Match Predictions at the 2012 US Open: Day 3

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Despite a stuttering first round performance, few people would expect Andy Murray to fail to progress comfortably against Ivan Dodig. While they have never faced each other before, it seems unlikely that the Croatian will have anything to trouble the third seed, who has not lost to a player outside the top six at a Grand Slam since losing to Stanislas Wawrinka in the 2010 US Open.

David Ferrer suffered a shock defeat in his only warm-up event for this tournament, winning only five games on route to losing to Wawrinka in Cincinnati. Despite this setback, his return skills and superior ground strokes should propel him to an easy victory over the South African, Kevin Anderson, who has lost his last four matches in straight sets.

Li Na is the one of the form players coming into this tournament after back-to-back finals in Montreal and Cincinnati. Having cruised past British hope, Heather Watson, she should have no difficulties against the Australian qualifier, Casey Dellacqua. The head-to-head reads 3-0 to Li Na, who is yet to drop a set against her opponent.

Despite health scares coming into this tournament, Maria Sharapova crushed Melina Czink in the first round and looks to have retained the form that saw her reach the number one spot earlier in the year. Lourdes Dominguez Lino was a surprise victor in the first round, but looks to have no weapons that will even remotely bother the Russian.

Likely Winners

Lleyton Hewitt completes his golden wildcard slam here with his fourth wildcard of the year. The former US Open champion is long past his best, but retains the battling qualities that saw him reach the top of the game. His hard court form is patchy this year, but he should have enough to make it past Tobias Kamke, whose last outing saw him lose in the first round of the Aptos challenger to Sergei Bubka.

Another player who is past his prime is the two-time semi-finalist, Mikhail Youzhny. The Russian has struggled on hard courts this year, but his quarter-final run at Wimbledon showed signs that he can still perform. His opponent is Gilles Muller, who has thrived at Flushing Meadows in the past, but unless his serve is on fire, the Russian should have enough off the ground to send him packing.

Marion Bartoli has been out of touch in the last few tournaments, but had a solid win over Jamie Hampton in the first round and will be hoping to find some rhythm at a tournament she has often struggled at. Romina Oprandi beat a rusty Andrea Petkovic in the first round, but has little hard court pedigree at this level and will likely succumb to Bartoli’s superior talent.

The Upsets

Tommy Haas has been in sparkling form over the past few months, rolling back the years to when he reached number two in the world. However, he has played a lot of tennis in the past few weeks and could be susceptible here. His opponent is the gifted, but unpredictable, Ernests Gulbis. A string of victories in Winston-Salem have given him some confidence and he could prove a real banana skin for the German.

Mallory Burdette has been impressing in recent weeks and had a good win against Timea Bacsinszky in the first round. She is one of the big hopes of American tennis and will play with the backing of the crowd. Lucie Hradecka has been in horrible form recently and this is the first time that she has progressed beyond the first round at Flushing Meadows. There may be almost 200 places separating these two in the rankings, but the American could give Hradecka a real scare,

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