The 2024 Australian Open has been as unpredictable as we expected it to be, if not more so.
Now, we are getting to the business end of the tournament the Round of 16 kicks off. There have already been some shocking upsets which makes predictions even more difficult.
Let's see if I can make some quality predictions, shall we? (Just do not hate me if I am wrong.)
Predictions for the first part of round four at the Australian Open
(12) Taylor Fritz versus (7) Stefanos Tsitsipas
The Greek star Tsitsipas had to battle in each of his first two appearances in Australia, winning both in four sets. He got back on track and looked very good in a comfortable 3rd round win.
Fritz has also put some mileage on his legs at this event so far. A five-setter in his opening match set the tone, but the big-serving American battled through. Now, this might be the best matchup of the early 4th round slate.
Fritz has the power and offensive game to overcome Tsitsipas if he is firing on all cylinders. However, Tsitsipas still has a better overall game, and I expect it to just nudge him across the line.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas wins in 5 sets
(4) Jannik Sinner versus (15) Karen Khachanov
Jannik Sinner has been on cruise control through 3 rounds and he looks every bit like one of the favorites we expected him to be. Khachanov cannot be coming into this in the best condition. He has had to endure a trio of four set matches already and he is a firm underdog in this one.
Both players love to hit flat and with authority, but Sinner just does it better and more consistently. The Italian also brings more nuance to his game and I think he simply overwhelms his opponent.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner wins in straight sets
(4) Coco Gauff versus Magdalena Frech
I have a feeling this one could get ugly as Gauff has continued her scintillating form from the second half of last season into the early portion of 2024. She looks like she will be very tough to beat and Frech is not the woman to do it.
A nice win over Caroline Garcia got her here, but Gauff simply has too many tools at her disposal. This could get ugly.
Prediction: Coco Gauff wins in straight sets
(1) Novak Djokovic versus (20) Adrian Mannarino
While Djokovic has not been in vintage form during the early stages Down Under, he has still made his way relatively comfortably to the fourth round. The enigmatic Mannarino has taken down former champ Stan Wawrinka and the American phenom Ben Shelton to get here. He is playing with house money at this point.
Even not looking his peak best, Nole should have plenty in the tank to handle the Frenchman.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic wins in straight sets
(2) Aryna Sabalenka versus Amanda Anisimova
The 22-year-old Anisimova has been playing some outstanding tennis thus far, highlighted by a straight sets thumping of the 13-seed Liudmila Samsonova. She should bring a lot of confidence into this match.
However, the World No. 2 Sabalenka has lost six GAMES en route to the 4th Round. That is just absurd to write out. She's been helped by an easy draw with two qualifiers but her game appears to be on full-steam ahead mode.
That said, we have all seen Sabalenka make mountains out of molehills before, and Anisimova is much more than that. This could be a sneaky good match and make for fun to watch.
Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka wins in 3 sets