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Tennis acca tips: Novak Djokovic to ease past home hope

Planet Sport offers picks for a handful of Australian Open second-round matches scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 17 January.

Novak Djokovic and former Australian Open finalist Stefanos Tsistipas both come up against home favourites in the second round of the Grand Slam.

Little has happened to throw into doubt Djokovic's seemingly inevitable march to another Grand Slam title.

Defending women's champion Aryna Sabalenka has also started well and looks a strong contender to retain her title.

Here, we make picks for a handful of Australian Open second-round matches scheduled to go down on Wednesday, 17 January.


Australian Open Men's Singles: Sebastian Korda vs Quentin Halys | Pick: Korda 

Australian Open Men's Singles: Christopher Eubanks vs Andrey Rublev | Pick: Rublev

Australian Open Men's Singles: Jordan Thompson vs Stefanos Tsitsipas | Pick: Tsitsipas

Australian Open Men's Singles: Novak Djokovic vs Alexei Popyrin | Pick: Djokovic

Australian Open Women's Singles: Lesia Tsurenko vs Rebeka Masarova | Pick: Tsurenko

Australian Open Women's Singles: Marta Kostyuk vs Elise Mertens | Pick: Kostyuk

Australian Open Women's Singles: Brenda Fruhvirtova vs Aryna Sabalenka | Pick: Sabalenka

Australian Open Women's Singles: Maria Sakkari vs Elina Avanesyan | Pick: Sakkari


Sebastian Korda vs Quentin Halys

American Sebastian Korda and France's Quentin Halys will share a court for the first time when they meet on Wednesday.

In the opening round, Korda had a tough win against Kopriva, overcoming his opponent in a fifth set decider. (6-1 6-4 2-6 4-6 6-2). 

During that match, Korda was highly aggressive and hit 52 winners. 

Quentin Halys might not have the game to overcome Korda if he finds his best tennis, but the American has been patchy of late.


Christopher Eubanks vs Andrey Rublev

Christopher Eubanks and Andrey Rublev are set for their first ever meeting when they clash on Wednesday.

Rublev faces the American, considered to have a very big upside in an early round.

The Russian hasn't managed to put together the kind of run that he is capable of.

Eubanks has often saved his best for the big tournaments as well.


Jordan Thompson vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Big-serving Jordan Thompson stands in the way of Stefanos Tsitsipas and passage to the third round.

This will be the fourth meeting between the players and the second time they have met at a Grand Slam.

Tsitsipas leads the head-to-head 2-1 and won their only best-of-five clash in straight sets.

Thompson did win the most recent clash, but if the top ten star can make his shotmaking count, he should be capable of a win here.


Novak Djokovic vs Alexei Popyrin

Alexei Popyrin has had some encouraging results of late but nobody will believe that he has a shot at an upset here.

Djokovic has no equal in five-set tennis on most days, and Popyrin would do well to emulate Prizmic in taking a set off the Serb.

The players have met once before, but that clash came all the way back in 2019 with Djokovic winning comfortably.

Djokovic is chasing a 24th Grand Slam and continues to improve his incredible track record in Australia.


Lesia Tsurenko vs Rebeka Masarova

Lesia Tsurenko and Rebeka Masarova will face off in the second round of the Australian Open in their maiden professional matchup.

In her opener against Bronzetti, Tsurenko rallied from a set down before winning 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Tsurenko had some wobbly moments on serve in that first match, but her defensive game carried her through.

Masarova had a good straight sets win against Sasnovich to open her Australian Open but we can expect more from Tsurenko.


Marta Kostyuk vs Elise Mertens

Number 25 seed Elise Mertens will have her hands full when she faces Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk.

Mertens owns the victory from their previous clash, but Kostyuk has shown that she can battle with the best on her day.

Just nine rankings places separate these two players on the WTA Rankings, and this could be a tight contest.

Mertens could just be the next seeded casualty if she cannot find a way to counter Kostyuk.


Brenda Fruhvirtova vs Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka is also set for a testing second round encounter against young Czech starlet Brenda Fruhvirtova.

Sabalenka reached this second round thanks to a crushing win over Ella Seidel.

Sabalenka had all her weapons firing as she blasted 24 winners and dropped just one game.

In her game against Bogdan, Fruhvirtova recovered from a set down to win 2-6 6-4 6-3.


Maria Sakkari vs Elina Avanesyan

There is no head-to-head record between Maria Sakkari and Elina Avanesyan, with the Greek number one the clear favourite.

Sakkari finished her 2023 campaign well and will be out to show she can challenge all year round.

Sakkari delivered a mixed bag on serve in her opener, firing four aces and committing three double faults.

Ranked as WTA No 74, Avanesyan reached this round after beating Zhuoxuan Bai 4-6 7-5 6-2.



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