Aus Open Day 10: Quarter Finals Preview

Day 10: Men’s and Women’s  Quarter Finals

Karolina Pliskova v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (11:00am)
The pair have traded wins in their five prior encounters with Pliskova leading 3-2. There has been little between them in the past, especially back in 2015 when they played three very tight matches. Since then though, Pliskova has really taken her game to the next level and we have seen her game develop in more ways than one – most notably the serve. She is winning well over 80% of her first serve points and when you’re making well over 60% of them it makes you close to unbeatable in the women’s game. Lucic-Baroni has played some very solid tennis to day and has been rewarded for her win over Radwanska which led to some favourable matchups in her following two matches. She now meets a player at the very top of her game and she will be unable to deal with the Pliskova serve.
Best Bet: Pliskova -4.5 ($1.80)
Value Bet: 2nd Set Score After 2 games Pliskova 2-0 ($2.35)

Johanna Konta v Serena Williams (1:00pm)
Konta extended her win streak to 9 matches and she has now won 18 consecutive sets. This year alone she has beaten Gavrilova, Bouchard, Radwanska, Wozniacki and Makarova. Most notably, she hasn’t just beat some of the best players in the world, she has completely dominated them. There must be something about Melbourne as she has been able to exceed all expectations in consecutive years. Made the semi’s here last year and although she now faces arguably the best women’s player ever, The Wolf rates her a big chance. Like Konta, Serena is yet to drop a set but her serve has been broken 7 times this tournament in comparison to just twice for Konta. Williams had troubles finding her best tennis against Strycova and dropped her serve a remarkable 4 times against the Czech. This one will go right down to the wire will Konta forcing a deciding set. At that stage Serena will draw on all of her experience to get her over the line.
Best Bet: Over 21.5 games ($1.91)
Value Bet: Sets Williams 2-1 ($3.75)

David Goffin v Grigor Dimitrov (3:00pm)
Dimitrov had a glittering junior career which including multiple junior slam wins and the number 1 ranking. Unfortunately, Dimitrov is yet to fulfill his potential and has made the semi finals of a slam just once. He holds a 4-0 record over Goffin but three of those matches came at Futures/Challenger level. According to The Wolf the Belgian has had the perfect preparation leading into this match. Coming off a win against Thiem he will get a very similar looking ball from Dimitrov, in particular from the backhand wing. Dimitrov has started slow in most of his matches this tournament and The Wolf thinks Goffin will get the jump on him early. The key shot in this match will be the Goffin backhand down the line. Dimitrov tends to camp in the ad court in order to cover his backhand and if the Belgian can go down the line with his backhand he will really open up the court. As the outsider Goffin is definitely value.
Best Bet: Goffin +2.5 ($1.91)
Value Bet: Goffin WIN ($2.45)

Rafael Nadal v Milos Raonic (7:00pm)
Nadal continues to grow with every match and the Raging Bull again showed his physical superiority by outlasting Monfils. This year’s tournament have emphasised just how important it is to be in peak physical condition. Federer and Nadal are supposed to be in the twilight of their careers but have won matches on the back of their physical condition. Alexander Zverev fell apart in the 5th set against Rafa while Nishikori needed the trainer in the final set against Federer. After spending months on the sidelines the first thing on the agenda for these modern day great is to get back in peak physical condition – then everything else will follow. Nadal may not be hitting the ball as good as we have seen in the past and he continues to avoid hitting his forehand down the line but he has worked his way into exactly where he wants to be. Rafa won the first 5 meetings against Raonic but the Canadian has turned things around with wins in two of the last three. The pair met a fortnight ago in Brisbane with Raonic coming back from a set and a break down to win. If that exact match were replicated here it would be the Spaniard that comes out on top. Zverev and Monfils are big servers in their own right so the Raonic serve will not be as big an adjustment as generally thought. We will see Raonic use the slice backhand to change the momentum of the rally but over 5 sets Nadal will eventually wear him down. The longer this match goes the more likely a Nadal win.
Best Bet: Nadal WIN ($1.67)
Value Bet: Over 42.5 games ($1.83)


All WIN: Pliskova/Williams/Goffin/Nadal
Combined Odds: $7.50

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