Panelists Predictions Australian Open Women’s Day 6–Including Wozniacki/Konta

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We’re wrapping up the third round of the Australian Open. We’ve had some upsets and some great matches already. Who will book the final spots in the second week? Our panelists are here to predict five of the day’s best matches. Today’s panelists are the editor team of myself (Yesh Ginsburg), Steen Kirby, and Sam Barker, along with writer John Lupo.

Panelists Predictions Australian Open Women’s Day 6

Karolina Pliskova vs Jelena Ostapenko

Sam:
It is hard to look past the big-serving Czech for this one. Karolina Pliskova has looked unstoppable so far, conceding just four games in two matches. That said, Ostapenko surprised many with a dominant performance against Yulia Putintseva in the last round. Pliskova will certainly come through but Ostapenko may be a tougher challenge than she has faced so far.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

John:
At any other time the Latvian could give the Czech trouble. She moves well, hits the ball well for someone her size and is a feisty competitor, but Pliskova is on fire and will have too much for Ostapenko.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

Steen:
Pliskova has a h2h win on hard courts and hasn’t been troubled thus far. The Czech has a real chance at this title. Prediction: Pliskova in 2

Yesh:
Pliskova looks unbeatable so far. In fact, she may look good enough to win this entire tournament. Ostapenko is solid, but not good enough for this.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

Timea Bacsinszky vs Daria Gavrilova

Sam:
Gavrilova holds a 2-0 record over Bacsinszky but both have been tight affairs and this looks to be no different. Both have had to scrap to get through to the third round with Gavrilova in particular coming through tight three-setters against Ana Konjuh and Naomi Broady. With the crowd on Rod Laver Arena firmly behind her, her unquestionable fighting spirit may just give her the edge.
Prediction: Gavrilova in 3

John:
In what is a very even matchup, the Swiss should overcome the home crowd and the feisty Aussie to advance. Prediction: Bacsinszky in 2

Steen:
I’m not entirely confident in either player, but Gavrilova leads the h2h and thus she should win.
Prediction: Gavrilova in 3

Yesh:
Bacsinszky has been pretty solid since making her way to the top of the women’s game, but she hasn’t been incredible since getting there. This is Gavrilova’s big chance to make a huge impact–at her home Slam, to boot.
Prediction: Gavrilova in 3

Dominica Cibulkova vs Ekaterina Makarova

Sam:
If you only glanced quickly at the fixtures you could be forgiven for missing out this match. Actually though this could prove to be a highly entertaining match as Makarova looks for her first win over Cibulkova. The Russian will be well rested after Sara Errani withdrew from their second round match and against anyone else that may have given her an advantage. Cibulkova, however, is a bundle of energy and should prevail here.
Prediction: Cibulkova in 3

John:
After a slump to begin the Australian hard court season, the Slovak is playing well in Melbourne. Makarova is past her prime, but she’ll still give Cibulkova trouble, but not enough to spring the upset.
Prediction: Cibulkova in 2

Steen:
Cibulkova has a 3-0 h2h lead and hasn’t dropped a set thus far. Makarova is a good player, but Cibulkova is better. Prediction: Cibulkova in 2

Yesh:
Cibulkova is a ton of fun to watch. The small but powerful Slovakian can do just about anything when she stays consistent. Look for her to make a good run here.
Prediction: Cibulkova in 2

Barbora Strycova vs Caroline Garcia

Sam:
Caroline Garcia is a player still searching for that big Grand Slam breakthrough. This will not be it. The French player laboured through her match with Oceane Dodin in the previous round and lost three times to Strycova last year, all on hard courts. Meanwhile Strycova already has seven victories this year and appears in impressive form. Not just a winner in this match but a dark horse to make a deep run in Melbourne.
Prediction: Strycova in 3

John:
A matchup that’s impossible to call. Both players have the weapons to do damage on hard courts and this will be a long match. I’ll go with the player with the bigger game.
Prediction: Garcia in 3

Steen:
A 5-1 H2H edge for the in-form Czech makes her a clear favorite. Strycova should continue to be in the winner’s circle.
Prediction: Strycova in 2

Yesh:
Garcia, of all her talent, has yet to really break out at a Slam. Her struggles against fellow-Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin in the last round are a troubling sign, and Strycova has looked great since the 2017 season opened.
Prediction: Strycova in 2

Caroline Wozniacki vs Johanna Konta

Sam:
A lot of the pre-tournament discussion was about the rotten draw for Johanna Konta given the form she brought to Melbourne. She has looked imperious so far, dispatching both Kirsten Flipkens and Naomi Osaka with ease. Yet the former #1, Wozniacki, will be pose a much tougher problem. The Dane has returned to form over the last six months and will certainly provide a contest. That said, Konta is locked in right now and I can see no other result than a victory for the Brit.
Prediction: Konta in 2

John:
the highlight match of the 3rd Round pits two in-form players. Konta will look to take offense right off the bat while Wozniacki will look to counter with her impenetrable defense. In what should be a terrific match, the Brit will continue her fine start to the season, the memories of last year’s semifinal run serving her well.
Prediction: Konta in 3

Steen:
Wozniacki is more experienced, but I’m a big believer in Konta’s chances this tournament. The Brit should spring a victory.
Prediction: Konta in 3

Yesh:
Konta has looked great this tournament, no doubt. Wozniacki has been rapidly improving since last August, though, and we cannot overlook that she was World #1 for over a year for a reason. The Dane has transformed her game from pure defense to decent power, and it is seriously showing results. I think Wozniacki is a dark horse to win this tournament, and the world takes notice when she takes out the rising Brit.
Prediction: Wozniacki in 3

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