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Tennis 10sBalls Shares Ricky’s Picks For Day 2 Of The 2019 Australian Open

A tennis fan poses for photos on the first day of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 14 January 2019. EPA-EFE/LYNN BO BO



By Ricky Dimon


The Australian Open continues on Tuesday with the absolute marquee matchup of the entire first round: Nick Kyrgios vs. Milos Raonic. Dominic Thiem, Benoit Paire, Ernests Gulbis are also among those in action. Ricky previews some of the Day 2 matchups and makes his picks.


Nick Kyrgios vs. (16) Milos Raonic

Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action during a training session prior to the 2019 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 13 January 2019.  EPA-EFE/LUKAS COCH EDITORIAL USE ONLY AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action during a training session prior to the 2019 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 13 January 2019. EPA-EFE/LUKAS COCH

Count Kyrgios among the many dangerous floaters at this year’s Aussie Open. In fact, he is the most dangerous of all. That’s doesn’t automatically spell doom for Raonic, as there is always a chance that the disinterested Kyrgios shows up and turns in another poor performance. But if the good Kyrgios is on display, this could be a great one. Both men have been mediocre of late and the head-to-head series is all tied up at 3-3, so this is a difficult one to predict–just like basically any Kyrgios match. But with home-court advantage and with expectations (and pressure) lower than usual, the Aussie should be able dig deep enough to pull out a close one.

Kyrgios in 5.


Benoit Paire vs. (7) Dominic Thiem

Their only previous encounter came in the third round of the 2017 Melbourne festivities, with Thiem prevailing 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. That ended up being a decent tournament for the Austrian, who made a real run at a hard-court major for the first time when he advanced to the 2018 U.S. Open QFs–beating Kevin Anderson in the process before losing to Rafael Nadal in a five-set thriller. Still, the jury remains out on Thiem’s hard-court form and he is coming off a season-opening loss to Pierre-Hugues Herbert in Doha. Paire took the court in each of the first two weeks, turning in a quarterfinal performance in Pune before exiting right away in Auckland. Although the unseeded Frenchman’s natural talent makes him dangerous on any given day, he really hasn’t produced a single notable result since upsetting Novak Djokovic–then a shadow of his former and current self–in the Miami second round last spring.

Thiem in 4.


Stan Wawrinka vs. Ernests Gulbis

This is a wild section, with the Wawrinka-Gulbis winner to meet the Kyrgios-Raonic winner. Drawing Gulbis is never ideal because even at this point in his career he still has the potential to be one of the best players on tour on any given day. But those occasions are few and fare between–and they are especially rare in Down Under. Wawrinka, on the other hand, has enjoyed an illustrious history in Melbourne; he’s even a former champion, in fact. The Swiss seems to be getting back to somewhere close to his best on the heels of knee problems. That is bad news for Gulbis, who will show flashes of brilliance before once again being doomed by inconsistency.

Wawrinka in 4.


Sam Querrey vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert

As the result against Thiem suggests, Herbert’s 2019 campaign is off to an encouraging start. The 27-year-old Frenchman eventually reached the Doha quarters before falling to eventual Doha runner-up Tomas Berdych. Herbert remains at his best in doubles, but he has climbed to No. 55 in the singles rankings with a string of consistent results last season. Querrey got things started in 2019 with a second-round performance in in Sydney, where he ousted Malek Jaziri and then bowed out to Gilles Simon. Although the 49th-ranked American has never done much Down Under, he is a three-time major quarterfinalist–including a semifinal run at Wimbledon in 2017. Herbert is 11-16 lifetime in the main draw of majors and has never made a second-week appearance. In what should be a competitive match, Herbert’s history of folding in pressure-packed moments may catch up to him once again.

Querrey in 5.


Editors note ~ ok ~ Lovey’s Picks 

Querrey In 4

Gulbis In 5

Theim In 3

Raonic In 4


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

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