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AO Day 3 On Tap: Will Stosur Survive?

Australia Sam Stosur will hope to turn the tables on feisty Zheng Jie as Ryan Harrison aims to "surprise" Novak Djokovic on Day Three in Melbourne.

By Erik Gudris

Sam Stosur (January 15th, 2013) -- Day three at the Australian Open features several intriguing second round matchups worth paying attention to

Sam Stosur vs. Zheng Jie

This is a rematch from a week ago in Sydney when Zheng battled her way past Stosur in three tough sets. Stosur got a lot of grief for losing this one, but that was a close match and if nothing else it prepared the Aussie for her meeting today as she attempts to reach the third round.

Zheng, who reached the semis of Melbourne a few years ago, is a nightmare to play as she hugs the baseline and retrieves ball after ball. Zheng may go in as a slight favorite but if Stosur gets her big serve going and uses the home crowd to her advantage instead of trying to shut them out, Stosur just might close this out in a long battle.

Brian Baker vs. Sam Querrey

With American men few and far between in the men's draw, the only consolation her for U.S. fans is that an American will make it to the third round out of this one. While Querrey is now front and center as the highest seeded U.S. man in the draw, Baker is still making up for lost time after being out of the game for so long due to injury.

Querrey leads the head to head 1-0 with their only meeting being at the Sarasota Challenger last year. Ironically, it was at Sarasota that Baker earned his wildcard into Roland Garros that started his whole comeback to the main tour.

Querrey's got bigger weapons and it will be up to him to set the tone early. Expect this to go four sets with the lanky Californian coming out on top.

Fernando Lopez vs. Radek Stepanek

Only reason to watch this match is to see both men try and outduel each other from the baseline with their one handed backhands before they rush the net. This could be a fun match. Lopez in four sets.

Venus Williams vs. Alize Cornet

The elder Williams sister put on a vintage display as she dropped only one game in her first round match. France's Cornet could give Williams more trouble but expect the American to get through in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic vs. Ryan Harrison

Once again, young American Ryan Harrison has been handed the unenviable task of facing one of the "big four" in the early rounds of a Major. Harrison isn't afraid of the challenge though and said he plans to "surprise" Djokovic in the final match of the evening.

It's hard to know what kind of surprise Harrison can give the rock solid Djokovic who has beaten him in convincing fashion in their two previous meetings. Harrison might go all out in the first set and force a tiebreak, but expect him to run out of steam as Djokovic cruises to a straight sets win.

(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve)


 

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