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PREVIEW: 2022 Australian Open selected men’s 2nd round matches

Carlos Garfia takes on Dusan Lajovic, Gael Monfils faces Alexander Bublik and Seb Korda goes head to head with Corentin Moutet in the 2nd round of the Australian open. Damien Kayat previews.

Gael Monfils - Indian Wells Masters
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Carlos Garfia takes on Dusan Lajovic, Gael Monfils faces Alexander Bublik and Seb Korda goes head to head with Corentin Moutet in the 2nd round of the Australian open. Damien Kayat previews.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2022 ATP Tour
Grand Slam Tennis
Australian Open
Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
Selected 2nd Round Matches- 19th January

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia 1/7 | Dusan Lajovic 46/10

My decision to pick Carlos Alcaraz Garfia as a dark horse contender this week has been given added impetus following the deportation of Novak Djokovic. Garfia and Berrettini are now the favourites to progress in this quarter of the draw.

Alcaraz shot to prominence last year when he reached the quarterfinals of the US Open, becoming the youngest player to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in over 30 years.

He ultimately had to retire in his quarterfinal due to a right leg injury. He then proved it was no fluke by winning the NextGen Finals to close out his year.

Tsitsipas- who Garfia beat en route to the US Open quarterfinal- said that Garfia hits it harder than anyone he’s faced. He should thrive on these fast courts and it’s no surprise he destroyed Tabilo in his opening match.

A clay-court specialist, Dusan Lajovic has a mountain to climb in his 2nd round match. Credit to the Serb, he showed a lot of character to see off Fucsovics in their first-round, five-set thriller.

He even courted a little controversy after the match, waving a Serbian flag with compatriot Djokovic’s image emblazoned upon it. He’s one of the few who seems to be supporting Djokovic’s controversial stance on vaccination.

In any event, that result took his year-to-date record to 2-4. Lajovic is also coming off a shocking season where nothing seemed to click. Interestingly, his standout 2021 result was probably his 4th round run at the Aussie Open.

Verdict: Garfia to win in straight sets at 84/100

Not only do I think this is the likely result, it could be the popular result. Lajovic’s continued support of vaccine-sceptic Djokovic is just keeping the attention off the tennis. Garfia should have far too much power and energy for the Serb (particularly after Lajovic’s marathon five-set opener).

Gael Monfils 1/5 | Alexander Bublik 7/2 * forecast betting

This promises to be a cracking 2nd round tie. Gael Monfils is one of the in-form players on tour, winning his 11th ATP title in Adelaide. The charismatic Frenchman endured a difficult 2021 campaign and will be looking for a real bounce-back season as he reaches his twilight years.

He absolutely dismantled clay-court specialist Federico Coria in the opening match, winning 81% of his first-serve points.

He played percentage tennis, with a potent winners-unforced error split of 36-21. But he won’t be able to simply defuse Bublik with a big first-serve.

Alex Bublik is certainly not an ideal 2nd round opponent. The World Number 36 reached two ATP finals in 2021, losing in the finals of the Antalya Open and Singapore Open.

Bublik does come into this year’s Aussie Open slightly undercooked, losing his only 2022 match convincingly in Adelaide. And this ring-rust was evident in his opening match against Ernesto Escobedo.

He dropped the first set and had to rally to win in four. But how outrageous are these statistics? He hit 82 winners and 67 unforced errors. Those numbers are a distillation of both his outrageous shot-making abilities and his inconsistency.

But I think that the Kazakh hardcourt specialist will feel far more at ease coming into this match.

Verdict: Bublik to win in five sets at 10/1

I think this could be an Aussie Open classic. Bublik’s big first-serve and whopping ace count will obviously be a huge factor in the match. That’s probably the reason why I’m giving him the edge here. Furthermore, Bublik won their only other encounter at the 2020 French Open.

One thing is for sure, this should be a brilliant tie for the tennis purists in search of outrageous shot-making. If you’re looking to play it a bit safer, back Bublik to win at 7/2.

Seb Korda 41/100 | Corentin Moutet 7/4

This should be an exhilarating clash between two ATP young guns. 21-year-old Seb Korda is obviously further along in his development. The American had a decent season in 2021, reaching the final of the Delray Beach Classic before claiming his maiden ATP final at the Emilia-Romagna Open.

But the gangly American largely underwhelmed when it came to the bigger stages. A 4th round Wimbledon run and Miami quarterfinal represent a fairly tame return considering his talents.

But the former junior Aussie Open champ looked utterly clinical in his opening match, blowing the ultra-competitive Cameron Norrie off the court in three decisive sets. That’s almost unheard of. This may be the time for Korda to finally reach his potential.

2020 Qatar Open finalist Corentin Moutet is also an exciting young prospect. Though probably not quite at the level of Korda, Moutet also employs a highly aggressive style of play.

The Frenchman enjoyed a pretty humdrum 2021 campaign. However, his best result of the entire year came with a semi-final run at the Murray River Open. He continued to impress on Aussie soil, recently reaching the semi-finals of the Adelaide International 2 event.

He managed to overcome a first-set deficit and beat compatriot Lucas Pouille in his opening match. Can he muster up the consistency to challenge the physically imposing Korda over five sets?

Verdict: Korda to win in four at 28/10

This should be a pretty interesting match between two front foot players. Ultimately, Korda’s greater efficiency on serve should be able to steer the match in his direction.

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