The third day of action at the Australian Open will see the first round conclude at the opening Grand Slam of the year when the show courts once again get filled by some of the best in the business out in Melbourne.
We’ve seen the leading lights all make it through unscathed so far and on Tuesday the world number one Iga Swiatek and the Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz will be among those looking to join the list.
Rod Laver Arena
The opening match on the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday looks like a potential cracker as the world number one Iga Swiatek begins her quest for a first Australian Open title when she takes on a player in Sofia Kenin who has already taken this trophy home with her. That is a great starter to the day session and the closer isn’t bad either as the exciting Holger Rune gets his campaign up and running when he takes on Yoshihito Nishioka for a second round spot.
There are two decent looking matches in the night session as well where we begin with a game where the tennis ball is going to take a pounding as the heavy hitting Kazakh star Elena Rybakina takes on the equally big hitting Karolina Pliskova who can still be a danger on her day. The action on the Rod Laver Arena concludes with the Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz in action. He meets the veteran Richard Gasquet for a second round spot.
Margaret Court Arena
There is a decent schedule over on the Margaret Court Arena as well which gets underway with the two-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud going up against the veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a match the Norwegian will be expected to win. When they are done the day session will conclude with the former champion Victoria Azarenka taking on the feisty Italian player Camila Giorgi in what should be a good way to end the first part of the day.
The night session gets going with a couple of German players battling it out when Alexander Zverev begins his quest to win a maiden Grand Slam title when he takes on his countryman Dominik Koepfer. We conclude the action over on the Margaret Court Arena with one of the better players in the game on show when Jessica Pegula takes on the Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino with the number five seed having a bit to prove.
John Cain Arena
Two unseeded players open up the action over on the John Cain Arena when the former Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens meets the home wildcard Olivia Gadecki before the Bulgarian ace Grigor Dimitrov looks to build on his Brisbane title when he takes on the veteran Marton Fucsovics before another home star is on court as Thanasi Kokkinakis gets his tournament underway. He meets Sebastian Ofner before the action concludes on this court with yet another Australian on show as Ajla Tomljanovic goes up against Petra Martic.
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We have a seeded player getting a good looking schedule on the Kia Arena underway as Daria Kasatkina meets Peyton Stearns before the home player Max Purcell gets his tournament started when he takes on the qualifier Mate Valkusz. Tommy Paul is another seed on show over on the Kia Arena. He has a first round date with Gregoire Barrere to overcome. The last match on this court sees Qinwen Zheng taking on Ashlyn Krueger in what could be a decent way to wrap up a good schedule in this part of the grounds.
Best of the Rest
Plenty of other seeded players get their campaign underway around the grounds on Tuesday including Cam Norrie who starts the action on the 1573 Arena while Jelena Ostapenko is on show on Court 3. Tallon Griekspoor, Lin Zhu, Alexander Bublik, Jiri Lehecka and Sorana Cirstea are some of the other seeded players on show on the outside courts where the singles is mixed in with the opening stages of the doubles tournament.
I like three bets over the course of the day on Tuesday with the first of them coming in the men’s draw where Lorenzo Sonego looks an acceptable price to beat Dan Evans. Evans missed the Davis Cup finals at the end of last year through injury and has only played two matches this year and he fell apart in the second of those. Sonego hasn’t been winning many matches recently but he has been operating at a pretty high level with two top 20 opponents at the United Cup and then Seb Korda in Adelaide last week. Sonego does have a 2-0 lead over Evans in their career, with both meetings coming on a hard court including in Miami last year. I think the Italian gets it done here.
We move over to the women’s draw for the last two bets and I’m taking another Briton on in the first of them when two players who have spent the last six months out injured meet when Emma Raducanu takes on Shelby Rogers. If Rogers was taking anyone whose fitness could be guaranteed here then I would be going nowhere near her but she isn’t and the heavy hitting American could soon find a way through the Brit, who pulled out of a couple of exhibition matches last week so clearly isn’t in perfect working order. Raducanu seems to get involved in epics even when she is fit so while the Brit might come through with Rogers returning from an abdomen issue here, I think the 4.5 games that the American is getting is too big.
The last bet I like is for Petra Martic to beat Ajla Tomljanovic in the night session. Often the home crowd inspires a player in this event but that hasn’t really worked with Tomljanovic who has won four matches in eight entries into this tournament and never having been past the second round. She has dropped right down the rankings now and looks vulnerable to a Martic who won a couple of matches in Auckland last week and who has actually beaten Tomljanovic here albeit in 2011. Tomljanovic did take a set off Angelique Kerber at the United Cup but she lost in straight sets to Katie Boulter and we shouldn’t forget Kerber was coming back from her pregnancy break too. I expected Martic to be much shorter than this so I’m happy to add her to my Tuesday betslip.
Back L.Sonego to beat D.Evans for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with William Hill
Back him here:
Back S.Rogers (+4.5 games) to beat E.Raducanu for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with 888sport
Back her here:
Back P.Martic to beat A.Tomljanovic for a 3/10 stake at 1.73 with Boylesports
Back her here: