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Australian Open Second Round: Avoid marathon man Verdasco and back Malisse

Will Xavier Malisse upset the odds and Fernando Verdasco tonight?

"Verdasco went five against David Goffin, while Malisse had a far easier time gently disposing of Pablo Andujar and because of that I have to side with the Belgian.."

Back Malisse to beat Verdasco at 2.407/5

Sean Calvert is looking to bounce back straight away after a bad night in Melbourne and he advises steering clear of those who had long matches the previous round, including a certain Spaniard..

Things didn't go to plan on Day Two at Melbourne Park, as both of my wagers were beaten on a disappointing day.

Aljaz Bedene at least took the lead in his match with Benjamin Becker, but crumbled at vital times in set four from a break up to slump to defeat in an awful tie breaker.

And Ula Radwanska was overpowered by an impressive performance from Jamie Hampton, despite the American blowing half a dozen match points before sealing the win.

At least my prediction in the Andy Murray vs Robin Haase match of the Scot minus 9.5 games on the handicap proved to be spot on, as the number three seed blitzed the Dutchman in straight sets.

On the men's side today other than the usual second round 1.101/10 shots there are some close match-ups that are tough to call for one reason or another.

I would strongly fancy Radek Stepanek to take down Feli Lopez at 2.305/4 if it weren't for the fact that Steps had a five setter the other day and has been struggling with injury. If he's fit that's a good bet, but I'm not sure that he is.

Likewise, Roberto Bautista-Agut would be carrying my money against an on-the-slide Jurgen Melzer at 2.3811/8, but he has also been injured and came through a five setter. Both he and Stepanek are worth backing, but at the big risk of retirement.

Which leaves me with Xavier Malisse and Fernando Verdasco and with the Spaniard having beaten one Belgian already he takes on another in the form of the much more experienced but somewhat eccentric Malisse.

Verdasco went five against David Goffin, while Malisse had a far easier time gently disposing of Pablo Andujar and because of that I have to side with the Belgian to repeat his Wimbledon win over the former top-10 star tonight at a tempting 2.407/5.

On the women's side tonight Heather Watson takes on Ksenia Pervak and due to her injury problems she's the underdog in this one and it's guesswork whether she'll be fit to play.

There aren't a huge amount of women's matches that really appeal tonight, with several short priced favourites that I'm struggling to make a case for opposing, so a good option is to back the big hitters to launch a beatdown on their outclassed early opponents.

The best for these are Serena Williams (as she showed last night), Vika Azarenka and Maria Sharapova and the latter takes on Misaki Doi in the last match on Hisense Arena tonight.

Last year in Grand Slams, Maria won by eight games or more nine times - in each of her opening three matches in New York, Paris and Melbourne.

The margin is set at minus 7.5 games tonight and after the way she thrashed Olga Puchkova (who didn't play that badly) in round one she doesn't look in the mood to hang around.

It's around 1.705/7 that she does it again and Japanese leftie Doi looks another to add to that list.

Recommended Bets
Back Malisse to beat Verdasco at 2.407/5
Back Sharapova -7.5 games to beat Doi at 1.705/7

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15 January 2013

Australian Open

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