Now for Day 2 of the Australian Open and the big names continue. Serena and Venus in the women, Novak in the men and of course the polarising Nick Kyrgios. Can he knock off Milos Raonic? I think he can.
|Best Bet||Daniil Medvedev 3-0 @ $1.94|
|Circuit Bet||Jeremy Chardy (-2.5) @ $1.81|
|Circuit Bet||Borna Coric 3-0 @ $1.85|
|Circuit Bet||Pouille v Kukushkin over 3.5 sets @ $1.64|
|Circuit Bet||Nick Kyrgios @ $2.05|
|Value Bet||Nicolas Jarry @ $2.08|
Daniil Medvedev 3-0 @ $1.94
The big Russian charged from outside the top 50 in August last year to be now ranked 19 in the world. He faces Lloyd Harris, who sits exactly 100 spots behind in the rankings. Medvedev arrives in Melbourne in great touch, reaching the final In Brisbane taking care of Murray, Raonic and Tsonga along the way. He’s someone to keep an eye on this tournament, and should start off with a straight sets win.
Jeremy Chardy (-2.5) @ $1.81
The veteran Frenchman is still ranked 36 in the world at the age of 31, taking on countryman Ugo Humbert. Chardy had a solid hit out in the lead-up, reaching the Semi Final in Brisbane. His experience in the hot conditions should be too much against his 20-year-old opponent, playing in his first Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios @ $2.05
Going in as an underdog in his first match will surely be an advantage for Kyrgios. He takes on big hitting Canadian Milos Raonic seeded 16th at the tournament, with their head to head record 3-all. The two faced off in Fast 4 exhibition match last week giving Kyrgios an early look at the heavy Raonic serve. I expect Kyrgios to prove a point here with no pressure or expectation, and cause a first round upset.
|Best Bet||Venus Williams (-2.5) @ $1.76|
|Circuit Bet||Naomi Osaka 2-0 @ $1.62|
|Circuit Bet||Karolina Pliskova 2-0 @ $1.92|
|Circuit Bet||Kaia Kanepi (+4.5) @ $1.84|
|Circuit Bet||Madison Keys 2-0 @ $1.67|
|Value Bet||Natalie Vikhlyantseva @ $2.20|
Venus Williams (-2.5) @ $1.76
Although Venus’ stellar career is reaching the end, the 38-year-old is still capable of winning through the early stages of a Grand Slam. Her opponent in this one happens to be the 25th seed in Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, who was playing great tennis halfway through last year but an ankle injury in August has had a huge effect on her form of late. The Romanian hasn’t won a singles match since the injury against Elina Svitolina, including a 6-0 6-2 drubbing in Brisbane. I expect Venus to make the most of Buzarnescu’s lean patch, and progress to the second round clearing the 2.5 game handicap.
Karolina Pliskova 2-0 @ $1.92
Pliskova was victorious in the Brisbane International in the lead-up, and generally makes light work of her opposition early on in majors. Her opponent is fellow Czech Karolina Muchova, currently ranked 139 in the world. I expect this to be a no-nonsense match for Pliskova, with a convincing straight sets win at the nice price of $1.92.
Kaia Kanepi (+4.5) @ $1.84
The Estonian has world number 1 Simona Halep in the opening round – a Round 1 rematch of the 2018 US Open, which Kanepi didn’t just won, but smashed Halep 6-2 6-4. More than capable of another upset here, especially with Halep’s recent form struggles losing to Barty in straight sets in Sydney and murmurs surrounding a back injury. Halep generally performs well at Grand Slam events with a good lead-up, and this is not the case this year. I like Kanepi within the 4.5 game handicap in this one.