Australian Open Best Bets - Day 4
Round 2 concludes today at the Australian Open where we expect the top seeds to be largely untroubled.
Stan Wawrinka vs. (16) Milos Raonic
The second game up on Rod Laver Arena could easily be mistaken for a deep second week matchup. Stan Wawrinka is a three-time Grand Slam champion while Milos Raonic has been a perennial top 10 player in the world and has made a Wimbledon Final. Due to Wawrinka’s ranking, the pair will meet in the 2nd round at Melbourne Park, a rematch of their third round clash at last year’s US Open which Raonic won in straight sets. Wawrinka’s ranking fell to a low of 263 last year after a lengthy layoff with a knee injury but showed glimpses in the back half of the year that he was returning to form, but not to the lofty heights of pre knee surgery.
He started the year in Doha by defeating No. 11 in the world Karen Khachanov before falling to eventual champion Roberto Bautista-Agut in the quarterfinals and was somewhat lucky to find himself in the second round here after his opponent Ernests Gulbis retired during the second set after taking the first. In the words of Nick Kyrgios, Raonic served and played ‘unbelievably’ in his first round matchup, easily covering the game handicap for us in the process. We think that sort of form can continue and considering we’re on him to win the quarter, we like Raonic to blast his way to a straight sets victory over the Stanimal.
Key Stat: Milos Raonic has won his last two matches against San Wawrinka, both at Grand Slam level. Wawrinka has a 22-31 W/L record when playing as an underdog on hard court from 2010 onwards.
Our tip: Milos Raonic to win 3-0 @ $3.60 with Sportsbet
Eugenie Bouchard vs. (16) Serena Williams
In her first WTA Tour match since her controversial loss in the US Open Final, Serena Williams didn’t miss a beat on Tuesday, dispatching German veteran Tatjana Maria 6-0 6-2 and we anticipate more of the same in the second round against Eugenie Bouchard. The pair have only met twice in their careers with Williams winning both, the last of which was a 6-1 6-1 drubbing in the WTA Finals of 2014. Bouchard, who hasn’t been past the second round of a Grand Slam in her last six appearances at the majors was also dominant in her opening match winning 6-2 6-1 over Shuai Peng but the prospect of facing Williams is a completely different story and we think it will be another walk in the (Melbourne) park for the 23-time Grand Slam winner.
Key Stat: Serena Williams has won 21 of her last 22 WTA matches in Australia, the last eight have all been in straight sets.
Our tip: Total match games under 19.5 @ $1.72 with Sportsbet
(1) Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
It’s a rematch of the 2008 final here at the Australian Open, which still proves to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s best result at a Grand Slam. Novak Djokovic has gone on to win a further 13 majors and become one of the greatest in the sport’s modern era. After losing the final Tsonga went on to win five of his next six matches against Djokovic before Novak’s incredible run of winning 14 of their last 15 meetings to make the all time overall record 16-6 in his but haven’t met since the 2016 US Open. Tsonga was awarded a Wild Card into Brisbane where he reached the semi final and was afforded the same luxury into the Australian Open after injury derailed his 2018 and his ranking plummeted. Both men had straight set wins in their opening round matches but you sense Djokovic was still in first gear and will look to take up a notch against the dangerous Tsonga.
Key Stat: Novak Djokovic has won eight of his last nine completed ATP main draw matches against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.
Our tip: Total match games under 33.5 @ $1.83 with Sportsbet