Day 1: Preview and Tips – Full Coverage
The 2018 Australian Open has arrived and The Wolf cannot wait to get the ball rolling! Federer returns to defend his title while the women’s draw is up for grabs with the absence of Serena Williams. It also shapes as the best major in a long time for the Australian contingent with the most amount of talent we have seen in over a decade. Nick Kyrgios started the season with a title winning run in Brisbane while in Sydney Alex de Minaur and Ashley Barty finished runners up in the respective men’s and women’s draws.
As always The Wolf will provide us with full coverage of the tournament with feature previews, best bets, prop bets and a daily multi.
Day 1 – Men’s Feature Match Previews
David Ferrer v Andrey Rublev (3:30pm)
Old meets new as veteran Ferrer tries to fight off the entertaining Rublev. Few would know that David Ferrer is 12th all time in wins on tour (720) – that more than Becker, Borg, Muster and Hewitt just to name a few. He has been a real iron man but over the last 12 months he has definitely tailed off, especially in terms of his physical edge. His 24 wins on tour last season were the least since 2003 but as we saw last week in Auckland he still has something to offer. That being said, The Wolf is quick to note that Rublev is the type of opponent that he has struggled against in recent time. Player that can push Ferrer around from the baseline have been able to dominate him and he no longer has the speed or stamina to chase all those balls down. Rublev is coming off back to back runner up results at the ATP Next Gen Finals and a fortnight ago in Doha. He has learned to harness his game over the last 6 months and the results are there to be seen. The end of the road will get much closer for Ferrer in 2018.
Best Bet: Rublev WIN ($1.91)
Value Bet: Sets Rublev 3-1 ($4.50)
Mattew Ebden (AUS) v John Isner (1:00pm)
Their three battles to date have been pretty lob-sided and Aussie Matt Ebden will have to pull the rabbit out of the hat in this one. The American has won all 7 sets contested in this series but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for the local. Ebden was able to deal with the Tiafoe and Kyrgios serves in Brisbane and had every chance of beating his fellow Aussie. Isner looked well below his best in a loss to Chung in his only appearance in 2018 and the fact that his serve was broken on multiple occasions means that you could be vulnerable. The conditions also look to favour Ebden. The forecast for Monday is just 21 degrees and up to 30km/h winds. The ball will not be zipping off the court as much which will allow Ebden to get into more rallies.
Best Bet: Ebden +4.5 ($1.80)
Value Bet: Number of Sets – 5 Sets ($4.20)
Stefanos Tsitsipas v Denis Shapovalov (1:00pm)
Wolfy has marked this as the match of the day! Both men are still teenagers but have already made a name for themselves. Shapovalov thrilled the Canadian crowds in his semi final run at the Montreal Masters and backed that up with a 4th round showing at the US Open. Just as he cooled off, former junior number 1 Tsitsipas began to heat up. He made the semi’s in Antwerp and already has already notched up wins in 2018 making the quarters in Doha and beating Richard Gasquet. Both men bring single handed backhands to the table and that alone will make this one entertaining. Aggressive is the best way to describe their game style. They will look to attack behind their first serve and finish points nice and early. Tsitsipas has an edge on serve with Shapovalov more capable in the forecourt. This will be the first meeting in what will become a real rivalry in the years to come. At least 4 sets of tennis with multiple breakers.
Best Bet: Over 42.5 games ($2.00)
Value Bet: 1st Set Correct Score 7-6 ($3.80)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Rogerio Dutra-Silva (4:30pm)
Will 2018 be the year in which Kyrgios gets it all together… Until it happens The Wolf says we have to assume otherwise. He deserves full credit for his start to the year – a title winning run in Brisbane where he came from a set down to win in his first 3 matches. One of the most dominant servers on tour Nick has shown that he has the ability to take the game away from any opponent – ANY! His mental frailties and constant injury niggles have been the primary concerns. He gets to play in his beloved Hisense Arena and there is no doubt that the crowd will be rocking. Dutra-Silva doesn’t have the game to go with Nick and The Wolf says after a first set tussle the Aussie will take complete control.
Best Bet: Over 28.5 games ($1.82)
Value Bet: 1st Set Scorecast Kyrgios 7-6 ($7.50)
Rafael Nadal v Victor Estrella-Burgos (7:00pm)
This is a complete mismatch and will provide Rafa with the perfect opportunity to get some match fitness into his game. He was incredible in 2017 and a easy draw early on here could get him into the second week in perfect condition. As we have seen in the past, Nadal knows how to navigate his way through the draw at majors and peak at just the right time. Estrella-Burgos has been battling away on the Challenger Tour and is a clay courter by name and nature. The Wolf says you cannot beat Rafa playing clay court tennis on a hard court and he says this one will be over in a little over an hour.
Best Bet: Under 25.5 games ($2.00)
Value Bet: 2nd Set Score After 4 games Nadal 4-0 ($4.80)
Day 1 – All Tips
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