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Five matches to watch on Day 2

  • Dan Imhoff

The bottom halves of both men's and women's draws step up for their first hit-outs of Australian Open 2022 on Tuesday. 

MORE: Day 2 schedule of play

Here's our pick of the best matches on offer on Day 2. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas v Mikael Ymer

If last year's third-round showdown is anything to go by, fourth seed Tsitsipas' fans could have plenty to chant about from the off as they unfurl those Greek flags high in the stands on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.

MORE: AO 2022 men's singles draw

Roland Garros runner-up Tsitsipas conceded just six games against Swede Ymer in that outing and dropped only four games a year prior, in Marseille.

Before their John Cain Arena encounter last year, Ymer had battled through five sets to subdue Hubert Hurkacz before ending Carlos Alcaraz's debut.

But his season picked up markedly upon a return to hard courts in August, when he reached his first tour final in Winston-Salem and pushed Thanasi Kokkinakis to three sets in the Adelaide quarterfinals earlier this month.

Tsitsipas is looking to kick-start another deep run in Melbourne

Tsitsipas could be vulnerable having only made a tentative return to competition last week, following right elbow surgery. He completed just one singles match – a defeat to Diego Schwartzman – and two doubles matches on ATP Cup duty in Sydney before withdrawing.

Aryna Sabalenka v Storm Sanders

World No.2 Sabalenka would typically start a heavy favourite against a wildcard ranked just inside the top 130, a 27-year-old who has never passed the opening round of a major.

But on recent form and with a home crowd heavily in her corner, Aussie Sanders has reason to discount the ranking chasm between the pair.

MORE: AO 2022 women's singles draw

To suggest Sabalenka has struggled since the start of the new season would be an understatement.

The Belarusian, who defeated Ash Barty for the Madrid title last season, fell to 100th-ranked Kaja Juvan and 93rd-ranked Rebecca Peterson in consecutive defeats in Adelaide and Sydney, where her combined double-fault count hit 39.

Sanders has been through the wringer, battling injuries for much of her career, but after a healthy run in 2021 has slashed her singles mark and reached her first Grand Slam doubles semifinal at Wimbledon.

Andy Murray v Nikoloz Basilashvili

Five-time runner-up Murray contests his first Australian Open match since a gruelling five-set defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut in the opening round three years ago.

The Scot battled through hip pain to complete that match and doubted whether he would return to Melbourne Park.

But after reaching his first final since 2019 in Sydney at the weekend, the 34-year-old arrives primed for his third clash with Nikoloz Basilashvili in seven months.

Murray made a spirited run to the final in Sydney last week

Murray said the Georgian was "hitting the ball consistently bigger than anyone on the tour" after beating him in Sydney last week. 

And while Murray also claimed the honours in the opening round at Wimbledon last year, he will be wary of an opponent who reached his maiden Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells in September. 

Garbine Muguruza v Clara Burel

A runner-up at Australian Open 2020 to Sofia Kenin, former world No.1 Muguruza begins her quest for a maiden hard-court major against French former junior No.1 Burel on Rod Laver Arena.

The Spaniard rounded out last season in emphatic style with her WTA Finals triumph in Guadalajara to add to her earlier titles in Chicago and Dubai.

Muguruza came within one win of annexing the AO 2020 title

Despite falling to Daria Kastakina in the round of 16 in Sydney, she insisted she was satisfied with her matchplay on the eve of her 10th Australian Open campaign.

A runner-up in the girls' singles at Australian Open 2018, world No.77 Burel rode her home-crown advantage to reach her maiden Slam third round in Paris in 2020 and, like Muguruza, has split her two matches leading in.

Alex De Minaur v Lorenzo Musetti

A serious bout of Covid-19 did De Minaur no favours as he battled to stem a form slump in 2021 but back to full fitness, the Australian made an impressive return in the ATP Cup in Sydney last week with victories over world No.7 Matteo Berrettini and Ugo Humbert. 

His 19-year-old Italian opponent, Musetti, has not been without his struggles in the second half of last season either, having started so strongly with a semifinal run in Acapulco, which included wins over Schwartzman, Frances Tiafoe and Grigor Dimitrov.

Musetti famously held a two-set lead on eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth round at Roland Garros last year. 

De Minaur's lone fourth-round showing at a major came at Flushing Meadows in 2019, but he loves nothing more than a scrap on a big arena before his home crowd.