Australian Open Best Bets - Day 5
It’s a feast of great matches at the Australian Open on Day 5 as we reach the round of 32.
Tomas Berdych vs. (18) Diego Schwartzman
Tomas Berdych and Diego Schwartzman will meet for the first time in their career when they clash first up in Melbourne Arena Friday night. The 18th seeded Schwartzman is looking to emulate his best performance at Melbourne Park from a year ago with another fourth-round appearance while Berdych is looking to continue his love affair with the Australian Open where he has reached at least the quarterfinal stage in seven of the last eight years including back-to-back semifinal appearances in 2014 and 2015. His 2019 tournament has started brilliantly, winning both his matches in straight sets including defeating 13th seed and last year’s semi-finalist Kyle Edmund. Berdych also reached the final in Doha to start the season and is playing in the kind of form that saw him hold down a top 10 ranking for more than six years. In contrast, Schwartzman is coming off a gruelling five-setter against Denis Kudla with the quickness of the courts not suiting his style of play.
Key Stat: Tomas Berdych has won his last 32 matches as a favourite at the Australian Open.
Our tip: Tomas Berdych -5.5 games @ $1.80 with Sportsbet
15) Ash Barty vs. Maria Sakkari
Ash Barty begins the bumper schedule on Rod Laver Arena against Maria Sakkari of Greece as she looks to reach the round of 16 for the first time at Melbourne Park and only the second time in her Grand Slam career. Barty comes into the match in the form of her life and riding a wave of patriotic support, which has been matched by two brilliant straight-set victories to begin her Aussie Open campaign. Her opponent is ranked just outside the seedlings (41st) and defeated French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round before dispatching Aussie qualifier Astra Sharma in straight sets. Sakkari has already equalled her best result at Grand Slam level and will be buoyed by a 6-4 6-2 victory in the pairs only career meeting in March last year. Why we firmly believe Barty will dig deep and march into the second week, it may be a tight contest so we’re taking the + game handicap for Sakkari, despite Barry’s recent dominance
Key Stat: Ash Barty has covered the game handicap in nine of her last 10 WTA Tour matches.
Our tip: Maria Sakkari +5.5 games @ $1.66 with Sportsbet
(27) Alex De Minaur vs. (2) Rafael Nadal
Friday night lights on Rod Laver Arena. This is the stage for Alex De Minaur to further stamp himself as Australian tennis’ next big thing. The 19-year-old has now been to the third round of the last three Grand Slams, confirming his ranking as a genuine world top 30 player and will be itching to take that next step into the business end of the tournament, but a fairly decent opponent stands in his way. We questioned Nadal’s fitness coming into the tournament, a question mark he’s answered emphatically with two powerful wins. De Minaur will provide a new challenge however and is riding high after winning his maiden ATP title in Sydney last week. The pair met in the third round of Wimbledon last year with Nadal victorious 6-1 6-2 6-4. While we don’t expect it to that one-sided this time, we still anticipate a straight sets victory for the World No. 2.
Key Stat: Rafael Nadal has covered the game handicap in each of his last five third-round matches at the Australian Open and won his last five Grand Slam main draw matches against Australian opponents in straight sets.
Our tip: Rafael Nadal to win 3-0 @ $1.83 with Sportsbet