We complete the second round of both singles draws in the Australian Open on Thursday as the tournament begins to go up a notch as players hustle for a spot in the last 32 of the opening Grand Slam of the year.
We were treated to some fantastic tennis on Wednesday and with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova among others on the schedule on Thursday, there should be no drop off in the quality on show.
Day 3 Recap
We saw comfortable wins for Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka on Wednesday while Ash Barty was another winner in straight sets. Elsewhere we saw the likes of Coco Gauff, Roberto Bautista Agut, Fabio Fognini and Milos Raonic all come through while Caroline Wozniacki pulled off a remarkable win to extend her career for another couple of days at the very least.
It was a second great betting day for us on Wednesday with three of our four singles bets coming up trumps and the one that lost won the opening set 6-1 before completely collapsing. Both our accumulators for the week landed as well so we are nicely in profit for the tournament even allowing for the annoying loss of Grigor Dimitrov from the outright portfolio. It sets us up for a good Thursday.
Rod Laver Arena
A former Grand Slam champion opens up the action on the main stage when Garbine Muguruza takes on the home star Ajla Tomljanovic in a match which could see a fair bit of depth to it. The second seed Karolina Pliskova then takes on the German ace Laura Siegemund for a place in the third round before the talented German player Alexander Zverev takes to the stage looking to make progress. He meets Egor Gerasimov in the match that rounds off the day session.
The Wimbledon champions Simona Halep gets the honour of opening up the night session on the main court on Thursday evening. She takes on the British youngster Harriet Dart for a spot in the final 32. The world number one Rafael Nadal then takes centre stage once again when he plays the Argentine player Federico Delbonis in a match the Spaniard will be a pretty warm order to come through unscathed.
Margaret Court Arena
The opening match on the Margaret Court Arena looks a tasty one as Belinda Bencic takes on the former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko before the US Open finalist from last season, Daniil Medvedev, goes up against Pedro Martinez, the Spanish qualifier. The final match in the day session sees the former winner Angelique Kerber going up against the local wildcard Priscilla Hon for her place in the third round.
Two veterans take to the court to open up the night session when Andreas Seppi, a man with a good record in this tournament, takes on the former Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka for a place in the third round. Women’s star Elina Svitolina is giving the honour of closing out the play on the second court on Thursday evening when she meets Lauren Davis who could cause of some problems if the world number five isn’t careful.
Donna Vekic will look to build on her fine first round win over Maria Sharapova when she takes to the Melbourne Arena first up. She meets the French player Alize Cornet before a women’s doubles match involving Ash Barty continues the schedule. We then have a men’s match which sees another of the local wildcards in action as Alex Bolt faces the fifth seed Dominic Thiem before the home star Nick Kyrgios takes to this stage under the lights when he faces off against Gilles Simon.
As with the other main courts, it is the women who get us underway out on the 1573 Arena as Catherine Bellis goes up against Karolina Muchova who is making good waves at the minute. The ever popular Gael Monfils follows them when he meets the veteran Ivo Karlovic before Kevin Anderson continues his comeback from injury when he faces Taylor Fritz in what could actually be the pick of the matches on the schedule on Thursday. A women’s doubles match then rounds off the action.
Best of the Rest
There is a whole lot of doubles on the outside courts over the bulk of the Thursday play with stars such as Lleyton Hewitt on show in them but in terms of seeded singles players we have Karen Khachanov in action under the lights on Court 3, Anett Kontaveit and Pablo Carreno Busta on Court 7 and Kiki Bertens and David Goffin on Court 8 as well as some lesser heralded singles matches on the other courts.
I like a couple of bets in the men’s draw on Thursday with the first of them coming in the form of Taylor Fritz, who I think should comfortably get the better of Kevin Anderson. Anderson has been out for a long time and it showed in that first round where although he came through against the qualifier Ivashka, he looked anything but convincing in doing so and Fritz plays the sort of front foot attacking game that I expect Anderson to have problems with at this stage of his career. Fritz hasn’t really kicked on how many would have expected since winning that title in Eastbourne last year but he has a good chance to make it to the third round here against an Anderson who would need a lot of improvement to have any chance in this one you would think.
Unlike a few on the scene, I expect Stan Wawrinka to beat Andreas Seppi but you’ve got to respect the Italian veteran and his record in this tournament enough to think that it won’t be in straight sets. Seppi often troubles the best around here and Wawrinka, while coming through against Damir Dzumhur in the first round, wasn’t always completely convincing and on top of his game by any stretch of the imagination. In contrast, Seppi cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic and played well in doing so which means he’ll fancy his chances here. That all bodes well for the over 3.5 sets to land at 4/5.
I’ll also go with a couple of bets in the women’s draw as well and they get going straight away where I like Ajla Tomljanovic to come through against Garbine Muguruza. Muguruza has lost her way a bit in recent times and while I’ve no doubt she’ll get back to where she was in the end, I’m not sure she’ll do so against an Australian player on the main court at the Australian Open. Tomljanovic has already done us a turn once this week seeing off Anastasija Sevastova, who herself was really struggling, and at odds against I think she’s a decent price to help us out again. Muguruza was involved in an extraordinary first round match where she lost the first set 6-0 but only lost one more game as her opponent churned out 24 unforced errors in the final two sets. I don’t see the Aussie coughing up points like that here so it is Tomljanovic for me.
I also think Iga Swiatek is a good thing against Carla Suarez Navarro. It is the final Australian Open for the veteran who has announced she is retiring at the end of the season and I think her Melbourne story ends here. Although CSN did well to come through the first round against the talented Aryna Sabalenka, the Belarusian helped out with more than 50 unforced errors in two sets. I don’t see the Spaniard getting such help out of the Polish star here and having got her first Australian Open main draw win under her belt on Wednesday, I expect the younger and probably more progressive player at this stage to come through and cover a reasonably small handicap in this one.
We are two from two for our daily accumulators as we head towards picking up our freebie at the end of the week and having banked two winning slips and more than £50 in profit, we know whatever happens we won’t be down when we run out of matches to keep making accas reasonable. That doesn’t arrive on Thursday though and so we’ll go with a fivefold again.
£5 returns £31.96
WON – Back T.Fritz to beat K.Anderson for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with BetVictor
WON – Back A.Seppi vs S.Wawrinka – Over 3.5 sets for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Betway
Back A.Tomljanovic to beat G.Muguruza for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back her here:
WON – Back I.Swiatek (-1.5 games) to beat C.Suarez Navarro for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Boylesports
Back Daily Accumulator at Boylesports
Back them here: