Australian Open Men's Singles Day Three: Rublev over-rated on tough Wednesday card

Rafa Nadal is in action against Leonardo Mayer on day three...
Rafa Nadal is in action against Leonardo Mayer on day three...
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There are some fascinating second round matches at the Australian Open on Wednesday, with Rafa Nadal, Marin Cilic and Nick Kyrgios among those in action. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, has found two odds-against shouts worth backing on day three...

"Now having dropped outside the top 100, the market is likely to be being pretty cautious on Baghdatis' fitness, having retired in his last outing last year, but he did get the better of Kevin Anderson in an exhibition last week, and got past Yuki Bhambri in his opener in straight sets on Monday."

Raonic and Bautista-Agut shocked on day two

As with Monday, we had one winner and one loser on Tuesday, with Evgeny Donskoy easing past Florian Mayer but Soon-Woo Kwon unable to challenge Jan-Lennard Struff, on what was a day of few surprise results. Despite the rarity of shocks, we saw the exits of Milos Raonic and Roberto Bautista-Agut, while tournament favourite Roger Federer, as well as Novak Djokovic, were two of a number of players to progress in straight sets.

Baghdatis friendless in market against Rublev

A number of Wednesday's matches look quite return-orientated, with John Millman versus Damir Dzumhur, Pablo Carreno-Busta against Gilles Simon and Marcos Baghdatis' clash with Andrey Rublev all looking like they have the potential to have more breaks of serve than average.

In the latter match-up, the veteran, Baghdatis, is not fancied by the market at all to get past the young prospect, Rublev - 12 years his junior - and is priced currently on the Exchange at [3.45]. Now having dropped outside the top 100, the market is likely to be being pretty cautious on Baghdatis' fitness, having retired in his last outing last year, but he did get the better of Kevin Anderson in an exhibition last week, and got past Yuki Bhambri in his opener in straight sets on Monday.

Statistically on hard court, there isn't much to split the duo, and it would have to be absolutely guaranteed that Baghdatis is half fit for these prices to be justified. I don't mind chancing Baghdatis at prices.

Basilashvili with an edge in pick-em match against Bemelmans

The other player I do quite like at [2.02] is the erratic Georgian, Nikoloz Basilashvili. On his day, Basilashvili has a decent peak level but he's a very marginal market underdog against the Belgian qualifier, Ruben Bemelmans.

My model does like Basilashvili here at the current market prices, with the two players having a similar win percentage outdoors in the last 12 months but Basilashvili having played more main tour matches, hence against more difficult opponents on average. Numbers dictate he's worth a small stake at these odds.

Veterans Seppi and Muller others who look short-priced

In other matches, if Yoshihito Nishioka is fit, his price at [2.44] looks generous against the veteran, Andreas Seppi, but the after-effects of his cruciate ligament injury last year may go against the Japanese talent in a best of five set match, while both Gilles Muller and Malek Jaziri both have had fitness issues in recent times, but Muller is a short-looking [1.18] for their match-up.

Nadal and Kyrgios among big names in action

We also get to see Nick Kyrgios take on Victor Troicki, Rafa Nadal face Leonardo Mayer and Marin Cilic face Joao Sousa. Our winner on Monday, Mackenzie McDonald, is up against Grigor Dimitrov, while for the neutral, Denis Shapovalov's clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is probably the match of the day.

The French veteran is a [1.65] favourite, which is bordering on value territory against the over-rated young Canadian, who still has plenty to prove.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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