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Ricky’s picks for Day 4 of the Australian Open, including Tsitsipas and Rublev

Now that the first round is over, we are into a traditional schedule with everyone on each side of the draw playing every other day. It’s the top half of the draw’s turn on Wednesday as second-round action gets underway at the Australian Open.

Here are my previews and picks for two of the best matchups.

Jordan Thompson vs. (7) Stefanos Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas and Thompson will be facing each other for the fourth time in their careers. Their most recent encounter was a fun one; Thompson pulled off a 7-6(0), 4-6, 7-6(5) upset last season in Indian Wells. That was preceded by a pair of Tsitsipas wins–6-3, 7-6(4) four years ago in Washington, D.C. and 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships.

Tsitsipas was dealing with a shoulder injury when he fell to Thompson in Indian Wells, but he appears to good to go now. The seventh-ranked Greek lost the first set to Zizou Bergs on Monday but dropped just five games the entire rest of the way. That being said, Tsitsipas is well off his peak level at the moment and the last three sets against Bergs were so one-sided mainly because the Belgian hit the wall physically. This could be another close one because Thompson is playing the best tennis of his career. The Aussie, who is No. 47 in the world, upset Rafael Nadal en route to the Brisbane semis, advanced one round in Adelaide, and survived a five-setter against compatriot Aleksandar Vukic on Monday. This may not be a walk in the park for the No. 7 seed.

Pick: Tsitsipas in 4

Chris Eubanks vs. (5) Andrey Rublev

Rublev almost exited in the very first round. On Day 1 he squandered a two-set lead against Thiago Seyboth Wild and then trailed by a double mini-break in the fifth-set ‘breaker before winning eight of the last nine points to prevail 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(6). Picking up right where he left off at the end of a stellar 2023 season, Rublev is now 5-0 this year with a title in Hong Kong.

Up next for the fifth-ranked Russian is a first-ever showdown against Eubanks. Although he comes in at an impressive No. 35 in the world, based on his current form Eubanks has done well simply to advance to round two. The big-hitting American had been on a five-match losing streak and had not won a match since the Shanghai Masters last fall until he beat Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in round one. Eubanks is always dangerous due to his serve, but unless he produces an incredible serving performance this should be routine for Rublev.

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.