10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Ricky’s picks for Day 2 of the Australian Open, including Auger-Aliassime vs. Thiem

A jam-packed slate of first-round action is set for Monday, when Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dominic Thiem are taking the court.

Here are my previews and picks for two of the best matchups on the men’s side.

(27) Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Dominic Thiem

Auger-Aliassime and Thiem will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in round one of the Australian Open on Monday. Their only previous meeting came in the fourth round of the 2020 U.S. Open, with Thiem winning 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-1 on the way to his first and only Grand Slam title.

Neither player is anywhere near major title contention at this point, as both have fallen upon hard times. Auger-Aliassime is down to 27th in the world. He has played only one match this year and lost right away in Auckland to Daniel Altmaier. Thiem is struggling down at No. 94 in the rankings, but he at least managed to win 19 main-tour matches last season and successfully qualified in Brisbane before losing to Rafael Nadal. The 30-year-old Austrian may have a slight edge on Sunday, but this is probably going to be an ugly, wild ride.

Pick: Thiem in 5

(20) Adrian Mannarino vs. Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka won the Australian Open 10 years ago, has reached the semifinals two other times, and has advanced to the quarters on two other occasions. Of course, this is not the same Wawrinka at 38 years old. The Swiss, who has not been past the second round at Melbourne Park since 2020, was 2-7 in his last nine matches of the 2023 campaign. He has not yet played in 2024.

Up first for the three-time Grand Slam champion is Mannarino, who is in much better form. The 35-year-old Frenchman has climbed to 20th in the world thanks to 43 match wins and three titles ATP titles last season. Mannarino compiled a 1-3 record at the United Cup, but the competition was tough and there is nothing bad about getting four good matches under your belt heading into a major. This should go the lefty’s way–but it could be a fun one.

Pick: Mannarino in 5

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