Australian Open: Roger Federer vs John Millman and 7 top R3 matchups

Roger Federer at the Australian Open (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)
Roger Federer at the Australian Open (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images) /

Roger Federer’s clash against familiar foe John Millman is one of the top matchups in the Australian Open third round, with Osaka vs Gauff among the others.

After four days and two rounds of action, the 2020 Australian Open reaches the last-32 stage on Thursday and Friday.

The third round will see seeds face each other for the first time, increasing the level of difficulty for the top stars as well as the chances of there being surprise results.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed, is the highest-ranked player to fail to reach the third round in the men’s singles, with Aryna Sabalenka (11) taking that unwanted designation on the women’s side.

Some of the favorites will be relatively happy about their third-round assignments, with Serena Williams to face Wang Qiang, a player she beat comprehensively at the US Open just a few months ago, while Rafael Nadal will be optimistic of seeing off Pablo Carreno Busta after his round-two win over Federico Delbonis.

Aus Open. Coco and Serena progress. light

Others are facing much more problematic matchups and here we have picked out 7 of the must-watch round-three encounters at the Australian Open.

Roger Federer vs John Millman

Australian John Millman can count on home support as he attempts to upset Roger Federer at a major for the second time.

He famously stunned Federer at the 2018 US Open with a fourth-round win in four sets and has looked good so far this week, beating Ugo Humbert and Hubert Hurkacz, two players who came in with some significant form behind them.

Federer won the first rematch in Halle last year, but that was on grass.

Naomi Osaka vs Coco Gauff

Defending champion Naomi Osaka meets Coco Gauff in a match featuring two of the players most likely to dominate majors over the next decade once Serena has left the stage.

They also played in the third round at the US Open, with Osaka comfortably winning that contest 6-3 6-0, with the Japanese star’s consoling of the upset 15-year-old after the match making a global impact.

Nick Kyrgios vs Karen Khachanov

Karen Khachanov needed an epic 10-8 champions tie-break win in the fifth set of his match against Mikael Ymer to reach round 3.

While a struggle like that is encouraging for home hope Nick Kyrgios, he knows the Russian, who is seeded at 16, is an extremely capable opponent.

The winner is likely to play Nadal in a blockbuster round-4 tie.

Ash Barty vs Elena Rybakina

Top seed Ash Barty was much more comfortable against Polona Hercog in round 2 than she was in surviving a scare against Lesia Tsurenko in her opening match.

In Elena Rybakina she faces her toughest test to date, with the 29th seed yet to drop a set and coming into the Australian Open on electric form having reached back-to-back finals in Shenzhen and Hobart, winning the latter event.

Novak Djokovic vs Yoshihito Nishioka

Novak Djokovic dropped a set in the first round for the first time in 14 years against Jan-Lennard Struff.

The Serbian was much more comfortable in beating Tatsuma Ito, but now faces a much more challenging Japanese opponent in Yoshihito Nishioka, one of the ATP Tour’s fastest improving players who just dumped out Dan Evans in straight sets and recently ran Nadal close at the ATP Cup.

Petra Kvitova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Last year’s Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova has looked good so far in not losing a set, but in-form Russian opponent Ekaterina Alexandrova is on an incredible roll having won both the events she played in the month before this tournament.

Elina Svitolina vs Garbine Muguruza

Fifth seed Elina Svitolina is also yet to drop a set as she bounces back from her early exit at the Brisbane International.

Now, though, she faces a huge test against two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza, who has won seven of her eight matches in a bright start to the 2020 season.

Next. Serena's biggest rivals at the Aus Open. dark

With round 3 set to get under way and a host of exciting matches in store, fans will have the feeling that this stage is when the first Grand Slam of the year will really get going.