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Ricky’s picks for Day 4 of the Australian Open, including Murray vs. Kokkinakis

Andy Murray will be back on the court after winning a five-set thriller in the first round, as he faces Thanasi Kokkinakis. The Australian Open second-round schedule also includes a showdown between Andrey Rublev and Emil Ruusuvuori.

Here are my previews and picks for the two matchups.

Andy Murray vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis

Murray vs. Matteo Berrettini was the marquee matchup of the entire Australian Open first round, and it certainly delivered. The 35-year-old Scot saved a match point at 4-5 in the fifth set before outlasting Berrettini 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(10-6) in four hours and 49 minutes of play on Tuesday.

Murray’s reward is another show-court appointment (this time in Margaret Court Arena instead of Rod Laver) against one of the host nation’s top hopes. Kokkinakis is coming off a semifinal showing at the second Adelaide event–which he won in 2022–and the 26-year-old Aussie annihilated Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to begin this fortnight in style. Who should win on Thursday night? Arguably Murray–and he probably would in a best-of-three situation. But the three-time Grand Slam champion cannot be trusted to go deep in majors at this point in his career and a grueling five-setter two days earlier is far from ideal preparation. A confident Kokkinakis is playing well enough to capitalize.

Pick: Kokkinakis in 5

(5) Andrey Rublev vs. Emil Ruusuvuori

Rublev and Ruusuvuori will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers on Thursday afternoon. Their only previous encounter came two years ago on the hard courts of Dubai, where Rublev cruised 6-4, 6-4.

All signs point toward this being another routine day at the office for the Russian. He destroyed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Tuesday, whereas much of Ruusuvuori’s opener was pushed back to Wednesday–when he finished off Max Purcell 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(11) after a total of three hours and 41 minutes. The 23-year-old Finn has never advanced to the third round of a major, whereas Rublev has reached at least the third round in 10 if his last 11 slam appearances. This should not be competitive at all.

Pick: Rublev in 3

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