Australian Open Best Bets - Day 3
Round 2 action begins on Day 3 of the Australian Open with a host of Aussies in action.
(15) Ash Barty vs. Yafan Wang
Ash Barty was one of eight Aussies to win on Day 1 of the Australian Open and will be in Round 2 action on Wednesday. Barty has come into the Australian Open in career best form and riding a wave of momentum from last season. At the US Open Barty reached the Round of 16 for the first time at Grand Slam level before emulting her performance at the China Open from 2017 and reaching the final. Her top 20 ranking ensured she qualified for the WTA Elite Trophy for the first time, which she won - her biggest title of her career.
2019 began in Sydney where she defeated French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and three top 10 players including World No. 1 Simona Halep before losing in the final to Petra Kvitova in a final set tiebreak. Her first round match was a breeze winning 6-2 6-2 and we’re thinking a similar scoreline could be on the cards against the Chinese World No. 64 and reach the 3rd round for a third consecutive year at Melbourne Park.
Key Stat: Ashleigh Barty has a 39-9 W/L record when playing as a favourite on hard court from 2014 onwards.
Matthew Ebden vs. (2) Rafael Nadal
Matthew Ebden has been on a meteoric rise up the rankings in the past two years, which has seen him go from 699 before the 2017 Australian Open to a career-high ranking of 39 in October last year. After reaching that feat, 2018 ended with four straight defeats, which extended to five after losing in the Sydney International first round to World No. 80 Guido Andreozzi. That poor run of form looked like it might continue when he trailed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1 4-1 before he turned it around, going on to win 18 of the last 25 games of the match and set up a 2nd round showdown against Rafa Nadal.
Nadal was largely untroubled against Ebden’s countryman James Duckworth, but the Aussie Wild Card made him fight all the way before prevailing 6-4 6-3 7-5. The two have met once before, way back in 2011 on the grass court of Queen’s where Nadal won 6-4 6-4. As we mentioned in our Men’ preview, Nadal’s fitness has to be a slight concern nd Ebden who is match hardened should be able to push him all the way. A day fixture would have only increased Ebden’s slim chances but we still think he can get close enough to cover the game handicap and even potentially pinch a set.
Key Stat: Matthew Ebden has a 4-2 Game Handicap record in his last six matches when an underdog at the Australian Open.
(22) Roberto Bautista-Agut vs. John Millman
2018 was a breakthrough year for John Millman and like compatriots Matthew Ebden and Alex De Minaur, he reached a career high ranking and has firmly asserted himself in the world’s top 50. He currently finds himself ranked 37 and has won four of his six matches in 2019 thus far. His opponent Roberto Bautista-Agut is yet to lose in 2019 (6-0) having won Doha before his five-set victory against Andy Murray on Monday evening. Unfortunately for followers, RBA was unable to close out the 4th set against Murray and deliver a very handy profit for us but the extra grueling set may play into our hands with a potential upset on the cards.
Millman’s greatest triumph was a 4th round victory against Roger Federer at last year’s US Open which stunned the world. If he is to get anywhere near that level on Melbourne Arena on Wednesday evening, he will be winning his way into an Australian Open 3rd round for a second time. Bautista-Agut has a 3-0 record over Millman including a four-set win at the French Open in 2017 and while the stats are against the Aussie, we have a feeling an upset is on the cards and Millmania can be reborn at Melbourne Park.
Key Stat: Roberto Bautista Agut has an 87-30 W/L record when playing as a favourite on Hard Court from 2010 onwards.
Our tip: John Millman to win @ $3 with Sportsbet