Before each day's play at the 2021 Australian Open, we'll preview three must-see matches.

So far it’s been fairly smooth sailing for Barty in her 2021 return, but the waves could get rougher for her, and those pulling for her to win her home Slam for the first time, in the third round. Alexandrova has come into her own as a player at the relatively advanced age of 26. Already in 2021, the 32nd-ranked Russian has knocked off Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek, and she hasn’t dropped a set this week. Barty has the more stylish and complete game, but as Sofia Kenin showed when she beat her here last year, it can wobble under steady pressure, especially in Rod Laver Arena. Alexandrova can bring that steady pressure.

Winner: Alexandrova

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Three to See, AO Day 6: Barty vs. pressure & Alexandrova; Italy's men

Three to See, AO Day 6: Barty vs. pressure & Alexandrova; Italy's men

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If you like your tennis on the spicy side, this could be the match for you. Neither of these guys have been afraid to mix it up so far this week. De Minaur drilled his first-round opponent, Tennys Sandgren, with a short ball on the final point of the match. Fognini, in a five-set second-rounder, enraged his fellow Italian Salvator Caruso by calling him “lucky,” and the two ended up at the net with their fingers in each other’s faces. What are the chances that De Minaur and Fognini don’t get under each other’s skin at some point in what could be a marathon battle? The fact that they’ll be facing off for the first time might heighten the tension even more.

Winner: De Minaur

Tennis matches don’t much more brutal than this one. Berrettini and Khachanov both bludgeon the ball with heavy topspin forehands and two-handed backhands, and neither will ever win points for elegance. Results-wise, though, both guys have looked good so far in 2021. Berrettini went three for four at the ATP Cup, a run that included a straight-set win over Dominic Thiem. He also had no trouble staying up late this week to watch his girlfriend, Ajla Tomljanovic, and then coming back to win the next day. As for Khachanov, he made the semis in one of the pre-AO tune-up events at Melbourne Park. If there’s a decisive factor in this prediction, it’s the head to head between the Italian and the Russian. Berrettini leads it 3-0.

Winner: Berrettini

Three to See, AO Day 6: Barty vs. pressure & Alexandrova; Italy's men

Three to See, AO Day 6: Barty vs. pressure & Alexandrova; Italy's men