The first day of the semi-finals of the Australian Open is upon us on Thursday on a day where both the women’s clashes in the last four take place and the first of the men’s matches will be played out on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
We’ve seen some absolutely cracking action in this tournament in recent days and there is nothing to suggest that it will be any different over the course of the three matches which will take place across the day and night on Thursday.
Day 10 Recap
It promised to be an excellent day of tennis on Wednesday and in the main that is what got delivered. Three of the four matches that took place on the day went the distance with both Karolina Muchova and Jennifer Brady coming from a set down to beat Ash Barty and Jessisa Pegula respectively while Stefanos Tsitsipas came from two sets down to Rafael Nadal to beat him 3-2 in an epic contest. The other match was much more straightforward for Daniil Medvedev who overcame countryman Andrey Rublev in straight sets.
That all meant that it was a winning day for us betting wise with our only bet sailing in comfortably. We took over 39.5 games in the match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal and game number 40 came when the Greek player levelled up at 2-2. It ended up with 52 games so the line was comfortably covered in the end, in what was a really epic encounter.
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Naomi Osaka vs Serena Williams
The opening singles match on the Rod Laver Arena could easily be the pick of the three matches when Naomi Osaka meets Serena Williams in what is a repeat of the 2018 US Open final which Osaka won in those controversial scenes.
Both these women have come through the draw nicely. You wouldn’t say they have come through unscathed because Osaka almost lost to Garbine Muguruza while Williams almost got edged out by Aryna Sabalenka earlier in the competition. Since then Williams has laid a marker down when she beat Simona Halep in the quarter final and if she is at that level here we will be guaranteed an epic. You sense this match will be won on serve but both have been below their high standards in that department over the course of the event. The bookmakers have Osaka as the favourite which is probably fair enough but I’m happy to sit back and watch two elite athletes battling it out without a bet.
Karolina Muchova vs Jennifer Brady
The second women’s semi-final sees two of the underrated players on the WTA scene who are ready to make a serious impression battling it out when Karolina Muchova takes on Jennifer Brady for a place in a maiden Grand Slam final for both women.
Both ladies showed all their battling powers in the previous round when coming from a pretty convincing first set loss to battle through in three sets. Brady used her big serve to her advantage whereas Muchova combined a good serve with some heavy hitting to get the better of the world number one. That both have shown they can up their game when behind makes me think we could be in for a classic semi-final.
The games line for this match sits at 21.5 which feels a little low to me because we only need one tight set and this will be covered. I actually think this will go to a third set in which case it is almost impossible for the over to lose but even a close two setter will be enough to get the job done here. These two have only met once, in Prague in 2019, and it went the distance in the final set. That was on clay and both women are better now than they were then but there was only one break of serve each in that and I suspect something similar could entail here. That makes me think over 21.5 games is the way to go in this one.
Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev
The first men’s semi-final of the tournament forms the background for the night session on Thursday when the defending champion Novak Djokovic looks to make it through to another Australian Open final when he meets the qualifier Aslan Karatsev.
The Russian qualifier has already made plenty of history in this tournament but I suspect his fairy-tale is about to end. There were some doubts over the fitness of Djokovic earlier in the week after he appeared to go lame against Taylor Fritz in the third round but in truth he has looked fine in himself since and although Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev took a set off him, neither genuinely looked like they were going to beat the Serb. That both won the first set against Djokovic and couldn’t build on it doesn’t bode well for Karatsev here. You would think Karatsev can only win this with a good start but even if he gets it he is unlikely to come out on top. The question for me is how easily Djokovic wins. The handicap is 7.5 games which feels about right but I’m not massively interested either way.
Back K.Muchova vs J.Brady – Over 21.5 games for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365