Australian Open Men's Singles Day Two: Eubanks can land knockout blow on Gojowczyk's chances

After a rain-affected opening day at the Australian Open, there is a jam-packed day two in store with numerous rescheduled matches. Dan Weston checks out the men's schedule...

Shapovalov shocked on opening day

As predicted, rain affected many of the opening day's matches in Melbourne with Denis Shapovalov's defeat at the hands of Marton Fucsovics the biggest shock on the opening day. Both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic got through their matches against higher level opposition than they'd often be accustomed to in their first round clash, and Djokovic was pushed probably a little more than he'd like against the very capable Jan-Lennard Struff.
With many opening day matches being put back until Tuesday - including, as anticipated, Ugo Humbert's meeting with John Millman, which gives the Frenchman added rest time after his title in Auckland - there's plenty of action anticipated and there's a few interesting spots among those matches which were originally scheduled for day two.

Norrie friendless in the market

My model made a few matches fairly out of line with market prices, and they include Cameron Norrie at 2.36 against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, although I can understand why the market is cautious on the Brit, who struggled at the ATP Cup except for his two wins which were virtual pre-match byes. A deserved first round defeat at the hands of the Brazilian clay-courter, Thiago Monteiro, last week in Auckland is hardly an endorsement that he is playing at a decent level either.
We can also suggest similar about Egor Gerasimov, who was dumped out in his opening match last week at the Bendigo Challenger by the French 17 year old, Harold Mayot, who is one of the leading junior players currently. His opponent tomorrow is a fellow young prospect in Casper Ruud, who tends to have more of a lean towards clay courts, and in normal circumstances the 3.30 about the Belarussian - who is usually very competent on hard courts at Challenger level - would be absurd.

Eubanks with more than a puncher's chance

However, I am looking at another underdog in a bid to find a day two winner for the column, with Chris Eubanks looking value at 2.72 against the declining German, Peter Gojowczyk. The American, Eubanks, did well to qualify here with three solid wins including one via retirement against former top 15 player Viktor Troicki, and I actually make him a marginal favourite to get past fellow qualifier Gojowczyk.
Having seen his ranking drop outside the top 100, Gojowczyk has been forced to ply his trade in Challengers of late, and his numbers on those - particularly on return - have been unimpressive of late. While Eubanks hasn't produced a stellar level himself, his numbers across the last year suggest he should have a better win percentage in main draw Challenger events than he has achieved, and he's struggled in tiebreaks - a major issue given his serve-orientated style. As I've mentioned numerous times though, this issue is usually variance-driven. I make Eubanks decent value to knock out Gojowczyk tomorrow.

Thiem dominates Mannarino head to head

In other matches, Dominic Thiem looks short at 1.20 against the competent Adrian Mannarino, who should prefer quicker conditions to the Austrian if he gets them, although I note with interest the 7-0 head to head lead for Thiem in their matches. In addition, a number of big names take to the courts including Rafa Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios, so the neutral should also have plenty to enjoy as the first round - weather permitting - concludes.

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