The third day of action in the Australian Open will see the first round of the singles draws finally be completed and the second round getting underway, as well as the start of the doubles on another busy day in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Tuesday was a long and high quality day of tennis and Wednesday promises to be much of the same despite the forecast for rain in the evening. Among the stars on show on Wednesday are Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka. It is quality throughout.
Day 2 Recap
We are still waiting for that seismic shock that usually comes along in the early stages of these tournaments and on Tuesday all made it safely through. There were comfortable wins for Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova and slightly less comfortable victories for Daniil Medvedev and Stan Wawrinka among others on a day which went well into the night in Melbourne Park.
Betting wise it was a decent first foray into the tournament for us with three wins courtesy of Laura Siegemund, Alja Tomljanovic and the sets in the Dzumhur and Wawrinka match and it could have been more except although Pierre-Hugues Herbert won he didn’t cover a small handicap which was annoying, as was the loss of Ugo Humbert despite being a break up in the last three sets. Our daily accumulator is still live too and will payout should Heather Watson win on Wednesday.
Rod Laver Arena
The beaten 2019 finalist Petra Kvitova will get us underway on Wednesday on the main court. She will face Paulo Bedosa of Spain for a place in the third round. The world number one and home favourite Ash Barty is up second in the day session. She meets the capable Polona Hercog in a match which could be a banana skin before the defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic rounds off the day session when he meets the Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito.
The night session begins with the women and it is the tournament favourite Serena Williams who is first onto the court under the lights. She will go up against Tamara Zidansek of Slovakia for a place in the third round. The greatest of them all then rounds off a great looking day on Rod Laver Arena when Roger Federer meets the Serbian player Filip Krajinovic who could cause him one or two problems and keep him interested.
Margaret Court Arena
It is the current women’s champion Naomi Osaka who starts up the day on the second court when she takes on her fellow Asian player Saisai Zheng before arguably the pick of the matches on either draw on Wednesday when the 2018 winner Caroline Wozniacki looks to extend her career for another few days when she takes on the Ukrainian star Dayana Yastremska who is getting plenty of good reviews. The day session finishes with Grigor Dimitrov and his pyjamas when the Bulgarian faces Tommy Paul.
It is the men who kick off the night session on the Margaret Court Arena as well when the 12 seed Fabio Fognini looks to build on his fine comeback win against Reilly Opelka in the first round when he takes on Jordan Thompson before the former US Open finalist Madison Keys is back on court under the bright lights when she faces Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands to close a good looking day in this stadium.
There is plenty of good action on the Melbourne Arena on Wednesday, not least in the first match on it where the German powerhouse Julia Goerges takes on the energetic Petra Martic for a place in the third round. All eyes will then once again be on the youngster Coco Gauff as she looks to continue her rise in the women’s game. She faces Sorana Cirstea before the Greek ace Stefanos Tsitsipas continues the day session when he takes on the veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber. The last match on this court sees two men who were on court for more than three hours on Tuesday going at it when Hubert Hurkacz takes on John Millman.
We actually begin with a women’s first round match on the 1573 Arena on Wednesday as the veteran Carla Suarez Navarro takes on Aryna Sabalenka in a good starter. Another first round match in the women’s draw follows them as Elise Mertens goes up against Danka Kovinic for a place in the second round. The first men’s match on this court sees the number eight seeded Italian player Matteo Berrettini going up against Tennys Sandgren before the ultra-consistent Roberto Bautista Agut steps back onto court to take on Michael Mmoh for a place in the third round.
Best of the Rest
With the tournament still catching up there are a lot of great players and good looking matches on show around the grounds on Wednesday. Depending where you look you could be watching Sofia Kenin, Marin Cilic, Alison Riske, Diego Schwartzman, Elena Rybakina, Dan Evans, Milos Raonic and the new kid on the block Jannik Sinner as well as a whole host of top doubles teams on another busy day of action.
I like a couple of outsiders in the men’s draw on Wednesday, the first of which is Yoshihito Nishioka to see off Dan Evans. There were signs of fatigue from the Briton in the first round where for two sets he was bang ordinary before finding his form to see off Mackenzie McDonald in five but a lot of that was down to the American fading fast. Evans will do well to get Nishioka to fade and if this becomes a battle of endurance the Japanese player must have an advantage. Conditions are going to be testing with strong heat and gusty winds so it will be easy for Evans to get frustrated. That all makes me think Nishioka is worth a bet here.
I took John Millman on in the first round but to his credit he delivered a perfect performance from an experienced player against a youngster and I can see him doing the same here. Hubert Hurkacz had to go five sets in the first round and the fact he let qualifier Dennis Novak open up a two set lead on him in the first place would be a concern and you wonder how full the tank is now. The other concern is if the winds and the conditions cause frustration it doesn’t take a whole lot for the lid to come off the young Polish player whereas the temperament of Millman is arguably his greatest strength. Much like the first game, Millman could be overpriced to see off a vulnerable favourite.
I like two in the women’s draw as well where Caroline Garcia could be overpriced to see off Ons Jabeur. I get that Jabeur has a nice game and a lot is thought of her but I’d like to see just how well she is playing because Jo Konta clearly wasn’t at the races in their first round clash. Caroline Garcia has slid down the rankings in the last 12 to 18 months but she was once in the top 10 in the world and she showed why in the first round when she fired an incredible 48 winners past Madison Brengle. 32 of them came in the last two sets to just 20 unforced errors so when she found her range she was brutal. I get the impression Jabeur might be there for the taking here and I’ll back Garcia to do it.
I’m a huge Coco Gauff fan so it makes sense to take her to cover a small looking 2.5 game handicap against Sorana Cirstea, who can mix it in certain places but I’m not convinced here is one of them. This match is on a show court so hopefully the winds won’t be too bad and Gauff’s power game can come out. She is a clean hitter as we all know and when she’s up to speed I expect a decent showing here too. Cirstea could hang around early doors but the longer this one goes the more I expect the youngster to dominate.
Our Tuesday accumulator is in the balance but our Wednesday one can still get up and running and we are looking to back up what will hopefully be a Tuesday winner with a fivefold.
£5 pays £27.84
WON – Back Y.Nishioka to beat D.Evans for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with William Hill
Back him here:
WON – Back J.Millman to beat H.Hurkacz for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with Betway
Back C.Garcia to beat O.Jabeur for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with BetVictor
WON – Back C.Gauff (-2.5 games) to beat S.Cirstea for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Boylesports
WON – Back Daily Accumulator at Boylesports
Back them here: