Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round-robin match at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, London
Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round-robin match at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, London | (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Tennis | Australian Open 2024 | Stefanos Tsitsipas aiming to crush Australian hopes on day four

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas [7] v Jordan Thompson
  • Ons Jabeur [6] v Mirra Andreeva
  • Andrey Rublev [5] v Christopher Eubanks
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas is looking to crush more Australian dreams as the second round matches begin on day four of the Australian Open.

 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas [7] v Jordan Thompson H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Stefanos Tsitsipas [7] v Jordan Thompson H2H: Tsitsipas leads 2-1  
Australian Open 2024 Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: $180,000
Third on Margaret Court Arena (Not before 08:00 GMT) Discovery+ Add-on via Amazon Prime

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Last year Stefanos Tsitsipas played some outstanding tennis to reach his maiden Australian Open final but ultimately fell way short of the title, losing to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Now 12 months later, Tsitsipas isn’t even amongst the top five contenders for the title as he has failed to capitalise on the momentum that was gained in Melbourne a year ago. Having battled multiple injuries and suffered some poor defeats, Tsitsipas is looking to turn his form around at one of his favourite tournaments and the Greek will know a deep run this year will put him in a good place for the rest of the season.

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However an awkward match awaits Tsitsipas in the second round as he takes on Australian Jordan Thompson. The Australian’s big serve mixed with clutch volleying has seen him get some big wins over the last 12 months as he proves to be an effective player on hard and grass courts. Now Thompson heads into this year’s tournament full of confidence having beaten Rafael Nadal in Brisbane and will look to earn another big win in Melbourne as he will approach this match without any fear.

Tsitsipas will look for angles on the serve as he aims to create space on the court to hit easy winners into while dictating play with the backhand. Meanwhile Thompson will look to shorten the points by testing the seventh seed’s defensive play as well as taking the ball as early as possible. This should be a good test for Tsitsipas as Thompson’s aggression and proactive approaches to the net has always been a problem for the seventh seed in the past. However Tsitsipas’ Grand Slam experience should prevail here in a thrilling five set match.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in five sets.   

 

Ons Jabeur [6] v Mirra Andreeva  H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Ons Jabeur [6] v Mirra Andreeva   H2H: First Meeting   
Australian Open 2024 Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: $180,000
First on Rod Laver Arena (01:00 GMT) Discovery+ Add-on via Amazon Prime

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Ons Jabeur’s Grand Slam dreams were once again dashed at Wimbledon as the nerves got the best of her against Marketa Vondrousova. However the Tunisian’s response to disappointment has been mature and concentrated as she won the title in Ningbo towards the end of last year and has continued to show signs of improvement since then. The big question though is whether Jabeur has the mental strength and toughness to deliver when it really matters at the Grand Slams.

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That mission will undergo it’s first real test against 16 year-old Mirra Andreeva, who continues to impress the tennis world. Andreeva burst onto the scene last year as she qualified for Roland Garros and Wimbledon, having reached the second week of both tournaments. Already Andreeva is at 47 in the world with her mixture of power and variety as she has all the potential to achieve big things in the sport. Now Andreeva will look to prove that the future is the present as she looks to add another big win to her collection of achievements.

Jabeur will look to use the slice to force errors from Andreeva’s game as the Tunisian will hope for an aggressive start to the match to set the tempo early on. Meanwhile Andreeva will look to use the angles to force Jabeur into difficult positions on the court as she aims to use depth to force the shorter ball from Jabeur. This will be a tough match for the Tunisian and one that will push her game to its limits. In the end, Jabeur’s experience will edge through in another classic Australian Open match.

Prediction: Jabeur in three sets.    

 

 

Andrey Rublev [5] v Christopher Eubanks H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Andrey Rublev [5] v Christopher Eubanks    H2H: First Meeting   
Australian Open 2024 Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: $180,000
Fourth on John Cain Arena (06:30 GMT) Discovery+ Add-on via Amazon Prime

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Andrey Rublev never does things the easy way and that was very evident in his opening round as he was on the brink of elimination against Thiago Seyboth Wild. However the fifth seed dug deep into his reserve of powerful forehands as he triumphed in a last set tiebreak. Although he won, that match is a sign as to why Rublev is yet to win a Grand Slam as he is very inconsistent in both his level of play and emotionally. Now with the first round nerves out the way, Rublev will look to raise his level of play as the tournament goes on as he looks for a first Grand Slam semi-final in Melbourne.

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Standing in Rublev’s way in the second round is Wimbledon quarter-finalist Christopher Eubanks who always elevates his game when it really matters. The American broke through last season after reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals which saw him rise up to the world’s top 30. However Eubanks has failed to back that result up since then, losing his last five matches before his round one in Melbourne against Taro Daniel. Now Eubanks will look to use the Australian Open as a platform to improve his form over the next few months.

Rublev will look to use the backhand to force Eubanks behind the baseline as he looks to neutralise the American’s serve on return. Meanwhile Eubanks will look to maintain a high percentage of first serves as he looks to be unpredictable with his patterns of play. If Rublev plays like he did in the first round then he will be exiting the tournament but the fifth seed’s experience should see him prevail here as there is an expectation he will improve his level.

Prediction: Rublev in four sets.

 

 

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