What a great day of tennis caped off by one of the best games of Tennis I have seen in all my years of watching. Simon vs Monfils went down to the wire with Simon showing so much heart to get over the line. Ace was at the game and the photo above after the win. He has not his voice from cheering so loud! Ace will most likely be getting a few hours sleep and getting up fresh in the morning to send through his Men’s tips. So come back at around 10.30am for the updated tips.
Kerber -3.5 @ $1.73 (Sportsbet)
Almagro h2h at $1.72 at Sportsbet (5 set refund)
Ferrer/Nishikori over 34.5 games at $1.83 at Sportsbet
Djokovic/Wawrinka over 29
These will get you $7+, but if you want $14+, add Nishikori +6.5 games.
Either option is eligible for Betfair 50% multi bonus.
A Kerber v E Makarova
Kerber comes into this match having come through her first real test of the Australian Open downing the talented Madison Keys in straight sets. Kerber is yet to drop a set in the Open so far and looks to be in great form.
Makarova was comes in against Kerber after an upset victory over Bartoli. The win was hardly convincing though with Makarova allowing Bartoli too many opportunities, some of which Bartoli took to keep it close and some of which Bartoli failed to capitalise on which handed victory to Makarova. An interesting stat to note for Makarova is that she has lost 6 matches in a row vs top 10 players. Kerber is ranked 5th.
Head to head, Kerber is up 3-1 with the only meeting on hard court being the last meeting in August 2012 where Kerber won 6-3 6-3. Kerber will be too classy here, especially if Makarova shows any signs of letting Kerber have easy points like she did verses Bartoli.
Suggested Bet: Kerber -3.5 @ $1.73 (Sportsbet)
Nicolas Almagro vs Janko Tipsaravic
Playtime: 3rd on Hisense Arena
Review of Round 1 Matches
|Player (Opponent)||Nicolas Almagro (vs Steve Johnson)||Janko Tipsaravic (vs Lleyton Hewitt)|
|Score||7-5 6-7 6-2 6-7 6-2||7-6 7-5 6-3|
|Time on Court||190 mins||182 minutes|
|1st Serves in||82/154 (53%)||64/107 (60%)|
|1st Serves pts won||66/82 (80%)||50/64 (78%)|
|2nd Serve pts won||46/72 (64%)||21/43 (49%)|
|Break pts saved||3/5 (60%)||2/5 (40%)|
|Break points won||7/15 (47%)||5/13 (38%)|
Review of Round 2 Matches
|Player (Opponent)||Nicolas Almagro (vs Steve Johnson)||Janko Tipsaravic (vs Lukas Lacko)|
|Score||6-4 6-1 6-2||6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-5|
|Time on Court||101 minutes||231 minutes|
|1st Serves in||53/83 (64%)||94/155 (61%)|
|1st Serves pts won||42/53 (79%)||69/94 (73%)|
|2nd Serve pts won||15/30 (50%)||31/61 (51%)|
|Break pts saved||5/6 (83%)||11/15 (73%)|
|Break points won||6/10 (60%)||5/11 (45%)|
Review of Round 3 Matches
|Player (Opponent)||Nicolas Almagro (vs Jerzy Janowicz)||Janko Tipsaravic (vs Julien Benneteau)|
|Score||7-6 7-6 6-1||3-6 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-3|
|Time on Court||125 minutes||209 minutes|
|1st Serves in||51/91 (56%)||69/129 (53%)|
|1st Serves pts won||44/51 (86%)||46/69 (67%)|
|2nd Serve pts won||29/40 (73%)||42/60 (70%)|
|Break pts saved||0/0||1/4 (25%)|
|Break points won||2/9 (22%)||3/10 (30%)|
Summary: These two guys have certainly made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open in vastly different ways. Tipsaravic kicked off proceedings on Rod Laver Arena, defeating Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets, sending down 47 winners and 38 unforced errors. From the nice cushy confines of Rod Laver Arena, Tipsaravic was then sent out to the outside courts to find his way through to the fourth round, and it certainly didn’t go all his own way.
In the second round, Tipsaravic went from leading 2 sets to 0 and a break in the third set, to being pushed to the absolute limit by Lukas Lacko, winning 7-5 in the 5th set. Tipsaravic rattled off 48 winners and 44 unforced errors, but willed himself over the line.
Trouble was brewing again in the third round, where Tipsaravic found himself both 1 set to 0 down and 2 sets to 0 down against Julien Benneteau. Benneteau appeared to be in control of the match for about 80% of the match, but Tipsaravic’s class and determination got him over the line, hitting 48 winners and 46 unforced errors along the way.
As I mentioned on Friday, although his first round match was won in 5 sets, it never appeared as though Almagro’s position in this tournament was ever in jeopardy. The only mistake Almagro made was to be slightly outplayed by Steve Johnson in two tiebreak sets, and Johnson is a decent player not to be taken lightly.
Almagro sent down 34 aces in a performance that totalled to 62 winners and 29 unforced errors. To only face 5 break points across the 5 sets was a very impressive effort, earning 15 for himself on the serve of Johnson.
Almagro had a much more comfortable second round, only being broke once whilst breaking Gimeno-Traver 6 times in an easy straight sets win. This match I wouldn’t take too much out of, besides the fact that he continued to serve incredibly well.
18 aces, 0 double faults, 34 winners and 25 unforced errors were totalled by Almagro against Jerzy Janowicz in a fantastic performance on Friday. Almagro faced no break points, and only dropped 18 points in 16 service games.
May 2012 -> Round 4, French Open
Result: Almagro d Tipsaravic 6-4 6-4 6-4
This result occurred on Almagro’s preferred surface of clay, and he got the job done comfortably. He won, even though he was serving at 50% of first serves compared to 69% from Tipsaravic
December 2012 -> Abu Dhabi Exhibition
Result: Almagro d Tipsaravic 2-6 7-6 6-2
This match occurred in the first proper outing of the season leading up to 2013. This was a semi final, and Tipsaravic had just come from defeating Andy Murray in straight sets. Almagro was awarded victory through to the SF by default due to opponent withdrawal.
Because this was the first professional hitout for Almagro for the season, you can justify the first set going to Tipsaravic due to Almagro getting the cobwebs out. Having watched that game, it certainly appeared as if that was the case. Almagro fought back in the second set, taking it in a tiebreak, before breaking twice in the 3rd set to make the Abu Dhabi exhibition final.
The Final Word
Taking into consideration the performances of both players this tournament, it is incredibly hard to go beyond Nicolas Almagro. He is serving brilliantly, and has only dropped his serve 3 times in 11 sets, with the only losing sets coming in tiebreaks, meaning when he is broken, he has either broken personally already, or claws the break back at some point during the set. In terms of time on court, Tipsaravic has spent just under 3 and a half hours more on court, which is a pretty massive difference after only three matches. My prediction here is for Almagro to get the job done in 4 close sets.
Suggested Bet: Almagro H2H at $1.72 at Sportsbet (5 set refund)
H2H: Almagro lead 2-0
Kei Nishikori vs David Ferrer
Playtime: 2nd on Rod Laver Arena
Review of Round 1 Matches
|Player (Opponent)||Kei Nishikori (vs Victor Hanescu)||David Ferrer (vs Olivier Rochus)|
|Score||6-7 6-3 6-1 6-3||6-3 6-4 6-2|
|Time on Court||159 minutes||110 minutes|
|1st Serves in||89/121 (74%)||48/71 (68%)|
|1st Serves pts won||63/89 (71%)||37/48 (77%)|
|2nd Serve pts won||18/32 (56%)||15/23 (65%)|
|Break pts saved||4/6 (67%)||3/5 (60%)|
|Break points won||7/16 (44%)||6/15 (40%)|
Review of Round 2 Matches
|Player (Opponent)||Kei Nishikori (vs Carlos Berlocq)||David Ferrer (vs Tim Smyczek)|
|Score||7-6 6-4 6-1||6-0 7-5 4-6 6-3|
|Time on Court||138 minutes||158 minutes|
|1st Serves in||67/97 (69%)||65/108 (60%)|
|1st Serves pts won||48/67 (72%)||48/65 (74%)|
|2nd Serve pts won||15/30 (50%)||24/43 (56%)|
|Break pts saved||2/5 (40%)||7/10 (70%)|
|Break points won||6/12 (50%)||7/21 (33%)|
Review of Round 3 Matches
|Player (Opponent)||Kei Nishikori (vs Evgeny Donskoy)||David Ferrer (vs Marcos Baghdatis)|
|Score||7-6 6-2 6-3||6-4 6-2 6-3|
|Time on Court||126 minutes||117 minutes|
|1st Serves in||66/97 (68%)||54/85 (64%)|
|1st Serves pts won||51/66 (77%)||37/54 (9%)|
|2nd Serve pts won||20/31 (65%)||18/31 (58%)|
|Break pts saved||3/4 (75%)||3/5 (60%)|
|Break points won||4/7 (57%)||6/9 (67%)|
Summary: Here we have what in my opinion could very well be the most entertaining match to watch for today. We have the dogged warrior David Ferrer up against on of the best young tennis players on the tour.
David Ferrer has been in some solid form, fresh off a semi final appearance in Doha the week before. For a guy that is in form, Ferrer has certainly gone off the boil in patches of late. The semi final against Davydenko was one of the stranger results. Davydenko had not had his serve broken all tournament going in to the match, and he left the match the same way. Ferrer was completely outplayed, and from there went to Auckland where he dropped a set to Yen-Hsun Lu in the second round. From there however, he played solid tennis leading up to the Australian Open.
All that being said, once again Ferrer has had some trouble at times in Australia. Ferrer had his serve broken twice in his convincing win over Rochus, and the scoreline probably ended up favouring Ferrer more than it should have. Moving onto the lucky loser Smyczek, where Ferrer bolted to a 6-0 3-0 lead, before winning the second set 7-5 and losing the third set. Smyczek was only in the main draw due to John Isner pulling out. Ferrer then got his game back on track in the third round, defeating Baghdatis in straight sets. Having been at the game and witnessing it live, you just got the sense that Baghdatis never felt like he was in the match, well at least not for long anyway.
Nishikori has been playing some solid tennis without setting the world on fire. His high first serve percentage on a consistent basis makes it a lot easier for him to hold his serve regularly. Although he did frustrate me in the first round by dropping the first set to Hanescu, he hasn’t dropped a set since. His beautiful technique from both wings makes Nishikori brilliant to watch.
Nishikori is one of the craftiest players on the tour. He is a great tactician, and he will know just how to tackle Ferrer today. He holds a 2-1 head to head advantage over Ferrer, so he has to be doing something right doesn’t he?
Aug 2008 – US Open
Result: Nishikori d Ferrer 6-4 6-4 3-6 2-6 7-5
Oct 2011 – Tokyo
Result: Ferrer d Nishikori 6-4 6-3
Result: Nishikori d Ferrer 6-0 3-6 6-4
The Final Word
I personally think that Nishikori is a massive chance today. I had thought this pre-tournament as we put him up as the best value tip to win this quarter.
This match will be an absolute cracker to watch. Looking at overseas markets, the handicap for Nishikori is +6.5 and the over/under is 37 games. I think Nishikori has a brilliant chance to push Ferrer and possibly take a set, or even the match off Ferrer.
I initially liked the over 37 games. And then I had a look at Sportsbet. Sportsbet have this line set at 34.5 games. I can’t say no to that. It looks low, and hopefully Nishikori will prove that is it low.
Suggested Bet: Over 34.5 games at $1.83 at Sportsbet
H2H: Nishikori 2-1