The Australian Open is in full swing and plenty of quality tennis has been enjoyed on the scorched courts of Melbourne.
While many seeds have tumbled out of the competition plenty more live on, rx and the two outstanding picks in both the men’s and women’s draws – Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams – look in fine fettle.
Here is the tale of the tape so far:
It has been business as usual for two of the top seeds in the men’s draw. Novak Djokovic has enjoyed straight sets victories over Hyeon Chung and Quentin Halys – despite being taken to a tie break by the latter – and will now meet the 28th seed Andreas Seppi in the third round. Seppi beat Roger Federer at this stage last year, so the Serb will need to be on his guard.
Federer himself has enjoyed a smooth passage to the third round as well; overcoming Nikoloz Basilashvili for the loss of just five games in his opener before taking out the potentially-dangerous Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round. He now faces an intriguing clash with the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who has shown glimpses of his best form in recent weeks after a horrific 2015 campaign.
The second seed Andy Murray takes on home favourite Sam Groth later, while the fourth seed Stan Wawrinka will be readying himself for a war of attrition against Radek Stepanek, a player that has beaten him on no less than five occasions.
The third round is already shaping up nicely with some tasty looking encounters, no less so than Nick Kyrgios against Tomas Berdych on Thursday. Neither player has dropped a set yet, and while Berdych is one of those players who quietly goes about his business Kyrgios is anything but. This one could go the distance, and at a price of 2.10 there will be plenty of punters taking on the Aussie as one of their betting tips.
There has been a few notable casualties in the men’s draw too, with Rafa Nadal knocked out unceremoniously by Fernando Verdasco, a player he enjoys a 15-2 head-to-head record against. Well, make that 15-3 now. And the big serving duo of Kevin Anderson and Ivo Karlovic, who on these surfaces are capable of beating anyone, have both been dumped out of the competition.
All in all, the Bet Advisor team has seen nothing as yet to suggest backing anyone other than Djokovic to win at 1.62: this was one of our original betting tips before the tournament had even begun.
No less than 14 of the 32 seeds in the women’s draw have been knocked out of the tournament, and while that is nothing new as the quality gap closes there has been a few shocks along the way.
Number two seed Simona Halep has gone, and this opens up the bottom half of the draw for Gabi Muguruza and one of our other betting tips Victoria Azarenka. Venus Williams was downed by the improving Brit Johanna Konta, while the sixth seed Petra Kvitova’s nightmare run at the Australian Open continued with a straight sets loss to Daria Gavrilova in the second round.
The top seed Serena Williams marches on though, and after being pushed hard by Camila Giorgi in the first round she enjoyed a rather more casual victory 6-1 6-2 over Su-Wei Hsieh in the second. And while she hasn’t been talked about much this year – primarily due to the fact she’s in the same half of the draw as Williams – Maria Sharapova is tiptoeing her way through the tournament and finds herself in the third round having dropped just seven games en route.
Both Azarenka and Muguruza are heavily fancied to get through their second round matches against Danka Kovinic and Kirsten Flipkens respectively, while crowd favourite and seed number 20 Ana Ivanovic will need to be at her best to see off Anatasija Sevastova.
The Betadvisor pick, Victoria Azarenka, continues to look in fine form and again we see no reason to ward punters away from her as one of today’s betting tips at 4.50 to win the tournament.