Australian Open 2018: Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki on action in Day 3 alongwith home favourite Nick Kyrgios

Top seed Nadal has beaten Argentine Mayer in all four of their previous meetings, including a four-set victory at Flushing Meadows last year on his way to his 16th grand slam title.

Reuters January 16, 2018 20:49:49 IST
Australian Open 2018: Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki on action in Day 3 alongwith home favourite Nick Kyrgios

Melbourne: Rafael Nadal takes centre stage on the Rod Laver Arena for his Australian Open second round match against Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday but anyone looking for a wild atmosphere would be better off waiting for the last match on Hisense Arena.

The second Melbourne Park stadium court is a multi-purpose venue that also hosts cycling and netball but the more intimate arena has become a firm favourite of iconoclastic Nick Kyrgios, Australia’s best hope of a first home champion since 1976.

Australian Open 2018 Rafael Nadal Caroline Wozniacki on action in Day 3 alongwith home favourite Nick Kyrgios

Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki will be in action on Day 3. AP

The volatile 17th seed had a quiet evening by his standards in his opening match on Monday, with just the one violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour when he asked spectator, in no uncertain terms, to be quiet while he was serving.

His second-round opponent, Serbian Viktor Troicki, has also had his moments, as his meltdown at Wimbledon two years ago amply illustrated, and a packed house can expect sparks to fly.

Kyrgios will expect much of the backing of the crowd, even if Melbourne’s Serbian community has been vocal in support of their compatriots in the past, and three-times Melbourne winner Mats Wilander thinks the Australian will be energised by it.

"It’s a different crowd at Rod Laver Arena," Kyrgios told Reuters. "They obviously root for him but they’re not as young and as wild, they’re more neutral."

Rod Laver Arena is usually expected to host the cream of the ties and day three of the 2018 championship is no different, with Nadal’s clash with Mayer and Grigor Dimitrov’s meeting with American Mackenzie McDonald the highlights.

A rash of upsets depleted the bottom half of the women’s draw on Monday but second seed Caroline Wozniacki survived and will pursue her quest for a maiden grand slam title against Croatian Jana Fett.

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina opens the day on the main show court against Katerina Siniakova with Nadal-Mayer the final match of the afternoon.

Top seed Nadal has beaten Argentine Mayer in all four of their previous meetings, including a four-set victory at Flushing Meadows last year on his way to his 16th grand slam title.

Another intriguing match-up pairs Denis Shapovalov with French 15th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a losing finalist at Melbourne Park a decade ago when the Canadian was eight.

On the Margaret Court Arena, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko plays Duan Yingying and Julia Goerges, on a 15-match winning streak, will try to extend it in her match with Alize Cornet.

Updated Date:

also read

Madrid Open: Matteo Berrettini beats Casper Ruud to reach his first Masters 1000 final, will face Alexander Zverev
Sports

Madrid Open: Matteo Berrettini beats Casper Ruud to reach his first Masters 1000 final, will face Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the semi-finals to reach the final.

Tennis Rankings: Iga Swiatek moves into WTA top-10 with Italian Open win
Sports

Tennis Rankings: Iga Swiatek moves into WTA top-10 with Italian Open win

The 19-year-old, who will head to Roland Garros in a fortnight as defending French Open champion, beat Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the final in Rome at the weekend to climb six places to ninth, leapfrogging her Czech opponent who slips to tenth.

Madrid Open: Grigor Dimitrov eliminated by Lloyd Harris; Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic win
Sports

Madrid Open: Grigor Dimitrov eliminated by Lloyd Harris; Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic win

Harris, who beat world number four Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov en route to the final in Dubai in March, pulled off another upset by ousting Dimitrov 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5).