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Tennis acca tips: Nobody can stop Novak Djokovic

Planet Sport puts forward a selection of tips to help build your Aussie Open acca.

Novak Djokovic has cemented his status as the top contender for the Australian Open even as he struggles with niggles.

Djokovic always seems to have another gear to go to in the Grand Slams, especially in Melbourne.

The women's side of the draw is increasingly open but there are some heavy-hitters still about.

Here, we make picks for a handful of matches on Friday 19 January 2024.


Australian Open Men's Singles: Adrian Mannarino vs Ben Shelton | Pick: Shelton

Australian Open Men's Singles: Alex De Minaur vs Flavio Cobolli | Pick: De Minaur

Australian Open Men's Singles: Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry | Pick: Djokovic

Australian Open Men's Singles: Sebastian Korda vs Andrey Rublev | Pick: Rublev

Australian Open Women's Singles: Alycia Parks vs Coco Gauff | Pick: Gauff

Australian Open Women's Singles: Mirra Andreeva vs Diane Parry | Pick: Andreeva

Australian Open Women's Singles: Maria Timofeeva vs Beatriz Haddad Maia | Pick: Haddad Maia

Australian Open Women's Singles: Storm Hunter vs Barbora Krejcikova | Pick: Krejcikova


Australian Open Men's Singles: Adrian Mannarino vs Ben Shelton

Adrian Mannarino and Ben Shelton will square off against one another for the second time with the Frenchman leading the head-to-head 1-0.

In their most recent meeting, which took place in Miami in the second round in 2023, Mannarino prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in a ding-dong battle.

Since then Shelton has improved tremendously and will be a different prospect to face for Mannarino.

Shelton's best result this term was reaching the semifinal in Auckland and he will want to notch something more impressive soon.


Australian Open Men's Singles: Alex De Minaur vs Flavio Cobolli

Since this will be the first time that Alex De Minaur and Flavio Cobolli face off on the main tour, there is no head-to-head record between them.

The Australian defeated Matteo Arnaldi in the second round in a solid straight-sets victory, collecting 97 points to the opponent's 67 and launching 37 winners in all.

De Minaur cancelled out his three double faults with four aces and looked to be conserving his energy as best he could.

With another unheralded Italian in his path, De Minaur will need to maintain his focus.


Australian Open Men's Singles: Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry

Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Novak Djokovic will play each other for the third time and although the Serb leads the head-to-head record 2-0, they have never faced off in a hard-court match.

When they faced off last, in the second round of the Paris tournament in 2023, Djokovic prevailed 6-3, 6-2.

With 87% of his matches won during the past ten years, Djokovic has an excellent record (487–74) and is 4-1 in 2024 on hard courts.

Etcheverry has beaten top players for his troubles at the Australian Open besting Andy Murray and Gael Monfils.


Australian Open Men's Singles: Sebastian Korda vs Andrey Rublev

Sebastian Korda and Andrey Rublev will square off for the third time, with Rublev leading the head-to-head match 2-0.

Korda has been improving but hasn't always come through in the big matches of late.

The Russian, ranked at a career-high No 5, advanced to the third round by overcoming Christopher Eubanks and Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Korda was slow out of the blocks and needed five sets to win through to the second round but once there blasted beyond Frenchman Quentin Halys in straight sets.


Australian Open Women's Singles: Alycia Parks vs Cori Gauff

Alycia Parks has a few years on Coco Gauff in age, however, the US Open champion has a huge edge in big match experience.

Being compatriots may act as something of a leveller, but this has to be Gauff's contest to lose.

In this competition, Gauff has yet to lose a set and has won 61% of the points that she has faced.

Gauff is one of the players carrying a long winning streak into the third round having yet to lose this season.


Australian Open Women's Singles: Mirra Andreeva vs Diane Parry

This will be Mirra Andreeva and Diane Parry's second meeting; the Russian teenager leads the head-to-head record 1-0.

When they faced off last, in the second round of the French Open in 2023, Andreeva prevailed 6-1 6-2.

Andreeva secured a massive upset win over Ons Jabeur in the previous round not only beating the top ten star but doing so handsomely.

Parry will need to find something special to best the prodigy.


Australian Open Women's Singles: Maria Timofeeva vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

Maria Timofeeva overcame a setback to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in the second round of play in Melbourne after dropping the opening set.

However, Brazil's No 1 Beatriz Haddad Maia is out to get her season rolling after a tough United Cup.

The Brazilian, ranked 12th in the world, advanced to the third round by way of victories against Alina Korneeva and Linda Fruhvirtova, respectively.

The Russian though has put together a 5-1 win-loss record this season and this one is almost too tight to call.


Australian Open Women's Singles: Storm Hunter vs Barbora Krejcikova

Storm Hunter represents a shrinking home field in the women's draw in a tough third round tie against former world No 2 Barbora Krejcikova.

Since this will be Barbora Krejcikova and Storm Hunter's first meeting on the main tour, there is no head-to-head record between them.

Hunter struggled to hold her serve in her last outing being broken six times while she saw off a further five break points.

She will not get away with that kind of game against Krejcikova.

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