Australian Open 2013 Bracket: Top Third-Round Matches to Watch

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 16:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand in his second round match against Ryan Harrison of USA during day three of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The 2013 Australian Open is cruising along, as most of the third-round matchups are now set.

There have been a few upsets, but most of the favorites have advanced in Melbourne. While that's bad news for the Cinderellas out there, it does mean that tennis fans will be treated to some excellent matchups in the upcoming days.

The entire third round is obviously worth checking out, but if you can only catch a few matches, the following three would be great options.

 

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Radek Stepanek (31)

Novak Djokovic has been predictably dominant in his first two matches. He has yet to drop a set, disposing of Paul Henri-Mathieu and Ryan Harrison thus far. Next up is the 34-year-old Stepanek.

Stepanek will likely be overwhelmed by Djokovic's youthful athleticism, but he could cause some problems. He is one of the most experienced, active players in the world, and he's riding some momentum after beating Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round.

I'm expecting the defending Australian Open champion to win comfortably, but this match is definitely worth watching.

 

Ana Ivanovic (13) vs. Jelena Jankovic (22)

This matchup is intriguing for several reasons. The two women are both Serbians and former world No. 1-ranked, and they've also developed some bad blood over the years.

They each also needed three sets to get to the third round. Ivanovic advanced after a 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Yung-Jan Chan, while Jankovic prevailed 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 over Maria Joao Koehler.

Despite their struggles in the second round, this should be a great match. Ivanovic leads their career series 7-3, but I'm picking Jankovic to pull off the upset in the first Grand Slam of the year.

 

Tomas Berdych (5) vs. Jurgen Melzer (26)

This should be a fairly even match, as both players have won two of their four career meetings.

To set up the fifth match, Berdych dispatched Guillaume Rufin in straight sets, while Melzer survived an epic battle with Roberto Bautista-Agut. In a grueling duel, Melzer eventually prevailed 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2.

Don't be surprised if you see another five-set match from Melzer, as he will push the higher-seeded Berdych every step of the way. I'm expecting Berdych to prevail, but don't be surprised if Melzer pulls off the biggest upset of the men's bracket thus far.