Australian Open Day 5 picks, including Ferrer vs. Chardy and Janowicz vs. Mayer

The Grandstand’s Ricky Dimon and Erik Gudris of Adjusting the Net preview and pick the best men’s singles matchups on Day 5 of the Australian Open. This is the fifth of 13 installments of expert picks during the season’s first Grand Slam.

(29) Jeremy Chardy vs. (3) David Ferrer

Ricky: This one has upset alert written all over it. There is no doubt in my mind Chardy will be competitive; the question is if the underdog can get all the way over the hump. His big serve and forehand work well in the relatively fast conditions of Melbourne and he stunned Juan Martin Del Potro en route to last year’s quarterfinals. A lot of people are already writing off Ferrer, but his Auckland loss can be chalked up to an on-fire Yen-Hsun Lu and he has been solid through two rounds this week. Ferrer will keep Chardy out there all day long and a survival of the fittest in this heat favors the third seed. Ferrer 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.

Erik: Chardy posted his best result at a major last year by reaching the quarters in Melbourne. Still, it’s hard to see the Frenchman knocking out Ferrer even if the Spaniard was not exactly at his best heading into this event. Chardy’s best hope is to stay close and try put pressure on Ferrer’s serve in key games. But it’s hard to see Ferrer finding a way to lose this one. Ferrer 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.

Florian Mayer vs. (20) Jerzy Janowicz

Ricky: This is close to a toss-up for me, perhaps to a greater extent than any other third-round match. Their only previous ATP-level encounter came at Wimbledon in 2012, when Mayer won a thriller 7-6(5), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. Janowicz, of course, is a much different and far more confident player now. Both of these guys have looked borderline dead at times already this tournament. On another hot day, the Pole’s superior ability to win free points on serve may be the difference. Janowicz 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(3).

Erik: “Funky” Florian Mayer leads this head-to-head series 2-0, having won their last meeting at Wimbledon two years ago in five sets. That was, however, before Janowicz had his big breakthrough. The Pole has more weapons than Mayer, but Janowicz’s current injury woes make him suspect in this one. Janowicz will try to serve and drop shot his way to victory, but I expect the crafty German to yet again prevail. Mayer 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

(15) Fabio Fognini vs. Sam Querrey

Ricky: A Grand Slam win over Ernests Gulbis should never be overestimated, but Querrey was actually outstanding on Wednesday. He served at 72 percent, won 88 percent of his first-serve points, and fired 19 aces in 14 service games. The motivated version of Fognini has appeared on an almost-consistent basis since last summer, but he can go off the rails at any time and he will if his opponent serves like he did against Gulbis. Querrey 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-3.

Erik: This is a surprise first-ever meeting between two men few expected to get this far. The Italian was on the fence to even play Melbourne due to injury while the American was coming off a poor last six months. With two very different personalities and game styles, it will all come down to Querrey’s serving and Fognini’s returning. Fognini will be way more creative than his opponent. This time, though, slow and steady–especially in the blistering Melbourne heat–will be enough. Querrey 7-6, 6-4, 6-2.

(17) Tommy Robredo vs. (9) Richard Gasquet

Ricky: Even before last year’s French Open, discounting Robredo under any circumstances was foolish. That fact was proven 10 times over at Roland Garros when he came back from two sets down in three consecutive matches. Now he has overcome an arm injury to win tight matches against both Lukas Rosol and Julien Benneteau. If this is the same ol’ Robredo, however, it’s a new-and-improved Gasquet. Once challenged in the head, Gasquet is showing the best form of his career both physically and mentally. Gasquet 7-6, 7-5, 5-7, 2-6, 6-3.

Erik: It’s hard to believe these two veterans have played each other just four times. Robredo won their only meeting Down Under seven years ago. Gasquet has been striking the ball very well while Robredo was required to battle in his last two matches. This has the makings of a classic five-setter. But with the extreme heat likely a factor, it could well be the Frenchman who keeps his cool long enough to reach yet another round of 16 at a major. Gasquet 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.

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