The Australian Open began in good style for this column, with both of my recommended bets winning on day one in Melbourne.
Klara Zakopalova was an easy straight sets winner over Chanelle Scheepers for the loss of just three games before Brian Baker regrouped after losing a two set lead to emerge the winner over Alex Bogomolov Jr.
Tonight sees the entrance to the tournament of Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and US Open champion Andy Murray, with the latter taking on erratic Dutchman Robin Haase.
Murray's fans will be hoping that he doesn't put them through another five setter, as was the case the last time that the pair met when Murray had to come from two sets down in New York.
Haase's recent form has been little better than awful and if I were having a bet in that one I would probably plump for Murray -9.5 games. The only worry being the possible nerves that may hamper Murray at the start in his first match in a Slam since winning the US Open.
A bet that I prefer is to take up and coming Slovenian Aljaz Bedene to defeat German veteran Benjamin Becker in their match, which is scheduled last on Court 10.
It's the first meeting between the pair, so there's no previous to go on, but Bedene has been in fine form lately and has a great chance of making at least the second round in his first time in the main draw in Melbourne.
Recent results have seen Bedene defeat Stan Wawrinka and Haase and push Janko Tipsarevic and Kevin Anderson close and if he can produce that level today he should beat the veteran German.
Becker has a poor record at Melbourne Park, with just two wins in his entire career here and he tends to be most effective on grass these days and I'm taking the improving Bedene to progress to round two here at around [1.81]
In the women's draw tonight there are a number of tight-looking matches that look like they could go either way, but one that looks priced up rather generously is Urszula Radwanska against Jamie Hampton.
Ula has been put in at around [2.75] to win and [1.62] just to take a set and that seems big against an opponent, who while admittedly in good form has little Grand Slam experience to speak of.
The pair have never played each other thus far in their careers, but the younger Radwanska sister has the more impressive tennis CV and she landed some notable scalps last season, including the likes of Marion Bartoli, Ana Ivanovic, Sabine Lisicki, Laura Robson, Fran Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta.
Hampton has no such pedigree and her price is based on her run since New York, where she's racked up a good few wins. I think that's been overvalued though and I'm happy to take the [1.62] about Radwanska taking a set here.comments powered by Disqus