Australian Open: Day 3 Preview

Zheng Jie looks to take advantage of Samantha Stosur's home major jitters and score a second round upset.

Published January 15, 2013 09:59

Australian Open: Day 3 Preview
Samantha Stosur

MELBOURNE, Australia - Wednesday sees the second round get underway at the Australian Open, with home favorite Samantha Stosur the star attraction as she takes on former semifinalist Zheng Jie.

Wednesday, Second Round

Rod Laver Arena
[9] Samantha Stosur (AUS #9) vs. Zheng Jie (CHN #40)
Head-to-head:
Stosur leads 3-2
The question on everyone's lips inside the Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday afternoon will be: which Samantha Stosur will turn up. The confident, baseline-hogging, Grand Slam winning version, or the nervy and short-of-confidence one that has won just two of her last seven matches on home soil.

The majority of the crowd will be desperate for the former, because, in Zheng Jie, she faces an opponent well-versed in the art of the upset, as she showed in defeating Stosur last week in Sydney. Zheng's metronomic game exposed Stosur's tentative display on that occasion and if the Australian is to avoid another early exit she needs to impose her trademark topspin forehand on proceedings early on.

Margaret Court Arena
[5] Angelique Kerber (GER #5) vs. Lucie Hradecka (CZE #51)
Head-to-head:
Kerber leads 4-0
Angelique Kerber was one of 2012's breakthrough performers, winning 60 matches and two titles on her way to a ensconcing her place within the Top 10. And, in the opening weeks of the year, she has followed on from where she left off, with a quarter and semifinal in her two tune-up events prior to Melbourne.

After Elina Svitolina was swatted aside without too much difficulty in the opening round, Kerber now meets hard-hitting Lucie Hradekca. Kerber has won all four of the previous meetings between the pair, two of which came last year, but she would be foolish to look past the Czech, who has a 2-1 win-loss record against Top 5 opponents.

Show Court 3
[30] Tamira Paszek (AUT #30) vs. [WC] Madison Keys (USA #105)
Head-to-head:
first meeting
Seventeen-year-old Madison Keys caused more than a few people to sit up and take notice when she went a set up against Li Na in Sydney last week. Although she eventually went down in three reputation-enhancing sets, Keys showed she has more than enough to run with the WTA's top dogs.

She built on this run with a tough first round win over Casey Dellacqua and now comes up against the enigmatic Tamira Paszek. On her day - she is a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist - Paszek has the sort of shotmaking ability that is hard to live with, but her propensity to go off the boil gives Keys more than a sniff of an upset.

Around the grounds…
No.2 seed and 2008 champion Maria Sharapova meets Misaki Doi, while Agnieszka Radwanska faces Irina-Camelia Begu and Li Na, the runner-up two years ago, takes on Olga Govortsova. The doubles draw also gets underway, with No.2 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Hradecka among those looking to advance.

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