Simon faces test in Aussie behemoth
The most unrecognized player in the top 10, Gilles Simon is trying to validate his status with a deep run Down Under. But first he must get by the altitudinous Aussie, Chris Guccione.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Here's a look at some notable matches on Day 4 of the Australian Open:Gilles Simon (6) vs. Chris Guccione: One by one, the Aussies are dropping like flies. Darling Casey Dellacqua choked away an upset win over a similarly nervous Daniela Hantuchova on Monday, feisty baseliner Lleyton Hewitt failed to cope with the power of explosive Chilean Fernando Gonzalez on Tuesday, and unpredictable lefty Gilles Muller of Luxembourg ended the short, uplifting sojourn of 16-year-old wonder kid Bernard Tomic.
Prediction: Simon in five.
Venus Williams (6) vs. Carla Suarez Navarro: Blessed with a picturesque one-handed backhand, Suarez Navarro rose more than 100 spots in the rankings last year, finishing at No. 50. Much of the escalation resulted from a quarterfinal showing at the French Open, which was all the more impressive given that the 20-year-old had to qualify. Williams' vulnerability in early rounds of Grand Slams has been exposed in the past. Then again, Suarez Navarro finds it hard to win on surfaces other than dirt.
Prediction: Williams in two.
Ivo Karlovic (25) vs. Mario Ancic: Will the 6-10 Karlovic, for all his serving prowess, ever reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal? Will Ancic, no shorty at 6-5, ever regain the momentum wiped away by bouts of mono? A win for either Croat -- they were Davis Cup teammates -- would help. Don't expect many long points, which should suit both well in the heat. Another question: Who will the Croatian fans be rooting for?
Prediction: Karlovic in four.Ravi Ubha is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.
2009 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Women's singles: Serena Williams, United States
Rafael Nadal, Spain
Men's doubles: Bob and Mike Bryan, United States
Women's doubles: Serena and Venus Williams, United States
Mixed doubles: Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi, India
Official scoreboard: Scores
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