Novak Djokovic was as impressive as ever in his opening round of the Australian Open and now comes up against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – 11 years on since their Australian Open Final match-up. Novak features as one of my best along with another Aus Open Champion in Serena Williams.
|Best Bet||Novak Djokovic 3-0 @ $1.72|
|Circuit Bet||Denis Shapovalov 3-0 @ $2.05|
|Circuit Bet||Borna Coric -1.5 sets @ $1.70|
|Circuit Bet||Milos Raonic (-3.5) @ $2|
|Circuit Bet||Lucas Pouille @ $1.74|
|Value Bet||Kei Nishikori 7-6 first set @ $4|
Novak Djokovic 3-0 @ $1.72
Right now, he’s just so much better than any other player in the world. It only took an early break against his serve in the first set to click into gear in a cruisy 6-3 6-2 6-2 win. He’s up against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the man he beat back in the 2008 Final to win his first of 6 Australian Open crowns. The big Frenchman is on the backend of a stellar career, but still a dangerous proposition on tour. Djokovic will be well aware of the threat that is Tsonga, and will make sure he doesn’t give him a sniff. The Djoker in straights my best for Day 4.
Milos Raonic (-3.5) @ $2
I know I backed Kyrgios to beat the Canadian, but the big fella’s serve was flawless in a straight sets masterpiece against the Aussie. 30 aces, 1 double fault! He’s done enough to sway me into the Raonic camp, although my pre-tournament prediction was that Stan Wawrinka will move into the Round of 16. The 2014 Australian Open Champion cruised into the second round, despite an early scary against Latvian Ernests Gulbis who took the first set before retiring hurt in the second set. The lack of time on court could work both ways against Stan, who will go into this one fresh but also slightly underdone against a big, powerful man who is playing great tennis. Hard to back against Raonic based on his Round 1 performance, and should clear the 3.5 game handicap.
Lucas Pouille @ $1.74
The Frenchman played great in his first round straight sets victory, and now faces world 71 Maximilion Marterer in the second round. The German is a promising, rangey leftie but been inconsistent over his career and probably should be ranked higher. Pouille on the other hand is ranked 31 and seeded at the event, and has been a consistent performer at Grand Slams. I like the $1.74 on offer here.
|Best Bet||Serena Williams (-5.5) @ $1.82|
|Circuit Bet||Anastajisa Sevastova 2-0 @ $2.07|
|Circuit Bet||Garbine Muguruza (-2.5) @ $1.86|
|Circuit Bet||Elise Mertens 2-0 @ $1.76|
|Circuit Bet||Simona Halep 2-0 @ $1.96|
|Value Bet||Carla Suarez Navarro @ $2.30|
Serena Williams (-5.5) @ $1.82
Serena didn’t break a sweat in her opening round demolition of Tatjana Maria, winning 6-0 6-2. Although her next opponent Eugenie Bouchard is more talented, it only takes one explosive set by Serena to blow the 5.5 game handicap out of the water. I expect her to once again make light work of her opponent in this one.
Garbine Muguruza (-2.5) @ $1.86
It’s been a big decline for Johanna Konta from three years back when she was a Semi Finalist here, now ranked 38 in the world. Despite claiming the scalp of Sloane Stephens in Brisbane, she’s still nowhere near her best that saw her reach number 4 in the world. Muguruza is another that has slipped over the last 12 months, but injury has played a significant part in this. She was a convincing winner in her opening round match-up and with Konta coming off a tough opening round, I think Muguruza is primed to win this match-up clearing the 2.5 game handicap.
Simona Halep 2-0 @ $1.96
It was a huge opening round win by Halep against Kaia Kanepi who has given her problems in the past. Her final set was ultra impressive, and will give her plenty of confidence advancing in this tournament. Sofia Kenin made hard work of her opening round eventually winning 7-5 in the third, and even though she’s one of the rising stars on the tour currently ranked 37 as a 20-year-old, she’ll need to improve her opening round tenfold to be able to compete with the world number 1 in Halep. Simona in straight sets for mine.