Australian Open Day 1 Betting Preview & Tips

  • 13th January 2019

Tennis specialist Craig Vickers (@craigvickers_) previews day one of the men’s Australian Open and provides us with his best bets.

Australian Open Day 1 Betting Preview & Tips

  • Date: 14 January
  •  Time: 00:00
  • Venue: Melbourne Park, City of Melbourne, Australia
  • Channel: Eurosport UK

Monday marks day one at the 2019 Australian Open and the opening rounds of a major are always suspect to several shocks.

Conditions in Melbourne are set to be scorching, with temperatures peaking at 3PM in the afternoon, and thoseplayers who traditionally wilt under the weather are ones to keep an eye on.

Roger Federer begins the defence of his title against the Uzbek Denis Istomin at around 9:30AM GMT and the Swiss will be preceded earlier in the day by Rafael Nadal, who faces the plucky Australian James Duckworth.

Andy Murray, meanwhile, meets Doha champion Roberto Bautista-Agut at not before 7AM GMT in what couldpotentially be his farewell to the Melbourne crowd.

However, a clash of particular intrigue betting wise takes place far away from the bright lights of Rod Laver Arena, as Bosnia’s Mirza Basic takes on the Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen on Court 12 at around 4AM GMT.

Key Stats & Facts

The two will clash for the first time on the ATP tour and the value lies with Basic at 11/10, who has evidently been priced up on the basis of his poor record on outdoor hard court.

The world number 97 failed to qualify in Melbourne last yearand seems to reserve his best form for ATP 250 level, but the quicker conditions in Australia – coupled with the temperatures – could see him advance to round two.

Of course, the danger in opposing qualifiers in the first round of majors is that they arrive into the main draw more accustomed to conditions and flowing with confidence after three wins on the bounce, but Laaksonen’s form in qualifying appears more of an aberration.

The Swiss has not posted a positive year-end record on the hard courts since 2016 and even that statistic is inflated by wins on the Futures circuit.

Elsewhere, the clash between the Italian Andreas Seppi and American Steve Johnson is evenly matched and there is considerable value on backing the former to win at 10/11.

The Italian reached the final of the Sydney International this past weekend – beating Diego Schwartzman and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route – and boasts a commendable record at the first major of the year having reached the round of 16 in his last two visits.

He memorably ousted Nick Kyrgios in five sets in 2017 and, if fatigue is a question mark beside the Italian after his exertions last week, he showed last year he can manage the work load in Australia after winning the Canberra Challenger in the week prior to the start of last year’s event.

His form is in stark contrast with that of Johnson’s, who has lost his last five tour-level matches and as such is without a victory since the US Open. The American, who is seeded at 31, also fell as a heavy favourite in round one against Denis Kudla in Melbourne last year.

The Verdict

Meanwhile, last year’s quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgrenrepresents good value at 11/10 against Yoshihito Nishioka.

The latter has returned to form after sustaining a serious knee injury at the Miami Open in 2017 and his status as favourite ought to be hugely influenced by Sandgren being potentially tired after a draining week in Auckland.

The American did prevail as champion in New Zealand which will lessen the ranking hit he is set to sustain should he fall early in Melbourne, but the world number 63 will be brimming with confidence after winning his first ATP title.

Recommended Bets

  • 1pt – Andreas Seppi to win – 10/11 (bet365)
  • 0.8pts – Mirza Basic to win – 11/10 (bet365)