The men's Australian Open quarter-finals commence on Tuesday, and our tennis columnist Dan Weston is back to assess the two matches at Melbourne Park...
"My model actually rated Tsonga as slightly the better player on hard courts, with the Frenchman holding serve much more, at 91.0% compared to Wawrinka’s 85.3% in the last 12 months, while breaking opponents marginally less, at 22.9% compared to 24.4%."
Bautista-Agut covers the handicap against Raonic
After a tough event so far, it was pleasing to get a winner from yesterday's recommendation, although Roberto Bautista-Agut did his best to lose the +5.5 game handicap bet, falling 5-0 behind in a fourth set, when he only needed to take one game in the set to cover. Fortunately, the Spaniard managed to hold serve at 0-5 down to get us the win.
Federer still in front in the outright winner market
Raonic's victory, and the likely success of Rafa Nadal today - he leads Gael Monfils by two sets to one at the time of writing - sees the outright winner market very open indeed, with four players priced between 4.1 and 5.49/2.
The Swiss legend, Roger Federer, leads the market, but compatriot Stan Wawrinka, Raonic and Nadal are breathing down Federer's neck, while Grigor Dimitrov is slightly further back at a current 8.88/1 after an eventually facile four-set win over tournament sensation, Denis Istomin.
Injury, probably coming from accumulated fatigue, took its toll on the Uzbek and I thoroughly expect him to mean-revert in the coming weeks - as this process takes place, there may well be value opposing Istomin.
Tsonga has an excellent chance against Wawrinka
There are just two matches on tomorrow's card, with there being a strange phenomenon that is sometimes witnessed in Grand Slam events in the first match, between Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Despite Tsonga being currently available at 21.020/1 in the outright markets and Wawrinka - as mentioned earlier - being considerably shorter, the markets have found it fairly tough to split the two players, and Wawrinka is the marginal 1.684/6 favourite.
Indeed, my model actually rated Tsonga as a slightly better player on hard courts, with the Frenchman holding serve much more, at 91.0% compared to Wawrinka's 85.3% in the last 12 months, while breaking opponents marginally less, at 22.9% compared to 24.4%.
However, we must also take into account that the Swiss player has won the last three head to head matches, and factoring this into my pricing generated a 2.1011/10 price about Tsonga, still indicating value on the current prices.
In the second match on the schedule, Federer is an unsurprising heavy favourite at 1.132/15 against Andy Murray's conqueror, Mischa Zverev, but it is noticeable that the market is respecting the German much more following his victory over the Scotsman. My model price is 1.152/13 on Federer, and I do feel that Roger can recover deficits more than average in the match, which should be an attractive spectacle for the neutral.
Back Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to beat Stan Wawrinka at 2.466/4
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
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