Our daily Australian Open betting tips are written by a professional tennis trader – check back here every day for his best bets and to see how the tips fare.
A £10 bet on all his tips for the US Open in September returned a profit of over £90.
Remember, the action down under starts in the early hours UK time, so don’t forget to place your bets before you go to bed the night beforehand.
A final profit of £83.23 for £10 level stakes on 26 bets through the two weeks, or £110.50 profit including the two outright tournament tips (8/11 and 2/1 winners).
|TIPS||WINNERS||LOSERS||PROFIT/LOSS (to a £10 level stake)|
Day 14 – Sunday 31st January
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray
It’s the Final I predicted in my Outright Preview so you’ve already had a taste of what I expect in this one, and with Djokovic winning 10 of the last 11 meetings between the pair, I am confident the Serb will get the job done.
Of course we’ve already collected on the 2/1 for Murray to reach the final, so we have a little more to play with ahead of the final.
With Djokovic set to dominate the match and in all probability beat Murray for a fourth time in the final here, I would love to support the Serb, but at odds of 2/9 there simply isn’t a play in the match winner market. Murray has enough in his armoury to trouble Djokovic and that leaves me reluctant to play the 5/4 about a 3-0 win, so instead I will head to the specials.
Andy Murray is 4/6 with Paddy Power to serve the first double fault, and that looks a little bit of value to me. He’s served 21 in the tournament so far (in 205 games) compared to Djokovic who has been rather more consistent with just 8 in 165 games. The 4/6 looks bigger than it should be.
I expect the Ace total to be very close indeed – while Murray has been serving at a slightly higher rate, Djokovic has defended well himself, and it could be closer than the 6/4 put up on Djokovic by BetVictor – most other firms are no longer than 5/4. Bets are void in the event of a tie.
Staying on the Aces, an average length match between these two might be in the region of 36-37 games long, and that could take the Ace count to around 20 between the two. Paddy Power ask us to pick over/under 16.5 and that looks on the low side to me, so take Over 16.5 is my final bit of advice for this tournament.
|Andy Murray||First Double Fault||4/6||Paddy Power|
|Novak Djokovic||Most Aces||6/4||BetVictor|
|Over 16/5||Total Aces||5/6||Paddy Power|
Day 12 – Friday 29th January
Milos Raonic v Andy Murray
It’s just the one Men’s semi-final on Day 12, and I fancy Andy Murray to ease past Milos Raonic in straight sets. The Scot has looked excellent over the past 10 days, winning a tournament best 47% receiving points and dropping just a couple of sets so far – one to Joao Sousa and one to David Ferrer.
He’s had a pretty light workout, with 152 games played so far this tournament – winning 100 of them – while Raonic has been made to work a fair bit harder, playing 179 games, and winning 105. Crucially for this match, Murray’s superior returning prowess looks capable of giving Raonic problems.
Murray has broken his opponents 31 times this tournament (converting 62 break points), while Raonic has broken his opponents little over half as often (18 times). While Murray isn’t the biggest server in the game, he’s no pushover either, and although the pair have a level record in their head to heads, Murray has won their last two matches 2-0 so will be confident of reaching his fifth final here in 7 years.
Staying on the same match, and the same theme, Murray’s receiving could be key to him challenging Raonic for the most aces in the match. It’s true that Raonic has been firing down a decent number – averaging 0.47 aces per game played in his matches, while Murray has been a more modest 0.36 per game, but their abilities to get a racket on their rivals efforts could ensure the final count is closer – Murray has given up just 0.16 per game, while Raonic concedes 0.20. Betfred make Murray a 4/1 outsider to get the most.
|Andy Murray 3-0||Set Betting||11/5||888sport|
|Andy Murray||Most Aces||4/1||Betfred|
Day 11 – Thursday 28th January
Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer
One of the key skills that all good gamblers must possess is the art of humility, and accepting that what we once thought, may no longer hold true. We need to constantly look at what is in front of us, and ask whether our view should change. I’ve tipped up Novak Djokovic to win the Australian Open this year, but on the evidence of what we’ve see so far, Roger Federer could run him close when the pair meet on Thursday.
Let’s start by looking at the numbers from the week. Federer has made lighter work of his opponents, and has played a total of 143 games so far this week – 22 fewer than Djokovic on 165. Federer has also won marginally more return points – winning 45% of receiving points compared to Djokovic’s 43%, and he’s also won 74% of service points – 2% better than Djokovic.
Over the years, the pair have met 45 times, with the Serb now marginally ahead (23-22). He’s also won 10 of the last 16, but it’s worth noting that you’d have made a nice profit backing Federer to level stakes since 2014 despite Djokovic rising to power in that period. Level £10 stakes over their 13 matches in the last two seasons would have seen you make a £63 profit backing Federer, so he’s still surprising the market.
I’m going to make a brave call here, and suggest Federer has it in him to land a surprise and win this at odds of 13/5.
|Roger Federer||Match Winner||13/5||BetVictor|
Day 10 – Wednesday 27th January
Angelique Kerber v Victoria Azarenka
On the second day of Ladies’ quarter-finals, I reckon Victoria Azarenka looks a good thing as she takes on German Angelique Kerber – whom she has dominated in their seven previous meetings.
The pair met just two weeks ago, where the Belarusian thrashed Kerber 6-3, 6-1, and she’s won 12 of the 14 sets between the players on the senior tour since 2012.
Both players have enjoyed a strong tournament thus far, with Kerber dropping just a single set in the opening round against Misaki Doi, but only losing 14 games since then between the 2nd and 4th rounds.
But Azarenka has been even more impressive – not just this week, but since the turn of the year. In her 9 matches since arriving in Oz for the Brisbane International, she’s won 18 straight sets, with only one player getting within two games in a set. In those 18 sets, she’s completed four bagels and won a further 10 either 6-1 or 6-2.
Furthermore, with a 12-6 record on hard courts against Top 25 players over the past season, Azarenka is getting back to the top level she was at before her long lay off and she looks the real deal once again. Back her to win this 2-0 at 8/11 is my advice.
|Victoria Azarenka 2-0||Set Betting||8/11||888sport|
Day 9 – Tuesday 26th January
Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori
With the top half of the men’s draw now into the quarter final stage, the seedings have done their job well, with all four top seeds from the section still involved. That means a Djokovic v Nishikori encounter, while Federer takes on Berdych.
The bookies are well used to pricing these sorts of fixtures up, so aren’t giving much away, and while it would be easy to muse that Djokovic expended more energy than usual against Gilles Simon, leaving him vulnerable to an impressive Kei Nishikori, the truth is probably that the market has moved enough to account for that already.
Federer is a 1/5 favourite to beat Tomas Berdych, and that also probably looks about right after the Czech man struggled through a fourth round epic with Roberto Bautista-Agut. Federer has also won the past four matches between the men, and holds a 15-6 head-to-head advantage in the long haul (although only 6-5 on hard courts and also 6-5 since 2010). If there was a bet in this it would probably be on Berdych at 9/2 with 888sport, but I’ll avoid getting stuck in without a strong reason.
Instead switch back to the first match and consider backing Djokovic to win the 1st set by the exact score of 6-3. Djokovic almost always elects to serve first if given the opportunity, while Nishikori tends to prefer to receive in the first game of a match. That means Djokovic would likely be serving for the set if there was a single break in the first eight games. Probably not a 7/2 shot against a solid returner like Nishikori. Djokovic has also won nine of his last 20 opening sets 6-3, so the bet is surely value.
|Djokovic 6-3||First Set Score||7/2||Coral, Paddy Power|
Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova
In the Ladies I’ve dug out the stats I posted ahead of the 2015 final when Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova met here:
15 – the number of consecutive matches Williams has won against Maria Sharapova
9 – the number of encounters she’s won between the pair without reply
10 – the number of consecutive matches that Williams would have covered a 3.5 game handicap against Sharapova.
Well those numbers are now 17 consecutive matches, and 11 matches without reply. We have to update the handicap stat as the line is 4.5 this time around, but Williams has covered that in 13 of their last 16 matches.
The level of dominance in their previous meetings suggest the bookies still haven’t woken up to the edge Williams has when their particular games clash, and Williams has been in irresistible form this week, losing just 8 games in her last 6 sets.
|Serena Williams -4.5||Games Handicap||10/11||Paddy Power|
|Serena Williams 2-0||Set Betting||5/6||888sport|
Day 8 – Monday 25th January
David Ferrer v John Isner
In a break from my normal strategy of staying on the Match Winner market, I’ll venture into the world of Total Games for this intriguing fourth round match.
The pair have met 7 times before, with Ferrer coming out on top in 6 of them, but it’s important to note that Isner was nothing like the player he is now in the earlier meetings in that run, so we shouldn’t read too much into it. What is telling though, is that through that run, the matches have all been pretty close, and the majority have gone the distance. Six have been played over the best of three format, with four of those going into the final set, while their Davis Cup meeting in 2012 went to 4 sets.
Furthermore, this game looks like a real slog fest shaping up – Isner has thus far not allowed any of this three opponents a single break point, such has been the power in his serving, so even a player like Ferrer is likely to get few opportunities to break.
Isner is hardly the most incredible receiver at the other end, and that could mean that despite Ferrer not having the biggest serve, we won’t see much breaking back the other way – Isner’s receiving points won this tournament have been at 34%, 28% and 33%, while his opponents have managed 13%, 20% and 21% against his booming serve.
All this leads me to believe that the 8/11 available on Over 42.5 games with Bet365 is a cracking price. That would see us over the line with a single tie break, and three sets of 10 games each, which is more than possible, and as such I much prefer it to lines of 43.5 or 44.5 with other firms at marginally longer prices.
|Over 42.5||Total Games||8/11||Bet365|
Johanna Konta v Ekaterina Makarova
In the Women’s I like the look of our very own Johanna Konta to beat Ekaterina Makarova at 8/5. Konta reached the fourth round in the US Open and could well continue that great run this week despite being the lower ranked of the players.
Konta won 50% of receiving points against Denisa Allertova and 72% of service points, while she managed an even more impressive 48% receiving against Venus Williams’ big serve, and held 66% of the time herself in that match. That’s a mark of just how well she is playing right now. Makarova is playing well of course herself, destroying Karolina Pliskova in the last round – winning 73% of service points and 45% of receiving points. She allowed her opponent just a single break point.
Regardless, I only have Makarova as a very slender favourite in this, so take the 8/5 available about an upset for our last remaining Brit in the Ladies draw.
|Johanna Konta||Match Winner||8/5||888sport|
Day 7 – Sunday 24th January
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Kei Nishikori
The matches begin to take a step up in class in the 4th round and the clash between two top 10 players catches the eye – as Kei Nishikori meets Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Japanese enjoyed a terrific 2015, with a 27-10 winning record on hard courts against Top 100 players – comparing really favourably to Tsonga who was 15-9 on the same metric. Nishikori will also come into this match full of confidence given he has a 5-2 winning head to head record against Tsonga.
So far this week there hasn’t been much to call between the men, with neither starting a match at longer than 1/5, and each dropping the odd set from ten played. Nishikori has beaten Kohlschreiber, Krajicek and Garcia-Lopez, while Tsonga got past Baghdatis, Jasika and Herbert.
With Nishikori looking stronger on all metrics, it’s a surprise seeing some firms struggling to split them, so I am backing the Japanese man at a best price of 17/20.
|Kei Nishikori||Match Winner||17/20||Sportingbet|
Carla Suarez Navarro v Daria Gavrilova
In the Women’s, Daria Gavrilova has been enjoying the best spell of her young career over the past fortnight – winning the Hopman Cup in Perth, and now into the fourth round in Melbourne – all on home soil. That could be about to end though when she takes on Carla Saurez Navarro who looks massive value at 4/5.
Gavrilova managed to beat Kristina Mladenovic in the third round, but that match lasted an epic 40 games and almost three hours. With that coming off the back of a monumental effort to beat Petra Kvitova, the young Australian might well be feeling drained in this one.
Saurez Navarro is ranked 28 places higher in the world and has had a much easier few days, progressing 6-4 2-0 against Elizaveta Kulichkova after a retirement – the pair were on court for just 50 minutes, and that extra rest will not only help Saurez Navarro, but was probably a real welcome treat for the 28-year-old.
I really like the 4/5 available on Saurez Navarro – especially when you consider that she was the 1/6 favourite when the pair met a little over 12 months ago.
|Carla Saurez Navarro||Match Winner||4/5||Coral, Paddy Power|
Day 6 – Saturday 23rd January
Varvara Lepchenko v Shuai Zhang
Varvara Lepchenko looks well worth backing when she plays Shuai Zhang on Day 6. She won their only previously meeting on the Eastbourne grass 18 months ago, but this is much more about her experience and quality on hard courts which should see her come out on top. Ranked 51st in the world and 29th on hard courts, the American had a 16-9 record against Top 100 players last season. Zhang by contrast played just 10 matches against Top 100 players on the surface, losing 6.
Zhang has enjoyed a great tournament with wins over Aliza Cornet and Simona Halep, while Lepchenko has made tougher work of beating Lesya Tsurenko and Lara Arruabarena. But despite these recent results, we should back the American in this one – had this match happened last week, we’d have been looking at prices around 1/3 in all likelihood, and so we should swoop for the 4/5 available on her as a result.
|Varvara Lepchenko||Match Winner||4/5||Coral|
Ekaterina Makarova v Karolina Pliskova
In my other bet of the day, I like Ekaterina Makarova to win a third match in a row against Karolina Pliskova at even money in a finely poised encounter. Although Pliskova is the higher ranked of the pair (12th versus 24th), it was Makarova who came out on top when they met here almost 12 months ago to the day in the 3rd Round, and I fancy a repeat performance from the Russian after commanding wins over Maria and Inglis in the opening two rounds. Makarova lost her serve just once in each of those matches.
Pliskova came through safely against Wild Card Birrell in Round 1, but dropped serve twice against a player barely in the top 300 and was made to work hard again against Julia Goerges in her next match. The money is already coming for Makarova, so it looks worth getting aboard sooner rather than later for a decent return.
|Ekaterina Makarova||Match Winner||Evens||Coral, Paddy Power|
Day 5 – Friday 22nd January
Dominic Thiem v David Goffin
I’ll start today with a single at odds-against who could arguably be favourite, as David Goffin takes on Dominic Thiem. The pair have met six times in the past two years and while Thiem has come out on top in the last two, Goffin holds a 4-2 advantage overall. The pair also have identical records against Top 100 players on hard courts over the past season – each winning 14 and losing 11.
It’s worth nothing however, that Goffin has played the tougher players in that same, with four against Top 10 opponents (compared to Thiem’s two) and holding a better record against those ranked 10th-50th. He also collected almost twice as many hard court ranking points per tournament he entered.
Thus far Thiem has seen off Leanardo Mayer in four, and Nicolas Almagro in three – broadly in line with expectations really, but nothing sensational.
Goffin, who is far more at home on these courts in general has had a tough workout himself, after being taken to four by both Stakhovsky and Dzumhur, but I think that has edged his price out enough to make him a value bet at 8/5.
|David Goffin||Match Winner||8/5||Bet365|
Marin Cilic v Roberto Bautista-Agut
Staying with the Men there is an opportunity to get a tasty 11/8 about two high class players reaching the fourth round in the shape of Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych.
Cilic is a 2/5 shot in his match with Roberto Bautista-Agut, and that looks a cracking price about the world number 13, who holds a 2-0 head to head advantage.
Cilic has been something less than outstanding against de Bakker and Ramos-Vinolas thus far, but could take advantage of a potentially weary opponent who has faced back to back gruelling five set encounters, and also comes into this tournament after an equally draining event in Auckland.
Winning there showed Bautista-Agut is playing well, but he played a monster 113 games at that event, and has already played another 86 in the past 3 days.
Nick Kyrgios v Tomas Berdych
Try backing Cilic in a double with Tomas Berdych as he meets local hero Nick Kyrgios. Although they have never met, Berdych stands out head and shoulders above on their hard court stats from last season and has had nothing more than a gentle warm up so far after sweeping aside Yuki Bhambri and Mirza Basic.
Kyrgios made hard work of the clay courter Pablo Cuevas in Round 2 (6-4 7-5 7-6), that was much harder than a straight sets scoreline might suggest. Class should pay off here and at 4/6 Berdych forms the second half of a double which pays 11/8.
|Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych||Match Winner – Double||11/8||Paddy Power|
Margarita Gasparyan v Yulia Putintseva
Finally, in the Women’s, Margarite Gasparyan looks a great bet at 8/11 to topple Yulia Putinseva. The pair have both already enjoyed sparkling tournaments, with Gasparyan beating Sara Errani and Putinseva knocking out Caroline Wozniacki.
They met at the tail end of last year, where Gaspayan demolished her opponent 6-2 6-3 and a repeat could be on the cards again if their 2015 is anything to go by. Gasparyan enjoyed an 11-11 record against Top 100 players over the season (5-5 on hard courts), while Putinseva was a less impressive 12-26 (6-18 on hard courts).
The Russian looks the real deal at just 21 and should continue to rise through the rankings this season, so get on her now is the advice, while you can still make a reasonable return on her progress!
|Margarita Gasparyan||Match Winner||8/11||Boylesports|
Day 4 – Thursday 21st January
Annika Beck v Timea Bacsinszky
Starting in the women’s event, Timea Bacsinszky looks a good thing to beat Annika Beck when the pair meet in the second round. Ranked 14th in the world, Bacsinszky is a decent enough hard court player with an 18-10 record against Top 100 players on the surface last season. She opened her account this week with a straight sets win over Katerina Siniakova, which was really what was expected of her.
Beck is a far weaker player by comparison and was just 2-10 last season against Top 100 players on hard courts, and she’s lost seven of her last nine matches now. She came through the first round easily enough, but wild card Priscilla Hon was never really much opposition in a match which saw Beck start at 1/10.
Last season, despite entering an equal number of ranking events, Bacsinszky picked up 10 times as many ranking points as Beck and I fancy her at 4/9 to build further as she edges towards the top 10.
Thomaz Bellucci v Steve Johnson
Over in the men’s, Steve Johnson ticks a lot of boxes ahead of his match with clay courter Thomaz Bellucci. The American was a consistent performer last season on the surface, winning 17 and losing 15 against Top 100 players. Bellucci managed just 4-13 on the same metric last campaign and has lost 8 of his last 10 encounters on the tour now.
Johnson reached the 3rd Round here last season – losing out in four sets to Kei Nishikori, and he’ll be eyeing up another shot at the 3rd round.
|Timea Bacsinszk & Steve Johnson||Match Winner – Double||13/10||888sport|
Day 3 – Wednesday 20th January
For Day 3, I’ll start with a little double across the men’s and the women’s.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez v Daniel Brands
|Guillermo Garcia-Lopez||Match Winner||4/9||Sportingbet|
First up, and I think Garcia-Lopez will get the better of Daniel Brands. The pair have met just once before, when the Spaniard came out on top on grass a couple of years ago. The class divide between these two shouldn’t be understated with Garcia-Lopez now 27th in the world, and Brands just outside the top 150. Last year, Garcia-Lopez played 50 matches against Top 100 players, with an 8-13 record on hard courts, while Brands managed just 16, and achieving a hard-court 1-2 record. With the Spaniard winning comfortably against Paul-Henri Mathieu, he should be ready for this one, and while Brands beat Victor Estrella, he dropped a set and may not be quite so fresh. Experience should count in this one, and I’ll back the favourite at 4/9.
Monica Puig v Kristyna Pliskova
|Guillermo Garcia-Lopez & Monica Puig||Match Winner – Double||Evens||Paddy Power|
Try putting that in a double with Monica Puig beating Kristyna Pliskova, who is not as used to this level of competition as her better known sister. Puig has been in great hard court form on late, winning 8 of her last 9 on the surface against Top 100 players, as she qualified for the Apia International, and then ran herself all the way to the final before being beaten by Kuznetsova. It should be noted though that she beat Bencic, Stosur and Rybarikova amongst others in that run, and she’s clearly in fine fettle. Pliskova might consider herself fortunate to be in the second round at all – two of her three qualifying matches went to three sets, while she had to dig deep at times to beat Stosur in the last round. At 2/5 with Paddy Power, the double with Garcia-Lopez pays around even money.
Monica Niculescu v Elizaveta Kulichkova
|Elizaveta Kulichkova||Match Winner||43/20||Sportingbet|
For an outsider, try backing Elizaveta Kulichkova to beat Monica Niculescu at odds of better than 2/1 with Sportingbet (as short as 13/8 elsewhere). She’s only 20, but the WTA sees plenty of youngsters performing at this level, and 2016 could be a great year for her. With a 27-18 winning record on hard courts last season (and 11-11 v Top 100 players) she is already rising through the rankings to 109. Niculescu has an 11-14 record on the surface last season (4-13 against Top 100) so we could have a potential shock on the cards despite her easy win in the first round.
Day 2 – Tuesday 19th January
Day 1 – Monday 18th January
Pablo Cuevasv v Yoshihito Nishioka
|Yoshihito Nishioka||Match Winner||7/4||888sport|
The little known Yoshihito Nishioka heads the picks on the opening day, as he attempts to topple Pable Cuevas – a man 75 spots higher in the world rankings. The pair have never met, but I prefer the chances of the young and improving Japanese.
Regular readers will know just how highly I factor in surface when selecting our tennis bets, and the outsider is a much better fit for the Australian hard courts. The Japanese player has played almost exactly 50% of his career matches on the surface, while Cuevas is a typical South American clay-courter – and has ventured onto the surface for just 85 of his 634 career matches – just 13%! He also has a losing record on hard courts (41-44) which shows just how important his clay court performances have been to his ranking.
Cuevas has played in Melbourne three times before – losing in the first round in each of those visits, including to Frederico Gil and Matthias Bachinger.
Over the past 12 months Nishioka has a 7-0 winning surface record against players ranked 50th-100th, and a 15-7 winning record versus players ranked 10th-50th, while the Uruguayan is 2-2 v 50-100 players and 1-8 v 10th-50th.
All in all, I’ll venture to suggest that the Japanese should be favourite for this match – not a 7/4 outsider.
Austin Krajicek v Di Wu
|Austin Krajicek||Match Winner||8/11||Betfred|
I also fancy the more experienced Austin Krajicek to see off Di Wu. Ranked 102 in the world, Krajicek is 36th in the Hard Court rankings, and will expect to beat qualifier Wu. The Chinese player won all three qualifiers with relative ease, but didn’t have to beat anyone of real quality, and Krajicek could be a sterner test altogether over a best-of-five format.
The American played 22 matches against Top 100 players in 2015, and had a 7-10 record on hard courts against them. Wu played just six times against Top 100 players last season, losing all six (all on hard courts) and winning just two sets.
The class difference between the pair suggests that odds of 8/11 on Krajicek are under-rating the American considerably.
Dominic Thiem v Leonardo Mayer
|Dominic Thiem & Austin Krajicek||Match Winner – Double||7/4||Betfred|
Finally, put Dominic Thiem in a double with Krajicek to return at around 7/4 as he takes on Leonardo Mayer. Both are clay court players, but Thiem generally adapts better to the faster courts, and also has a 2-1 head to head record against Mayer.
Last season Thiem had a 6-1 winning record against players ranked 50th-100th on Hard Court, and a 4-8 record against those ranked 10th-50th. Mayer by contrast lost all seven of the matches he played against those in the 10-50 bracket, and has a similar 6-1 record against the 50th-100th rating.