TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as Matteo Berrettini takes on Carlos Alcaraz in the third round on Friday, January 21st, 2022.
Matteo Berrettini set up a mouthwatering third-round match at the Australian Open against Carlos Alcaraz. The Italian has looked extremely vulnerable in his two matches, while Alcaraz has been punching above his weight this week. If the two players can serve up a repeat of their Vienna classic, expect another dogfight.
Matteo Berrettini dropped his second set in two matches, but still found a way to overcome an inspired wild card in Stefan Kozlov. The American wild card was making his presence count at the 2022 Australian Open. He had finished top of the men’s Australian Open wild card challenge after winning the Champaign Challenger last November. But despite being in buoyant mood after beating Jiri Vesely, Kozlov could not keep up his level for too long against Berrettini and fell in four sets.
Carlos Alcaraz, for his part, progressed to the third round of the Australian Open without much of a fuss as he beat the one-handed Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-1 7-5. Alcaraz was broken just once in the entire match and was aggressive in his return games. He created 11 break points and converted six. Alcaraz is already the youngest player to be seeded at a Grand Slam since Michael Chang over 30 years ago, but he has proven to be a major stumbling block for the experienced pros. Matteo Berrettini enters Friday’s match as the underdog according to the oddsmakers.
Carlos Alcaraz leads Matteo Berrettini 1-0 in their head-to-head ahead of their mouthwatering third-round meeting at the Australian Open. They went toe-to-toe in a classic in Vienna towards the end of last season. Alcaraz has kept motoring since, while Berrettini continues to stumble as injuries have slowed him down in the past few months. And in his opening two rounds, Berrettini has already dropped sets to the likes of Nakashima and Kozlov. He seems to be well past his stomach issues, but will have a very rough time trying to hit through Alcaraz. We will get a treat on Friday.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Carlos Alcaraz in five sets.
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