Australian Open Round of 16 Bottom Half Predictions Including Novak Djokovic vs. Hyeon Chung

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The quarterfinals will be set after four more men’s matches at the Australian Open are played. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer remain alive, while Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych are also favorites to reach the quarters. Our panel of Yesh Ginsburg, Brett Margolies, and James Cunningham offer their previews and predictions.

Dominic Thiem vs. Tennys Sandgren

Yesh: Thiem almost lost to an unheralded American earlier in this tournament. Sandgren is playing the tournament of his career, but beating Thiem will not be easy so long as the #5 seed is playing decent tennis. Thiem in 3

Brett: Sandgren has had a career changing run so far. I don’t think anyone expects him to beat Dominic Thiem, but he should have a ton of confidence after what he’s done this week so he’ll keep it close. You have to give the edge to the more experienced player in Thiem though. Thiem in 4

James: Dominic Thiem is playing some really good stuff at the moment, and he does not have the pressure on him to win the tournament, as is the case with other big names in the draw. As a result, he has the chance to lay down a marker for the rest of the draw in this match, against the veteran, Tennys Sandgren. Sandgren has had a wonderful tournament, and hopefully it will be one that will kickstart his career and allow him to compete at similar sorts of tournaments in the future. Despite this, Thiem has too much in his locker for the American, and it should be a straightforward win for the Austrian. Thiem in 3

Novak Djokovic vs. Hyeon Chung

Yesh: Chung is rapidly rising, and he could make a huge career statement by beating Djokovic. He probably won’t pull it off, but he should shock everyone with just how close this will be. Djokovic in 5

Brett: If Hyeon Chung is able to play the way he did in his win over Alexander Zverev this match will be interesting. Djokovic is flying a little under the radar right now having played most of his matches on Margaret Court Arena. He’s in good form right now, I think he wins comfortably. Djokovic in 3

James: I am a huge fan of Hyeon Chung. Having won the ATP NextGen Finals last year in Milan, he began this year in fine form, and he recorded a sensational win over Alexander Zverev in the previous round. His game has variety, flair, and he has the physical strength to last a five-set match. Djokovic has been efficient this tournament, but his form has not been spectacular. I expect him to win, because he has the experience of having won the Australian Open six times, and he will step his game up at key moments in the match. Djokovic in 5

Tomas Berdych vs. Fabio Fognini

Yesh: Berdych was playing like five years ago when he dismantled Juan Martin del Potro. Fognini has the talent to beat any player in the world when his game is on, but he’s not consistent enough to confidently pick. Berdych in 4

Brett: When Fabio Fognini makes it this far in a tournament you know which Fognini is showing up. He definitely has the game that can frustrate Berdych, but Berdych is just playing so well right now. This one won’t be as one-sided as the Del Potro match, but Berdych is playing too good right now. Berdych in 5

James: Tomas Berdych is also a player who is having an excellent tournament, and he is going about his business without my hype or anticipation, which will suit him. He likes the hard courts in Melbourne, and if he serves well, then he can push even the top players on this surface. His opponent, Fabio Fognini, is one of the game’s great enigmas. He plays attacking tennis, but his temperament lets him down and he allows himself to be distracted by his surroundings. I think the occasion and the opponent will get to Fognini, and as a result, Berdych should see this one through without many problems. Berdych in 4

Roger Federer vs. Marton Fucsovics

Yesh: Federer has to be thankful that he got an opponent like Fucsovics in the second week. Federer’s draw looked tough going into the tournament, so an easier match here will be welcomed. Federer in 3

Brett: Last year at this time Federer was just starting to play his best on the title run. Right now he’s playing at that high level already after defeating Gasquet in straight sets. This match will be way more one-sided than the Gasquet match, Fucsovics will struggle to win games. Federer in 3

James: Roger Federer is, and continues to be, one of the biggest favourites to win the tournament outright. He dispatched Richard Gasquet (who, until then, had not lost a set all tournament) with ease in the previous round, and he looks comfortable and confident. Marton Fucsovics has done well to get to the round of 16 stage in Melbourne, beating Sam Querrey in the second round on the way. He is going to have to produce a performance of a lifetime if he is to challenge Federer, and even then, it may not be enough. He will need to try and unsettle Federer, and draw the points out longer to tire the Swiss out. Federer will not give Fucsovics many opportunities to do so, however, and this should be a comfortable win for the Swiss. Federer in 3

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