TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as Gael Monfils takes on Miomir Kecmanovic in the fourth round on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022.
Gael Monfils is chasing his first quarterfinal at the Australian Open since 2016, but standing in his way will be the tenacious Miomir Kecmanovic. Both players were likely to fall victim to Novak Djokovic once the draw was made. But following the Serbian No.1’s controversial deportation, a window of opportunity has opened up for either player to reach the business end of the tournament.
Gael Monfils’ awe-inspiring run to the fourth round of the Australian Open is one of the least talked about stories. The Frenchman improved his record for the year to an impressive 7-1, after yet another comprehensive straight sets win over Chilean clay-court specialist Cristian Garin. The only stain in Monfils’ 2022 season was the retirement defeat to Thiago Monteiro at the Adelaide 2. In completed matches, the 35-year-old is yet to be beaten this season. But his level of competition will get slightly harder each round from now, starting with Miomir Kecmanovic.
Miomir Kecmanovic, could have conceivably lost in the first round had the initial draw of the Australian Open remain in place. Kecmanovic was slated to play countryman Djokovic in his opening match on Rod Laver Arena. But a late change of schedule and opponent in somewhat absurd circumstances meant that he would play a lucky loser. He looked in fine fettle right from the off, beating the likes of Salvatore Caruso, Tommy Paul and the number 25 seed Lorenzo Sonego. The 22-year-old is now in unchartered waters by virtue of reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Gael Monfils leads Miomir Kecmanovic 1-0 in their head-to-head. That win came towards the end of last season at the Paris Masters. It is quite remarkable how both these two players have changed their mindset with that Djokovic withdrawal. Monfils is playing the best tennis of his life. There is very little sign to suggest a dip in form will occur in this match. Kecmanovic will compete fiercely, but ultimately wilt at the sheer brilliance of the Frenchman’s athletic abilities.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Gael Monfils in four sets.
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