Australian Open: What to expect on day five

Nick Kyrgios will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on day five.
Nick Kyrgios will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on day five. Photo credit: Getty Images

By Dave Worsley

The first day of the third round at the Australian Open seems to be almost devoid of early excitement. The opening match on the Rod Laver Arena just happens to feature Thai player Luksika Kumkhum against Petra Martic from Croatia. It's as if no other players could be found to play and these two were randomly selected to fill a gap.

The second contest of the day couple be just that - 15-year-old qualifier Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine takes on countrywoman and fourth seed Elina Svitolina. Most people have limited knowledge of either of them.

Third men's seed Grigor Dimitrov is back on the centre court again where he should have lost a couple of nights ago, and may well actually be removed from the tournament if he plays that badly again as he's up against Russian Andrey Rublev, who genuinely has talent.

All of these matches are to be played in the predicted 40degC. Yesterday, the ground at Rod Laver Arena was measured at 67degC.

Third seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Third seed Grigor Dimitrov. Photo credit: Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the first of the night clashes, should be a ratings winner in Australia. The crowd will go crazy for both Tsonga, a former finalist in Melbourne and for Kyrgios who is in his own words "adulating".

Kyrgios handled all manner of distractions in his second-round win, and his battle with Tsonga will at least be entertaining for the skill both players have.

The final match of the night will see if Caroline Wozniacki can finish a match quickly when she plays Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, who has the power to take on the Dane and could cause an upset.

And he may be top seed and world number one, but Rafael Nadal isn't on Rod Laver Arena. He's been sent to Margaret Court for a 7pm local time start against Damir Dzumhur in what should be an easy encounter, but it's a rarity to have a player of his stature not on the main court.

In doubles, Kiwi Artem Sitak and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof take on the seventh-seeds Oliver Marach (Austria) and Croatian Mate Pavich, who are undefeated so far this year having won titles in Auckland and Doha.

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