Agnieszka Radwanska vs Su-Wei Hsieh, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ (26) Agnieszka Radwanska vs ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Su-Wei Hsieh

This should be a closer match than the gap in the rankings between the two suggests. Hsieh is playing some of the best tennis of her career right now, entering this third round clash on the back of the biggest win of her career over Garbine Muguruza, Hsiehโ€™s first career win over a top 5 player. Conversely, Radwanska is not at her best right and scrapped through her first two matches in Melbourne from a set down against players she would usually expect to beat quite comfortably.

Embed from Getty Images

Iโ€™m going to side with Radwanska here but I think this will be a close match. Hsieh likes to play against flat hitters and Radwanska does not play with much shape. This is also a good match-up for Radwanska because she too likes to play against flat hitters and Hsieh is not the type of player that will hit Aga off the court. At this stage of the tournament, I think the experience of Radwanska will be a big factor. Radwanska is the more consistent player and is likely to outlast or out-smart Hsieh in the majority of rallies.

Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Su-Wei Hsieh in 3 sets

Angelique Kerber vs Maria Sharapova, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช (21) Angelique Kerber vs ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Maria Sharapova

This is going to be fascinating contest. Kerber is in awesome form heading into this match. Kerber won all 4 of her singles matches at the Hopman Cup before winning the title at the Sydney International. The perfect preparation for the first Slam of the year. Kerber has carried that good form to Melbourne where she has won her first two matches of the event in straight sets. Sharapova also enters this match with confidence after producing one of her best performances since her return to the tour in her straight set victory over Anastasija Sevastova.

Embed from Getty Images

Iโ€™m going to give the edge to Kerber here. I think Kerber has a pretty clear edge. Kerber handled Sharapova in their two previous encounter in 2014 and 2015, at that stage it was Sharapova who was closer to her best and Kerber will won those matches. Right now, Kerber is certainly the better player. Sharapova is not the player she once was and I highly doubt she can produce a consistent enough performance to hit through Kerber. The German is back to her best and her current level she is a nightmare match-up for Sharapova because of her ability to defend, absorb and redirect the power of Sharapova. Expect Kerber to win this fairly comfortably.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Maria Sharapova in 2 sets

Denisa Allertova vs Magda Linette, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ (Q) Denisa Allertova vs ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Magda Linette

I think Allertova should have the edge here. Allertova is in awesome form right now, hitting the ball so cleanly from the baseline. Allertova got past the challenge of Shuai Zhang in the second round, a perfect preparation for playing Linette. If Allertova could get past Zhang there is no reason why she canโ€™t get past Linette. I think Allertova has too much firepower for Linette, plus Linette was struggling with an injury in her previous match so the signs are not good for Linette.

Prediction: Denisa Allertova to defeat Magda Linette in 2 sets

Magdalena Rybarikova vs Kateryna Bondarenko, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (19) Magdalena Rybarikova vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Kateryna Bondarenko

Iโ€™m going to give the edge to Rybarikova here. I think Rybarikova has a more reliable and consistent game which should be a big factor in this match given the nerves that both are likely to experience. Rybarikovaโ€™s serve is especially more consistent and the Slovakian plays with more margin and versatility from the baseline. Bondarenko will look to dictate and blast her way to victory but I think she will struggle to do that consistently against an in-form Rybarikova. The heat will also be a factor here, I think Rybarikova is the better athlete and will handle the conditions better.

Prediction: Magdalena Rybarikova to defeat Kateryna Bondarenko in 2 sets

Jelena Ostapenko vs Anett Kontaveit, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป (7) Jelena Ostapenko vs (32) Anett Kontaveit

Iโ€™m going to give the edge to Ostapenko here for a few reasons. Firstly, Ostapenko is much more experienced on the big stage, this will be just another match for the Latvian whilst for Kontaveit it will be one of the biggest matches of her life. Secondly, the quick hard court surface should favour Ostapenko. In this type of match-up between two big hitters, I think it is Ostapenko who has the more dynamic game and is also better defensively. I was impressed with Ostapenkoโ€™s ability to get through a tough second round match with Duan, a win that will put Ostapenko in a good position moving forward.

Prediction: Jelena Ostapenko to defeat Anett Kontaveit in 3 sets

Elise Mertens vs Alize Cornet, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Elise Mertens vs ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Alize Cornet

This should be an interesting match, the first time Mertens and Cornet have gone head-to-head. I expect a lot of long rallies in this match-up, Mertens and Cornet are both primarily counter-punchers and both move very well around the court. Mertens has more firepower both from the baseline and behind her serve and I think that will give her the edge here. Mertens can match Cornet in defense and consistency but when needed, Mertens is more capable of stepping up and taking control of rallies. Mertens is in great form right now and I think she will be good enough to get past Cornet.

Prediction: Elise Mertens to defeat Alize Cornet in 3 sets

Kaia Kanepi vs Carla Suarez Navarro, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Kaia Kanepi vs ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Carla Suarez Navarro

I have to give the edge to Kanepi given the way the Estonian is playing right now. Kanpeiโ€™s extreme power should be too much for Suarez Navarro to handle on the quick hard courts in Melbourne. Kanepi has already easily disposed of two quality opponents this week and is full of confidence right now. Suarez Navarro will present a different test, the Spaniard will try to extend the rallies and throw Kanepi off her game. I donโ€™t see that happening the way Kanepi is playing.

Prediction: Kaia Kanepi to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro in 2 sets

Caroline Wozniacki vs Kiki Bertens, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ (30) Kiki Bertens

Iโ€™m going to side with Wozniacki here. I think Wozniacki will be able to play with a bit more freedom at this stage in the tournament after surviving an almighty scare in the second round .Wozniacki really should be out of the tournament right now after Fett squandered a 5-1 40-15 deciding set lead in the previous round against the second seed. On a hard court, this match-up favours Wozniacki. The Daneโ€™s record on a hard court is far, far superior to that of Bertens. I donโ€™t think Bertens has the consistency or stamina to really challenge Wozniacki. The extreme heat in Melbourne will also favour Wozniacki who is the far superior athlete.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Kiki Bertens in 2 sets

Lesia Kumkhum vs Petra Martic, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ (Q) Lesia Kumkhum vs ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Petra Martic

Iโ€™m going to side with Petra Martic here. There is a lot at stake for these two, both will know this is a rare opportunity. Previous results suggest that Martic does not mind the big stage having reached the fourth round at Roland Garros and Wimbledon last year. Both ladies are playing at their best right now, itโ€™s a pretty even match-up, both are very dangerous from the baseline. I think Martic is the better mover and the better defender and has a slightly more versatile game. Coupled with her experience on the big stage, I think Martic has the edge here.

Prediction: Petra Martic to defeat Lesia Kumkhum in 3 sets

Elina Svitolina vs Marta Kostyuk, Australian Open R3 Prediction

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R3 Prediction
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ (4) Elina Svitolina vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ (Q) Marta Kostyuk

Clearly this is a huge David vs Goliath scenario. The 15-year-old qualifier up against the 4th seed. Kostyuk has an all or nothing type of game with little margin, the 15-year-old is still quite immature in the way she plays and is likely to struggle here. Svitolina is exceptional at absorbing and redirecting pace, the 4th seed is one of the best movers on tour and will cause Kostyuk to panic because of her defensive skills. Expect Svitolina to this very comfortably.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Marta Kostyuk in 2 sets