First round action continues across the men’s and women’s field at Melbourne Park, and as usual, we have the top betting tips.
Novak Djokovic to beat Mitchell Krueger in straight sets (i.e 3:0 at 1.18 on Wakabet)
This is Novak Djokovic’s favourite ground. At Melbourne Park, the Serb has won six titles. The surface favours him also. Aside those, Djokovic should have more than enough in his tank, both in strength and experience, to make this encounter against the American qualifier, Krueger, who mainly plays in the Challenger Tour, a quick one.
Back the Serb to close this out in straight sets.
Ivo Karlovic vs Hubert Hurkacz (Over 46.5 games at 1.81 on Wakabet)
Both men are coming into this match brimming with confidence. Karlovic is on the back of a run to the final at the Maharashtra Open, while Hurkacz made a title-winning run at the Canberra challenger last week.
In terms of play, Karlovic will come in with his big serves, arguably the biggest in the game, but Hurkacz has fended off those before. They’ve met once in the past and the Pole came out on top in that meeting. This will however be a different ball game, but I expect it to go the distance. Both men serve really well, so every man should hold his own. Back this to be a lengthy encounter. 1.81 is too good to ignore.
Simona Halep to beat Kaia Kanepi at 1.30 on Wakabet
Last time these two met- in the first round of the US Open- Kanepi edged Halep. This time, I’m backing the Romanian to get her revenge.
Kanepi last played a competitive match at the US Open in September and should be rusty. Halep, meanwhile, has been active even though she hasn’t bagged enough wins. And that should be a difference. Plus, she’s the world No.1 and had a good run to the final last year; that’s an advantage there.
Daniil Medvedev to beat Llyod Harris at 1.15 on Wakabet
Russia’s Medvedev, seeded 15th, is in sizzling form at the moment. He reached the final of the Brisbane International the first week of the season and will surely look to build on that run.
Medvedev also has more experience playing in events like this than the South African qualifier, Harris, who will be playing in only his second match in the main draws of a Grand Slam.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga to beat Martin Klizan at 1.24 on Wakabet
Tsonga is on the back of a semifinal run at the Brisbane International and looks to be in good form. The Frenchman, a finalist at the Australian Open in 2008, should be too powerful for Klizan, who since October last year has played just two matches and might lack match fitness. This is a best of 5 tournament. Tsonga is the better equipped player here. Stay with him for the win.
Alexander Zverev to beat Aljaz Bedene at 1.10 on Wakabet
Zverev is in top form at the moment. After his sensational triumph at the Paris Masters in November, where he beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in back-to-back matches, the fourth-seeded German has been touted to make a deep run in this tournament. I don’t think the unseeded Bedene, who’s on a four-match losing streak will be the one to stop him.