Australian Open 2013: Seeded Players Who Will Fall on Day 3

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14:  Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic plays a forehand in his first round match against Viktor Troicki of Serbia during day one of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)
Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Even though fans always like to see the top players battling for a Grand Slam title at the business end of a tournament, the best storylines in the early rounds surround upsets. The unpredictability factor keeps things interesting amidst plenty of blowouts.

On Day 3, stars like Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Maria Sharapova should be able to advance with relative ease. Other seeded players won't be as fortunate given their difficult matchups, which should lead to at least a couple of high-profile upsets.

Here are predictions for three seeded players who will get eliminated in their second-round matches on Day 3 of the Aussie Open.

Samantha Stosur

Stosur has never fared well in her home slam, failing to reach the quarterfinals in 10 career appearances. The pressure of playing in front of packed stadiums certainly seems like it's had a negative affect on her, and the spotlight is back for 2013.

That's not good news ahead of a match with Zheng Jie, who reached the semifinals in Melbourne three years ago. The underrated player from China just beat Stosur in a warm-up event in Sydney, giving her plenty of confidence for the rematch.

It's not a good matchup for Stosur, and her lackluster track record at the season's first major stands out like a sore thumb. Jie will take advantage to reach the third round.

Tamira Paszek

Paszek was able to survive her first-round encounter with Stefanie Voegele, but it was hardly a convicting performance. She needed a 7-5 third set to move on. It marked just the second time in seven tries that she reached the second round in Australia.

Her opponent, American Madison Keys, was far more impressive in her opening match. She knocked off Aussie Casey Dellacqua in straight sets to continue the momentum she built up in the Sydney warm-up event, where she reached the quarters before losing to Li Na.

Paszek has struggled on hard courts throughout her career, and nothing from her first match suggests that will change. Expect Keys to pick up a marquee victory.

Radek Stepanek

While 34-year-old Stepanek was busy grinding his way to a five-set victory over Viktor Troicki in the opening round, his next opponent, Feliciano Lopez, breezed through in straights. That difference in rest will play a key role.

Lopez reached the fourth round last year, something Stepanek has never been able to accomplish at the Australian Open. In fact, he's been eliminated in the first round in three out of the past five years. So he's already outplayed his usual performance.

Between Stepanek's lack of success in Melbourne and his grueling opener, Lopez holds the edge. Look for him to take advantage of it to reach Round 3.


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