Australian Open: Matches to look out for

Here is a selection of the best match-ups from the Australian Open scheduled for Day 4.

Halep had a tough first-round match against teenage Aussie wildcard Destanee Aiava, whom she beat 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 with her ankle strapped in the second set.   -  AFP

With the first-round matches coming to an end, we take a look at the best the second round has to offer.

Novak Djokovic vs Gael Monfils: This could be the biggest match on Thursday as six-time champion Novak Djokovic will face France's World No. 39 in the second round.

Djokovic, seeded 14th, beat Donald Young 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round. Monfils also had a straightforward opener as he beat Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Maria Sharapova vs Anastasija Sevastova: Sharapova always brings interest to wherever and whenever she plays. The Russian superstar breezed past Tatjana Maria in the first round 6-1, 6-4, and she will look to repeat the performance against Sevastova.

The Latvian was pushed to three sets in her first-round encounter against Varvara Lepchenko but she eventually came out on top 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Leander Paes/Purav Raja vs Nikoloz Basilashvili/Andreas Haider-Maurer: The Indian hope of Paes/Raja will open their campaign against the Georgian/Austrian duo of Basilashvili and Andreas Haider-Maurer.

Paes is one of the oldest players in the Australian Open at the ripe age of 44 and the 2012 men's doubles champion has not gone past the first round in three of the last five years. However, he and Raja will come up against a pair that has never gone past the first round in any Grand Slam.

Simona Halep vs Eugenie Bouchard: A cracker of a contest in the offing, World No. 1 Simona Halep will square off against Canadian sensation Eugenie Bouchard. While fans would have hoped this match-up came deeper in the tournament, it is still expected to enthrall fans nonetheless.

Halep had a tough first-round match against teenage Aussie wildcard Destanee Aiava, whom she beat 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 with her ankle strapped in the second set.

Canadian Bouchard, meanwhile, was impressive in her 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win over 21-year-old Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin on Tuesday.

Jan-Lennard Struff vs Roger Federer: At 36, defending champion Roger Federer is still one of the hot favourites to win the Australian Open this year. He comfortably beat Aljaž Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round after which he had a humourous interview with Hollywood actor Will Ferrell.

His opponent, Germany's Struff, will obviously have his back to the wall. He did, however, have an easy outing in the first round; a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 thrashing of Kwon Soon-woo.

 

 

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