lukasz Kubot

I thought this would be Richard Gasquet and Tommy Robredo, but Youzhny rebounded from a two-set deficit to beat Gasquet in two tiebreakers and 6-4 in the fifth.  Meanwhile, Kubot didn't even have to contend with No. 16 Robredo after he lost to Santiago Giraldo in the first round.  I'll give the edge to Youzhny because he reached the quarters two years ago, while Kubot is playing in his first Aussie Open.

 

Tommy Haas (18) def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10)

Haas beat Tsonga in straight sets at Halle last year.

 

Nicolas Almagro (26) def. Alejandro Falla

That's six straight Grand Slam third rounds for Almagro, while Falla is playing in his first.  Because of experience, I favor the man from Spain.

 

Andy Roddick (7) def. Feliciano Lopez

Lopez is another unseeded player that I correctly predicted would reach the third round, but he won't last much longer.  Roddick has beaten him all five times they've played—all on hard courts.

 

Fernando Gonzalez (11) def. Evgeny Korolev

Gonzalez has defeated Korolev two out of three times on Tour, including a first round win at the '07 Australian.

 

Marin Cilic (14) def. Stanislas Wawrinka (19)

Wawrinka was 4-0 against Cilic until the Croatian beat him in a pair of tiebreakers at the Chennai final earlier this month.  Cilic is my sleeper pick to win it all here.

 

Juan Martin del Potro (4) def. Florian Mayer

Del Potro beat Mayer in straight sets at last year's Australian.

 

Andy Murray (5) def. Florent Serra

Murray is looking to make the fourth round of a major for the seventh straight time, while Serra has never gotten that far at a Grand Slam.

 

John Isner (33) def. Gael Monfils (12)

Isner leads the all-time series 2-1, including a win on the hard courts of Indian Wells last year.

 

Ivo Karlovic def. Ivan Ljubicic (24)

These two Croatians have only met once on Tour when Karlovic beat Ljubicic in three sets at Nottingham way back in '05.  That's not a lot to go on, but Karlovic has been playing well this year, taking No. 6 Davydenko to two tiebreakers at Doha and then beating 13 seed Radek Stepanek in the first round here.

 

Rafael Nadal (2) def. Philipp Kohlschreiber (27)

Nadal is 4-0 vs. Kohlschreiber.

 

Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison .

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

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