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Australian Open - Day five preview: Medvedev and Norrie could be vulnerable

The third round of the Australian Open gets underway on day five with a number of big names involved in the men's and women's competitions.

Rafael Nadal would have been one of them but was dumped out in Melbourne by American Mackenzie McDonald but the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and Cameron Norrie all remain and are in action.

In the women's draw, Iga Swiatek clashes with Cristina Busca, while Coco Gauff, fresh from her win over British ace Emma Raducanu, will face Bernardo Pera.

Korda can impress against Medvedev

WhatSebastian Korda v Daniil Medvedev
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
When20:15, Friday 20th January 2023
How to watchNine and Stan Sport
OddsSebastian Korda 4.50, Daniil Medvedev 1.20

Medvedev came exceptionally close to winning last year's Australian Open, leading Nadal by two sets in the final before a heroic comeback from the Spaniard, and he again looks like a man on a mission in Melbourne.

Medvedev has won both of his opening matches at the Australian Open against Marcos Giron and John Millman in straight sets, having barely broken a sweat, but he should face greater resistance from third-round opponent Sebastian Korda.

Korda, who is 29th seed down under, reached the final of the Adelaide International and took a set off Novak Djokovic as part of his preparations and has looked pretty comfortable in the Grand Slam so far.

After beating experienced Chilean Cristian Garin 6-4 1-6 6-3 6-2 in his opener, he cruised past Yosuke Watanuki in straight sets and he looks overpriced to spring a surprise in this one at 4.50.

For punters after a shorter-priced bet, though, Korda to simply win a set makes plenty of appeal at 1.62.

Swiatek shows no signs of slowing down

WhatIga Swiatek v Cristina Bucsa
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
When14:15 Friday 20th January 2023
How to watchNine and Stan Sport
OddsIga Swiatek 1.03 Cristina Bucsa 15.00

It has been plain sailing for top women's seed Iga Swiatek in the Australian Open so far and the Pole is also fancied to crush third-round opponent Cristina Bucsa in Melbourne.

Swiatek beat Jule Niemeier 6-4 7-5 in the first round of the Australian Open before defeating Camila Osorio 6-2 6-3 in the second and she looks on course to go deep in the season's first Grand Slam.

Of all the Grand Slams this season, the Australian Open would likely be pinpointed as the one in which Swiatek is most likely to falter, but she should have few issues in this match against Cristina Bucsa, who pulled off a shock win over Bianca Andreescu last time out but had to go through three qualifiers to reach the first round.

Swiatek should win this comfortably and those after a betting angle should consider Swiatek at -7.5 on the games handicap at 2.00.

Pegula should run out a comfortable winner

WhatJessica Pegula v Marta Kostyuk
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
When13:00, Friday 20th January 2023
How to watchNine and Stan Sport
OddsJessica Pegula 1.29, Marta Kostyuk 3.75

Jessica Pegula came into this year's Australian Open among the frontrunners to win the women's tournament and that opinion has not changed much after her first two performances with the American 8.00 to go the distance in Melbourne.

Pegula made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in both 2021 and 2022 and has started well again in the singles, nearly double-bagling Jaqueline Cristian in the first round, winning 6-0 6-1, and then easing past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 7-6 last time out.

Next up for Pegula is Marta Kostyuk, who recorded a big win over Amanda Anisimova in her first match before overpowering Australian Olivia Gadecki but Pegula represents a step-up in quality and a 2-0 win for the American could represent value at 1.83.

Norrie looks vulnerable against Lehecka

WhatCameron Norris v Jiri Lehecka
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
When15:30, Friday 20th January 2023
How to watchNine and Stan Sport
OddsCameron Norrie 1.33, Jiri Lehecka 3.40

Cameron Norrie looked vulnerable in his second-round win over unseeded Frenchman Constant Lestienne, making too many errors in the match and having nearly gone two sets down at one stage in the contest.

Norrie fought back in the third set to win the match 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-3 but punters should not rush to back the 11th seed Briton in his third-round clash with Jiri Lehecka.

Norrie looked as though he is lacking sharpness in Melbourne so far and that should fill Czech star Lehecka with confidence.

Already Lehecka has cruised past 21st seed Borna Coric in the first round before comfortably dispatching Soon-woo Kwon's conqueror Christopher Eubanks last time out and he is a value bet to win at least two sets at 2.10.

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