Australian Open Men's Betting: Nadal to see off spirited Monfils challenge

Rafa Nadal is expected to see off an in-form Gael Monfils
Rafa Nadal is expected to see off an in-form Gael Monfils

The heat wave seems to be over in Melbourne and as the third round completes Sean Calvert selects the best bets for Saturday at the Australian Open...

"The cooler conditions in theory should slow things down a bit, which will aid Nadal and the Spaniard should come through, but I feel that Gael has a set in him here on current form."

Back Nadal to beat Monfils 3-1 at 3.814/5

The searing heat finally abated on Friday at the Australian Open, as the dial dropped from 42C to the mid-20s late in the day when rain became the problem instead at Melbourne Park.

Tommy Robredo didn't let the delay put him off though, as the Grand Slam comeback king did it again from a set down against Richard Gasquet to land a nice 2.77/4 winner after Jeremy Chardy had earlier been very disappointing.

Chardy failed to take any of his five set points (three of them straight at *5-3, 40-0) in the second set of his clash with David Ferrer, which were the key moments in a match where the Frenchman, for whatever reason, didn't go for his shots as we know he can.

Saturday's play features Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer on the card and Rafa faces an intriguing clash with Gael Monfils in what could be the match of the day.

Monfils is another Frenchman for whom the penny seems to have dropped that you can't win a major by grinding your way through five setters (unless you're Rafa) on the defensive and Lamonf has adopted a much more attacking approach of late.

The fact that he won in straights against big servers Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock by taking them on is a great sign for Monfils fans and he'll surely do the same against Nadal on Saturday.

The pair faced off in Doha ahead of this tournament and although Nadal won he wasn't always comfortable and Monfils has won two of their three matches at that particular venue.

I like Monfils to come out swinging in this one and although I doubt it will be enough, a lay of Rafa 3-0 or a back of Rafa to win by three sets to one at around 3.814/5 looks good here.

The cooler conditions in theory should slow things down a bit, which will aid Nadal and the Spaniard should come through, but I feel that Gael has a set in him here on current form.

I also like Roberto Bautista-Agut to back up his win over Juan Martin Del Potro by continuing his great record over Benoit Paire.

Both of these men played five setters in their previous rounds, but Paire has been struggling with a knee injury for some time and had treatment on it again during his win over Nick Kyrgios, who by the end was barely able to move himself.

RBA has owned Paire in this match-up and confirmed his dominance again in Auckland ahead of this event.

The Spaniard hits a very un-Spanish flat ball and has shown his effectiveness on hard courts on numerous occasions in the past, but he's in rare form at the moment and the 1.558/15 about a Bautista-Agut win looks good here, with the minus 4.5 games on the handicap also worth considering at 1.9520/21.

Murray faces yet another meeting with Feli Lopez and after winning all seven of their previous encounters the Scot will be confident of easing past the Spaniard once more.

Andy did have some trouble with Lopez in their last meeting in New York in 2012 and came through in four in a clash that involved three tie breaks, but I can't see it being that close again and Murray in three looks likely here at around 1.784/5.

Lopez does have a worrying tendency to throw in the towel when he knows he's beaten, so the minus 5.5 game handicap on Murray is also worthy of consideration, with Feli likely to fade late on.

Recommended Bets
Back Nadal to beat Monfils 3-1 at 3.814/5
Back Bautista-Agut to beat Paire at 1.558/15

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