A massive day of tennis takes place at Melbourne Park today with both women’s semifinals scheduled during the afternoon and the potential epic between Marin Cilic and Kyle Edmund getting underway at 7:30pm. If you have plans other than watching the action, cancel them.
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Elise Mertens run at the Australian Open has been an impressive one and only seems to be getting better. The Belgian has won all matches in straight sets and dominated 4th seed Elina Svitolina last round in a powerful 6-4, 6-0 showing. However, expectations are that she could struggle with the step up in class when she meets No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki at 2pm in Rod Laver Arena. Wozniacki has been equally impressive this tournament and despite a scare in the quarters to Carla Suarez Navarro, the former US Open finalist is the outright favourite at $1.42 to progress. For the record, this paring has played once previously with Wozniacki triumphing in three.
Key Stat: Wozniacki beat Mertens 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in the only previous meeting between the pair (Bastad, 2017)
Our tip: Wozniacki in three
This pairing has played 11 matches against each other with Angelique Kerber holding the slight advantage with six wins. Importantly, Kerber has also been victorious in five of the last six encounters, and has won the only match that took place in a grand slam (Wimbledon QF, 2016). In that respect, and despite being ranked 20 positions lower than the world No.1 Halep, the German will enter the match as the $1.65 favourite. We’re tipping Kerber here, but this match has the potential to be an Aussie Open classic and there’s every expectation it will extend into a third set.
Key Stat: Kerber has won four of five matches in tournament in -18.5 games.
Our tip: Kerber in three
Australian Open surprise packet Kyle Edmund is attracting plenty of interest at $3.50 with many backing the 23-year old to keep his fairytale run going all the way to the final. After accounting for No.3 seed Grigor Dimitrov last round and the talented Andreas Seppi in the Round of 16, the world No. 49 has given British tennis fans something to cheer about in the absence of Andy Murray. However, the experienced Marin Cilic is set to test Edmund’s game and it remains unlikely that he’ll be able to overcome the big serving Croatian who in to $1.30 to reach his third grand slam final. For the record, this pair has met on one occasion previously (Shanghai Masters, 2017) with Cilic winning 6-3, 7-6.
Key Stat: There has been at least one tiebreak in all but one of Marin Cilic’s matches this tournament.
Our tip: Cilic in four with the match to feature a tiebreak.