tennis

On this page you find articles on tennis and sports betting in general.

WTA & ATP Weekly Tennis Betting Preview and Predictions – 19th February, 2018

Tennis Betting

ATP Rio Open

After an astonishing week in which Roger Federer became the old man to ever hold down the number one spot in the world in the Open Era after taking a title win at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, things are dialled back a little bit this week. He takes a backseat this week with a well-earned rest after breaking more records in what has been simply an astonishing comeback from the legend. There are three ATP World Tour titles up for grabs this week and the highest ranking of them is in Brazil at the Rio Open. There is a strong bit of favouritism to look at as well in this one, which is part of the ‘Golden Swing” of South America and the field is headed up by Marin Cilic. This is the first time that the Croatian has played in the tournament and despite a potential early clash against Frenchman Gael Monfils in the quarter finals, Cilic looks fairly unopposed in the top half of the draw. Cilic is just one of two players taking part in the tournament who are currently sitting inside the top ten in the world rankings at the moment. The other is Dominic Thiem, who as second seed goes in the opposite half of the draw. He actually has a slightly better track record in 2018 than Cilic does, as the Austrian has gone W12 L1 heading into the season, collecting a title already. Cilic is going into Rio on the back of a W8 L2 record for the season without a title, but he is currently ranked third in the world, the highest that he has ever been. Cilic was the one who fell to Roger Federer in the final of the Australian Open while Theim couldn’t make it past the round of sixteen. Thiem's title for the season came on the weekend as he cruised to the Argentina Open win, taking down former British player Aljaz Bedene in the final. There is a decent chance that Cilic and Thiem will be meeting up in the final and that would be just the second game between them. Thiem won the previous meeting which was in the Brisbane quarter finals a couple of years ago. It is always a risk trying to get behind players to win back to back titles, but Thiem has a good shot here. His title in Argentina last week was on clay, just as Rio is and Cilic hasn’t been out on the surface this term. Back the young Austrian.

ATP Rio Open Winner Odds*

Dominic Thiem 5/2, Marin Cilic 5/1, Gael Monfils 9/1, Diego Schwartzman 12/1, Pablo Busta 12/1, Fabio Fognini 12/1, Fernando Verdasco, bar 16/1* (betting odds taken at 6:50 p.m. on February 19th, 2018).

WTA Dubai Duty Free

Some of the game’s heavy hitter on the women’s side are out for the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this week, which is a Premier event. This should be a good one as well and it is Elina Svitolina who is heading back there as the reigning champion and 6/1 joint-favourite at Betfred* (betting odds taken at 6:50 p.m. on February 19th, 2018), and she will be pretty pleased with the section she has been drawn in to. She should run unopposed to the semi finals you would think, especially with eighth seed Kristina Mladenovic losing her opener and that was Svitolina's toughest opponent she could have potentially faced in the draw. At the semi final stage though in the top half of the draw is where things are really going to be lighting up. In the second quarter, there could be a huge tussle between Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals to then go on and meet up with reigning champion Svitolina. Of the two of them, you would probably have to swing with Germany’s Kerber who has been going so well in 2018 and the same can’t be said of Pliskova, who is just struggling to bring her consistent a-game. Jo Konta is out in action for Britain but she looks as if she really needs more tournaments under her belt on her journey back from injury. She could meet up with Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter finals which would be an interesting clash between the seventh and fourth seeds respectively. Like Konta, Ostapenko has had her injury issues and is working her way back to the top of her game. Then in the final quarter goes Garbine Muguruza who blasted her way to the final of the Qatar Total Open on the weekend, only to lose there against Petra Kvitova who has been carrying some form this term. So it is a really stacked draw and we are going to roll with the grit and quality of Angelique Kerber to come through the field. Last season at this event she lost out to Svitolina in the semi final stage and there could be a big rematch at the same stage this time around. Kerber just the looks the stronger of the two at the moment. Muguruza will have been pleased with her work in Qatar last week, but it was a long week and we are going to roll with Konta to string something together here from the bottom half. Konta has won the one previous match that she has had against Ostapenko and so could pull through that potential quarter final match here and that should steel her for a good run to the final as an each way option at Betfred.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Winner Odds*

Angelique Kerber 6/1, Elina Svitolina 6/1, Garbine Muguruza 6/1, Karolina Pliskova 7/1, Caroline Garcia 14/1, Jelena Ostapenko 18/1, Elise Mertens 22/1, bar 28/1* (betting odds taken at 6:50 p.m. on February 19th, 2018).
/

WTA & ATP Weekly Tennis Betting Preview and Predictions

Tennis Betting
It is the first WTA Premier 5 event of the new season as Qatar Total Open fires up this week. All but one of the top ten are set for appearances in the Doha field and extra some extra spice to proceedings is that the number one spot is up for grabs once again. Current number one Caroline Wozniacki will be hoping to hold off challenger Simona Halep but the Dane has a tough road ahead of her at the tournament.

Doha Each Way Options

Immediately off the bat, largely because of injuries and not having gotten their seasons up and running yet so far in 2018, Jelena Ostapenko, Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta are all worth a pass in this one. That narrows things down just a little bit. Karolina Pliskova is another one who is under a bit of pressure to perform but she should be fresh as this is her first game back since losing to Halep in the Australian Open quarters. The best each way options for the tournament are Julia Goerges and Elina Svitolina at 22/1 and 12/1 respectively at Unibet* (betting odds taken January 12th, 2018 at 00:55 a.m.). Svitolina is the reigning champion here and this is the event that twelve months ago, really put her on the map. An injury ruined her Grand Slam run in Melbourne, but if she’s back fit she will contend. Julia Goerges continued her great form this year with a run to the semi-finals in St Petersburg recently. She’s up in the top ten now for the first time in her career and has some momentum.    

Kerber to contend

Angelique Kerber is back to her very best and she is the one who can take the shine off both Wozniacki and Halep. She has been outstanding so far this season and is looking for her second title this year and no-one is going to want to face the German at the moment. Wozniacki was stopped in the quarter finals in St Petersburg as expected after her epic Grand Slam win in Melbourne, while Halep has been to the final of both tournaments played this year. There’s some big in-form players around at the moment including Petra Kvitova who came from nowhere to land the St Petersburg title recently. Overall though it is main contender Halep who has the best-looking draw ahead of her as Wozniacki and Kerber could clash in the quarters with potentially Svitolina lurking at the semi-final stage. Halep shouldn’t have as many challenges and can power her way to a victory.

Qatar Open Odds*

Angelique Kerber 6/1, Simona Halep 7/1, Petra Kvitova 9/1, Caroline Wozniacki 12/1, Garbine Muguruza 9/1, Karolina Pliskova 11/1, Elina Svitolina 12/1, Maria Sharapova 13/1, Madison Keys 20/1, bar 22/1* (betting odds taken January 12th, 2018 at 00:55 a.m.).

Federer headlines Rotterdam

There are some minor tournaments knocking around the ATP this week with the New York Open and the Argentina Open both 250 World Tour Events. It leaves the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Rotterdam as the headlining act. 2017 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is back to defend his title. However, everyone else is going to be overshadowed by the appearance of Roger Federer in the draw who has to reach the semi-finals to remarkably get back to number one in the world. Both Federer (2012) and Wawrinka (2015) are previous winners of the event. Interestingly Federer could face his fellow Swiss competition Stan Wawrinka in the quarter finals. Alex Zverev is in the top half of draw and could be a decent semi final punt if he can get up ahead of steam which has been lacking a little bit this year from him. Down in bottom half the draw, things are headed up by second seed Grigor Dimitrov who has a pretty handy run ahead of him. There could be a tricky quarter final scrap against Lucas Pouille, but other than that it should be plain sailing for Dimitrov. The top half of the draw is going to be the toughest to come through so things favour Dimitrov a bit in this one and the Bulgarian looks handy value to Reach the Final with Unibet for the Rotterdam event. Given the class that Federer has though plus the incentive of getting back to world number one, it would surprise exactly zero people if Feds won it.
/

WTA & ATP Tennis Weekly Betting Preview and Predictions

Tennis Betting
So the Australian Open is in the bag and Women’s winner Caroline Wozniacki is scheduled to put in an immediate appearance out in St Petersburg this week. Maybe she hadn't really planned on going the distance in Melbourne? Anyway, she is the 11/2 favourite at bet365* (Betting Odds took on January 29th, 2018 at 7:03 p.m.) to go and follow up her first Grand Slam title with a success at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy this week. However, there should be plenty of value in actually opposing her this week. You could see in her Australian Open Final just how much the tournament and it’s crazy temperatures had taken out of her. Both Wozniacki and Halep were feeling the heat badly and to immediately turn around after such an exhausting and emotional fortnight and be expected to win another tournament is a bit of a big ask. At short odds, Wozniakci certainly isn’t worth taking a look at particularly in this one. So where could value lie? Kristina Mladenovic is the main player opposing Wozniacki in the top half of the draw. The French woman is the reigning champion at the tournament as well and we like that bit of tournament history to get behind her. She is a big old 18/1 price at bet365* (Betting Odds taken on January 29th, 2018 at 7:03 p.m.) though to win this, but that leaves her at great each way value to at least reach the final. If Mladenovic can negotiate the way past the second round where she could have a scrap against Dominika Cibulkova, there’s no reason why she can’t reach the showcase match from the top half of the table. Down in the bottom half of the draw there is Julia Goerges, Caroline Garcia and Jelena Ostapenko all with a decent amount of equal appeal to make a run. Of them, Goerges is the one with the better form in the new year having claimed a title already. But young Ostapenko is worth a look here at 8/1 odds at bet365* (Betting Odds taken on January 29th, 2018 at 7:03 p.m.) to win the tournament. That will be based on the dynamics of the draw. She has such an easy quarter to get through as it contained three wild cards and a lucky loser, that the young Latvian could make a decent run in the tournament.

WTA St Petersburg Ladies Tennis betting odds

Caroline Wozniacki 11/2, Julia Goerges 11/2, caroline Garcia 7/1, Petra Kvitova 7/1, Jelena Ostapenko 8/1, Dominika Cibulkova 14/1, Katerina Siniakova 14/1, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 18/1, Daria Kasatkina 18/1, 25/1 bar There is nothing happening on the ATP Tour this week as the first round of the 2018 Davis Cup is played on February 2nd through to the 4th. Great Britain will be starting as third seeds for this years even and they have a tricky opener against Spain out in Marbella on the clay. At least they won’t have to face the injured Rafael Nadal anyway.
/

Paddy Power stung by Nadal Australian Open withdrawal

Paddy Power
Rafa Nadal wasn’t 100% at full fitness going into the Australian Open having been nursing a knee issue that had been bothering him from last year. He has had his fair share of injuries in his career, and he couldn’t last the distance at the Australian Open, having to pull out of his battle with Marin Cilic in the quarter finals in the deciding set. While he has had his problems, it isn’t very often that Rafa has not gone on to actually complete a match. However, anyone who had backed him to do a number on Cilic in that quarter final duel in Melbourne will have been happy about Paddy Power’s tennis retirement money back special. With the world number one deciding enough was enough in the match, it triggered a refund of free bets for punters who had staked on him to win the match. In the end it ended up costing Paddy Power roughly £50,000 in free bet stakes. The tennis retirement fund offers some insurance for punters who are backing a player in any ATP, WTA and Grand Slam matches for win single bets only. If a backed selection retires from the match after the first set has been fully completed, then the bookmaker issues a lost stake refund as a free bet (maximum free bet refund of £50,000). See full details of the Tennis Retirement Refund offer at the Paddy Power website.
/

Simona Halep v Caroline Wozniacki Australian Open 2018 Final

Caroline Wozniacki
There was an epic duel between Simona Halep and 216 Australian Open Angelique Kerber as their semi final match played out to an intense finish. Halep got the first set on the board against the German in Melbourne, and she was a break up in the second but then let things go as Kerber fought her way back into the match to level things up. Halep then had a chance to seal out the match with two match points in hand at 5-4 in the deciding set, but again Kerber hung in there and then she herself had a couple of match points just two games later. It was Halep’s turn to show some resilience as she stuck in there and the match was decided when the Romanian powered a forehand away for a 6-3 4-6 9-7 victory. Halep, the world number one has missed opportunities before in her career to get a Grand Slam title, her mental focus letting her down time and time again. But she seems pretty dialled in and ready to fight all the way because she has overcome some battles at the Australian Open, including facing an injury scare in her opening match and facing match points in her third round tie against Lauren Davies. So as she continues her search she goes up against Caroline Wozniacki who will also be looking for her first Grand Slam. Whoever wins the match will also get the world number one ranking as well. Wozniacki was far more comfortable in her semi-final duel as she took out unseeded Belgian Elise Mertens in straight sets. Wozniacki, who is the second seed at the Australian Open landed the first set 6-3 and despite a late rally from Mertens in the second set, largely out of tension from Wozniacki as she tried to seal the match at 5-4 in the second. For the first time Wozniacki’s impressive serve deserted her and as she phoned in some pretty weak second serves, she found herself facing two set points which she saw off to force a tie-break. The Dane came out strongly, taking an advantage of an early break to reach what is her third Grand Slam final, the first one at the Australian Open.

Simona Halep v Caroline Wozniacki head to head

Wozniacki is 4-2 up in the head to head against Halep. The Dane has won each of the last three meetings, the most recent of which was at the 2017 WTA Finals, dropping just the two games in a crushing victory. Three of the last four meetings between them have been over three sets and from the fourth previous meetings on hard court surfaces, things are even at two wins each.

Simona Halep v Caroline Wozniacki Outright Winner Odds

Simona Halep 4/6, Caroline Wozniacki 5/4

Simona Halep v Caroline Wozniacki Prediction

Simona Halep has been a bit of a roller coaster at times throughout the tournament but the amount of grit that she has produced when it has been needed most, shows clearly that her desire and her head is totally in the right place. If she gets this Grand Slam title it will have been a long time coming for her. She has been really impressive in spells, but then Wozniacki has shown a lot more stability. Wozniacki has had her serve going so well throughout the tournament and hasn’t given up very much in defence. She has looked supremely confident and really only when she was trying to close out against Mertens have we sent her a little shaky in Melbourne. This is a match which will likely go to the distance and over 2.5 sets is 11/8 odds at bet365* (betting odds taken January 25th, 2018 at 3:37 p.m.) is a decent option. As for a winner, it’s a really close call. Halep, with her grit, will have another chance at a Slam title, and if she does it, she will be the first woman to have fought off match points in two different matches during a title-winning campaign. There were crucial long rally wins for Halep against Kerber which just tipped the balance in that semi final duel and she has been digging really deep. She has the fight in her and she looks a far happier camper than we have seen in other title challenges. Back the favourite.
/

Hyeon Chung v Roger Federer Australian Open Winner Odds and Prediction

Hyeon Chung
What a tournament it has been from South Korea Hyeon Chung. He has powered his way into the semi-final of the Australian Open with some style. The youngster, who won the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals at the back end of last year, sailed through to the semi-finals of the Grand Slam with a straight-sets victory over the unseeded American Tennys Sandgren. 21-year-old Chung becomes the youngest player to reach a Grand Slam semi final for eight years now. He is ranked down at 58th in the world and therefore is the lowest-ranked player to get to the final four in Melbourne for 14 years. This hasn’t just been a case of him getting through matches against lower ranked opponents because he has overcome some top talent. He ditched the fourth seed Alexander Zverev out of the competition in a huge upset in the third round and he was waiting to deliver an even bigger upset down the line. In the fourth round of competition, he was paired up against six-time Australian Open title winner Novak Djokovic. Chung took him down in three sets. It was a huge win for the South Korean as he dumped Djokovic out, although they Serbian clearly wasn’t at ease with his troubled elbow at all in the match. Still, Chung had to win the match and he did and then he made easy work of Sandgren. Roger Federer made it through to his 14th Australian Open semi-final as he moved past Tomas Berdych in straight sets. It means that the 36-year-old has moved through the tournament without dropping a set so far and that’s important because it keeps him fresh. It has been a fairly simple exercise for him in Melbourne as he goes in search of what would be his 20th Grand Slam title. Will the master tame the student?

Federer v Chung head to head

This will be the first ever match up between the two players.

Federer v Chung Winner Odds

Federer 1/7, Chung 9/2* (betting odds taken on January 24th at 10:37 p.m.).

Prediction

It has been fantastic stuff from Chung and he is clearly a future star. However, something that is so precious on occasions like this is experience. Federer has it in spades and his ability to keep calm in situations is likely going to keep the young challenger at bay. Federer is the master at coming up with tactics to suit the occasions and Chung may leave the tournament, but with his head held high still. You wouldn't put it past Feds to roll out a straight sets victory at William Hill for 5/6*(betting odds taken on January 24th at 10:37 p.m.).
/

Simona Halep v Angelique Kerber Australian Open Winner Odds and Prediction

Tennis Betting
Simona Halep produced a superb performance in her Australian Open quarter final duel with Karolina Pliskova to power her way through to the final four in Melbourne. It was the biggest match of the tournament so far, a top-billed showdown this year as the two were front-runners in betting to go and collect the title. But Romania’s Halep was the was the one who rose to the occasion strongly crushing her opponent 6-3 6-2. Halep was on the backfoot early on in the contest and slipped to 3-0 down in the first set. The pivotal moment of the match came in the fourth game of the match when Halep had to see of a break point to avoid going 4-0 down. Instead, she dug in there, held out to pull things back to 3-1 instead and her crucial hold saw the whole momentum of the game change. Halep rallied herself to rattle off nine straight games at one point and had the match wrapped up in just 72 minutes. That was a confidence booster that really saw Halep drive forward and gain control. Following that early slip up it was a strong service match from Halep which will have pleased her and puts her in pretty good stead to push on for what would be her first ever Grand Slam title. She will now have to go up against former World Number One and 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the semi finals. Kerber has been back to her prime in this tournament and she destroyed US Open finalist Madison Keys 6-1 6-2 in less than an hour in their quarter final duel. With the win the German gets herself back into the top ten in the world. After some disappointments last season, once again Kerber is within site of an elite title.

Halep v Kerber Head to Head

This should be a blockbuster of a semi-final as the two of them have four wins each from their eight previous meetings. They didn't meet up last year but in 2016 they met five times in all with Kerber edging the meetings 3-2. Kerber has won the last two meetings on hard courts and this will be just their second Grand Slam clash after meeting at Wimbledon in 2016 at the quarter-final stage, which the German won.

Simona Halep v Angelique Kerber Winner odds

Angelique Kerber 4/6, Simona Halep 5/4* (betting odds taken January 25th, 2018 at 1:26 a.m.)

Simona Halep v Angelique Kerber Prediction

Halep has battled well, showing a tremendous amount of character through the campaign. She had an injury scare in her first match and in the third round was on the ropes as Lauren Davis had multiple match points against her. But she is on a nine-match winning streak, which includes her Shenzhen Open title a fortnight ago. Kerber was aggressive and positive in her quarter final match and is clearly running with a freshness. It is so hard to split them up, they have a title each to their name this year and it’s so tough to call. Kerber has perhaps shown fewer vulnerabilities in her run to the semi-finals than Halep has done and the German does represent some value at 4/6 with Betfair* (betting odds taken January 25th, 2018 at 1:26 a.m.) just to get the win. This is probably going to go the distance so look for three sets to be played out as well.
/

Elise Mertens v Caroline Wozniacki – Betting Odds & Prediction, Australian Open 2018

Tennis Betting
Caroline Wozniacki made it through to the semi finals of the Australian Open for the first time since 2011 after being taken the distance in her quarter final battle with Carla Suarez Navarro. Wozniacki, the number two seed for the tournament was on cruise control in the first set against the Spaniards, moving ahead in the match without dropping a game in the opener. But then the match took quite the turn as Suarez Navarro levelled up in the second. It is the only set that Wozniacki has dropped in the Championships so far. But there was no panic or loss of control from Wozniacki as she sealed progress in the final set with a 6-2 victory. It was a long duel that went over two hours though, a feature of matches between the two of them. Wozniacki's defence overall was probably the most notable feature of the match and when she had to switch things up and turn on extra attacking spin to regain control in the final set, she stepped up and deliver. Backing it all up was a serve that is working very well. She probably would have been expecting to meet Elina Svitolina in the semi finals, but the number four seed fell to a shock defeat against Belgium’s Elise Mertens in the quarter final. Mertens has been pegged in a group of players who are the next generation of the sport and she has compatriots to look back at for inspiration, to the likes of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin when they were at the top of the game. Mertens didn’t just beat out Svitolina, she took her higher-ranked opponent apart. There were signs from Svitolina that she was just struggling for movement through the tournament and she said that she wasn’t quite right herself. But the performance of Meterns to win 6-4 6-0 was so impressive. Mertens successfully defended her Hobart title recently and she is clawing her way up the world rankings as well but still she is a surprise semi finalist here, an unseeded player knocking around the final four and she clearly has some kind of affinity for playing in Australia.

Elise Mertens v Caroline Wozniacki Head to head

The two have played once before and that was just last year on clay in Sweden. Wozniacki won the match but it wasn’t without a battle though as she needed three sets to progress against the young Belgian. Because that was on clay it is hard to take much away from that meeting.

Elise Mertens v Caroline Wozniacki Odds*

Caroline Wozniacki 4/11, Elise Mertens 2/1

Elise Mertens v Caroline Wozniacki Prediction

It is fully worth looking at this going to three sets as Mertens was sparkling in her quarter final victory over Svitolina. It is one of the most complete performances from any player in this year’s women’s draw. Mertens goes as the underdog but she has every chance of taking something off of Wozniacki in this one and a Caroline Wozniacki 2-1 option in set betting is 3/1 odds at Paddy Power* (betting odds taken on January 23rd at 8:37 p.m.)
/

Kyle Edmund v Marin Cilic – Betting Odds & Prediction, Australian Open 2018

Tennis Betting
Britain’s Kyle Edmund stunned third seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter finals of the Australian Open to make it through to the semi-final of a Slam for the first time in his career. Edmund is just the sixth British man to have made it this far in a Grand Slam and will now battle against Marin Cilic, the tournament's sixth seed for a place in Sunday’s final. It has been some run from Edmund so far. He opened the tournament with his best ever win as he beat out 11th seed Kevin Anderson in an epic five-set battle, doing all that he could to try and find an answer to the South African's impressive serve. After an easy straight sets wins over Denis Istomin in the second round, Edmund than had to face 40c heat as he battled with Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the fourth round. The heat made it a strange spectacle, with the players struggling in the second set for energy and it was nothing more than a survival of the fittest as opposed to high-quality tennis. It was five set match on top of all that with Edmund squeezing through 7-5 in the deciding set, his own impressive serve guiding him through. He then faced Italy’s Andreas Seppi in the fourth round and recovered from losing the first set on a tie-break to win the next three sets. That set up the duel with World Number 3 Grigor Dimitrov. Edmund took his chances in the first set to pull out a lead and despite a fightback from the Bulgarian in the second to tie things up it was Edmund who looked the more controlled and composed in the match and that saw the Briton make it through to the semi finals. It wasn’t without drama though as the match point was settled by a hawk-eye decision. Edmund’s serve and forehand have been a joy to watch throughout the tournament and now he is just one match away from reaching a Grand Slam final and that is without the 23 year old ever having been to the final of an ATP Tour ever. His semi final opponent Cilic was the benefactor of Rafa Nadal’s tournament withdrawal in their quarter final battle. Nadal was down in the final set 2-0 when he took himself out of the game and so that leaves a place in the final four for former US Open winner Cilic, who has had a fairly smooth and comfortable ride through the tournament.

Kyle Edmund v Marin Cilic Head to head

There has been just the one meeting between the two players before and that was in China last year at the ATP World Tour Master 1000 Shanghai event. It was a round of 32 match that Cilic won in straight sets.

Kyle Edmund v Marin Cilic Odds*

Marin Cilic 1/3, Kyle Edmund 9/3

Kyle Edmund v Marin Cilic Prediction

Edmund will make it into the Top 30 in the world at the end of the Australian Open no matter what. His opponent Cilic played really well against Nadal in what was his fifth Grand Slam semi final appearance. He benefited from Nadal being wayward with his backhand in the first set for sure and he just grew into the match and once Cilic started opening up, he looked the more likely of the two to progress even in a tight match overall, and he fully attacked Nadal’s weakened backhand. Nothing seems to phase Edmund at all. He is cool and collected, has a tremendous serve and his forehand can destroy the best of defences. There were times against Dimitrov that he looked pretty shaky though and his tennis dropped to levels lower than we have seen from him during the entire run. Maybe the occasion is getting to him a little bit and he will have to punch against his weight in this one. Cilic is no mug, he’s a very smart tennis player and is rightly favourite. A Cilic 3-1 in set betting for 5/2 odds at Paddy Power* (Betting Odds taken on January 23rd at 8:29 p.m.) has some appeal.
/

Australian Open Betting 2018 Men – Winner Odds & Predictions

Tennis Betting
The draw has been set for the Australian Open 2018 and the action in Melbourne is set to start on January 15th. There have been questions and doubts about just which of the big guns in the field are actually going to be fit enough to seriously throw together a title challenge and in some cases, who will actually show up at the tournament. Andy Murray is definitely out, Stan Wawrinka is a doubt to be taking on the challenge of the Grand Slam because of injury problems, while Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic have pulled out of early-season events because of lingering issues, but are taking part in the first Slam of the year. So it could be a pretty wild ride at the Australian Open 2018 and it will provide two thrilling weeks of tennis betting as well.

Australian Open Reigning champion

Roger Federer rolled back the years to saunter his way to the title in his effortless, classy style. Federer is actually the only one of the main contenders this season who hasn't been dealing with any significant injury problems and that is because of his tournament management last year where he didn’t push himself in a heavy schedule. That win twelve months ago moved him on to five Australian Open career titles, leaving him just one short of Novak Djokovic's current Open Era record of six titles at Melbourne Park. It was Federer’s first title in Melbourne since 2010 as he took down his old foe Rafa Nadal in the final over five epic sets.

Australian Open 2018 Betting Odds*

Roger Federer 7/4, Rafael Nadal 4/1, Novak Djokovic 11/2, Grigor Dimitrov 10/1, Alexander Zverev 12/1. Nick Kyrgios 14/1, Juan Martin del Potro 14/1, David Goffin 16/1, Dominic Thiem 25/1, Stan Wawrin 25/1, Marin Cilic 28/1, Milos Raonic 28/1, 40/1 bar* (Betting Odds taken from January 12th, 7:56 p.m.)

Qualification

There are eight wildcard entries to the Australian Open handed out by selectors. For 128 other players (yes the qualifying process is that big), they have to come through a qualifier and among those were Britain’s Cameron Norrie (sixth seed for qualifying) who was stopped in the second qualifying round against Australia’s John-Patrick Smith. In order to reach the main draw of the Australian Open, a player will have to win three matches to get there.

Draw

The draw naturally plays a big part in betting scenarios. You have to look ahead and see what tough matches couldn’t be waiting ahead for someone. The top two seeds, who are Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer respectively, will go in opposite halves of the draw, Nadal at the top, Federer at the bottom so the two main contenders would be kept apart, as they were last year, until the final. A Federer/Nadal option is at 11/4 odds with Paddy Power in the Name the Finalists Market* (Betting Odds were taken January 12th, 7:56 p.m.). So where do the rest of the pieces fall into place, notably 14th seed Novak Djokovic? The six-time Champion is down in the bottom half of the table and he could face a tough fourth-round draw against Alexander Zverev, a quarter-final showdown against either 5th seed Dominic Thiem or 9th seed Stan Wawrinka. It also means, of course, then he could have to get past Federer in the semi finals.

Australian Open Top 8 Seeds

  1. Rafael Nadal
  2. Roger Federer
  3. Grigor Dimitrov
  4. Alexander Zverev
  5. Dominic Thiem
  6. Marin Cilic
  7. David Goffin
  8. Jack Sock

Top Sixteen Seeds by Draw Section

Top Half Section 1 Seeds: Rafael Nadal (1), John Isner (16) Section 2 Seeds: Pablo Carreno Busta (10), Marin Cilic (6) Section 3 Seeds: Grigor Dimitrov (3), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (15) Section 4 Seeds: Kevin Anderson (11), Jack Sock (8) Bottom Half Section 5 Seeds: Dominic Thiem (5), Stan Wawrinka (8) Section 6 Seeds: Novak Djokovic (14), Alexander Zverev (4) Section 7 Seeds: David Goffin (7), Juan Martin Del Potro (12) Section 8 Seeds: Sam Querrey (13), Roger Federer (2)

Main Contenders

Roger Federer is probably the one to beat on the hard courts of Melbourne this year again. He has been fairly relaxed in his warm-up, taking time out to ring in the New Year in Australia. He played the Hopman Cup with Belinda Bencic and they won that as a warm up for this. Federer lost just five times last year and he did take out Nadal in each of the four meetings that they faced off in during 2017. He wasn’t himself at the US Open last year at all, struggling with a back problem, but he should be fresh and raring to go in Melbourne. There will be questions though over the draw ahead of him which could be pretty testing. The bottom half of the draw is stacked, far more so than the top half of the draw and that could play a part in actually opening up the field for Nadal. Nadal is the World Number one however after he won the US Open last year, he has been struggling with knee problems and pulled out of an exhibition in Abu Dhabi and from the Brisbane International because he felt that he wasn’t back at 100% yet. He put in a lot more matches than Federer did last season and could be paying the price. However, the thing which will help Nadal is that he has a much easier draw ahead than Federer does. What of Novak Djokovic? He has been out of action with his elbow problem, but he has been talking the talk ahead of the Grand Slam. He has been limited to exhibition warm-up matches because of nagging elbow issues, but he looks fit and full of energy. But there is a long and difficult path ahead of him to make a run at what would be his seventh Australian Open title. If his elbow is not at full strength, it could be a bit too big of an ask for him to get back to the top so soon.

The Next Generation

There should be some serious challenges happening this year from those who have the ability to step up and take the reins in the ATP as the next generation. Grigor Dimitrov rose to a career high of third in the world following his surprise victory at the ATP World Tour Finals at the back end of last year. That was totally out of the blue and since then he has been slamming and cramming work, with just one week off. So it looks as if he means business and he has a wonderfully favourable draw ahead of him as well at the Australian Open 2018. He could be a great each way option in Australian Open tennis betting with Paddy Power. Alexander Zverev will be the one leading the main charge though. He collected five titles for himself in the 2017 ATP season but he kind of misfired a bit in the Grand Slam efforts and that is where he needs to really make some headway. He has yet to make it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam in his short career but it is bound to come at some point. He could though be meeting former Champion Novak Djokovic in this season’s fourth round which is going to be a huge hurdle. Australia’s own Nick Kyrgios. What will punters make of him? He has the talent to go far in the game, but his temperament, focus and consistency let him down time and time again. He started this season with a bang though as he claimed the Brisbane title which will have made punters sit up and take notice. However, until he sorts out his mental focus, he is nothing more than an-each way gamble at the moment. Just think back a year ago when he was cruising in the second round, two sets up against Andreas Seppi and still lost the match.

Australian Open 2018 Predictions

Whoever comes through the bottom half of the draw is going to have to have done some seriously hard graft. No-one has an easy path to the final looking at the setup of the draw. So that should send a little advantage to those main contenders in the top half of the draw who are Rafa Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov. Let’s not forget that Dimitrov made a semi-final run in Melbourne last year and is a great each way option to go all the way. Of the big guns, Nadal, as long as he is managing his knee, looks the value.
/