Australian Open Day 4: Five Matches To Watch

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Laura Robson vs Petra Kvitova Rod Laver Arena (First Meeting)

Scheduled for the night session on Rod Laver Arena, this tie has the potential for brilliance should both players bring their best tennis. The lefties are capable brilliant shot making at times but are also more than capable of making ugly errors. Kvitova – be it through health issues or lack of confidence – has struggled to match the level of 2011 where she won Wimbledon as a 21 year old. An embarrassing 6-1 6-1 defeat in Sydney against Dominika Cibulkova wasn’t the ideal warm up for Melbourne and despite winning in a scrappy three setter in the first round against Francesca Schiavone, a -14 winner to unforced differential might not cut it against Robson who showed a whole lot more consistency in the first round against Melanie Oudin. Even if Kvitova isn’t currently the threat she was seen as last year, beating a third grand slam champion in the space of six months could well give Laura the confidence to kick on and make a move for the top 20 this year.

Roger Federer vs Nikolay Davydenko Rod Laver Arena (Head To Head Federer 17-2)

When the draw came out last week, this was a potential second round tie that stood out to many as a potential thriller. While Davydenko’s chances of victory may be being overestimated, the chances of the Russian taking a set against the World No.2 are much greater if he can repeat his form from Doha where he destroyed David Ferrer in straight sets. Despite the lopsided head to head, Davydenko has rarely been embarrassed and could well have defeated Federer in their last encounter in Rotterdam last year. The Russian will need to do better than in the first round, where he surprisingly dropped a set to Dudi Sela before coming through to win in four.

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Su Wei Hsieh Margaret Court Arena (First Meeting)

One of two grand slam champions in the draw that are unseeded, the other Francesca Schiavone, Kuznetsova still is a dangerous opponent that has the potential to go deep into a draw. In a section that sees Kuznetsova in the second round with a lot of qualifiers and younger players as well as a Caroline Wozniacki that isn’t in the greatest of form, she has a great chance of a quarter final meeting with Victoria Azarenka if she can cope with the unorthodox style of Hsieh. The 26th seed from Chinese Taipei has made it past the second round of a slam just twice since 2005. The interesting clash of styles and relative unpredictability of both players should make for an intriguing early afternoon tie on MCA.

Caroline Wozniacki vs Donna Vekic Hisense Arena (First Meeting)

One of a bundle of teenagers who secured their first victory in a grand slam main draw, Vekic is possibly the one generating the most interest. The 16 year old dropped just three games in an impressive victory over Andrea Hlavackova while Wozniacki was thankful for an implosion from Sabine Lisicki in round one, the German dropping six straight after taking a 3-0 lead in the deciding set. It will be incredibly important for the young Croatian to remain composed in this match otherwise it could be very short and one-sided giving the success Wozniacki has against erratic players.

Florian Mayer vs Ricardas Berankis Court 6 (Head To Head Mayer 2-1)

This match looks one of the more even clashes on Day 4, between the veteran Mayer and the up and coming Berankis. Berankis had been showing promise a few years back but spent 2011 and 2012 with various injuries hindering his development. The back end of the year saw him make his first ATP final in Los Angeles which could set the tone for 2013. This match has all the makings of a minor upset – despite Mayer being ranked inside the top 30, he struggled on hard courts last year and had a soft Wimbledon draw to thank for what looks like an overinflated ranking at present. Mayer struggled against Rhyne Williams in round one, even needing to save match points while Berankis found it fairly easy against Sergiy Stakhovsky.

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