Day 1 at the Australian Open was the perfect start to the tournament. It wasn't the most earth shattering day of tennis ever, but there were plenty of good matches all around the grounds. Day 2, still the first round, provides some very intriguing matchups. Below we'll look at five matches to watch, as well as give a look at the Americans in action tonight.
1. Benoit Paire vs. Roger Federer
Normally a first round match involving Roger Federer is nothing too exciting, but Paire is a wild tennis player who's talented, but his mental shortcomings are blatantly obvious to everyone watching. it provides a very entertaining show, and combined with Federer's talent, this could be a very entertaining match. Federer should win relatively easily, but the shotmaking and antics of Paire has to be seen.
2. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Sabine Lisicki
This match is interesting because nearly every pundit is picking Lisicki. She's been coming back from injury, and Wozniacki has been slumping big time, so this match could be great or awful, but definitely worth watching either way. I think Wozniacki will win, actually. She's had her best results in Melbourne and New York, and I at least hope she's hungry to prove herself.
3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Michael Llodra
This is some French on French action, with both players being very fun to watch. Tsonga is well known as a bruiser, someone who'll fire serves, hit huge forehands, but also make some really stupid mistakes. Llodra is a flashy lefty who likes to come into the net. It's a really interesting style match-up, and while Llodra is on the tail end of his career, he's capable of great tennis. This isn't the easiest match at all for Tsonga.
4. Francesca Schiavone vs. Petra Kvitova
Schiavone is on the last legs of her career, and is not a great hard court player, but Kvitovs has been playing just some terrible tennis of late, and if Schiavone gets hot there's no reason why this can't be a very competitive match. It pits two intriguing styles together. Kvitova hits everything hard and flat, while Schiavone likes the slices, topspins, and angles.
5. Gael Monfils vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov
For me, this the most intrguing match of the day. Gael Monfils is coming back from injury, and Dolgopolov, while not playing his best tennis, is always capable of great tennis. They're both very flashy, very talented, and very fast. They're also not the most technically sound, and while they're capable of great things, they're also very capable of making stupid blunders. This match is must see on Day 2.
Americans In Action
Serena Williams vs. Edina Gallovitis- Hall
Serena. In two easy sets
Sloane Stephens vs. Simona Halep
Halep is a tough opponent, but I think Sloane has matured to a point where she should advance safely through these early rounds. Stephens in two.
Vania King vs. Maria Kirilenko
King is a tough player, but Kirilenko is just too good. Kirilenko in two
Jamie Hampton vs. Ursula Radwanska
The lesser Radwanska might not be her sister, but she's still a very capable player. Hampton isn't there yet, but she might put up a good fight. Radwanska in three
Melanie Oudin vs. Heather Watson
The British media are high on Watson, the Amercans low on Oudin, but I'm calling for the upset here. I think Oudin can pull out a really tough match. Or Watson could roll. I have no idea. Oudin in three.
Christina McHale vs. Yulia Putintseva
McHale, in two. These are the kinds of matches she needs to be winning.
Rajeev Ram vs. Guillermo Garcia Lopez
Ram is playing better, but Lopez should win. Maybe in three, maybe in four, maybe in five, but I don't see anyway Ram wins.
Rhyne Williams vs. Florian Mayer
I'm seeing a lot of hype around Williams, but I don't see it. Mayer in four