Big Kev got his Australian Open off to a solid start in Round 1 with a comfortable win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. The big-serving South African was particularly strong in sets 3 and 4, conceding only 3 total games. His big serve is always a useful weapon, but the athleticism of the young Tiafoe will be tough to contend with.
The 20-year-old American helped our daily multi cash on Monday with a solid straight sets victory. He had a go in Sydney last week but was eliminated by Aussie John Millman in his first round. Coming up against the #5 seed is never easy, but I think Tiafoe has a game that can challenge Anderson in this weather.
Prediction: Tiafoe +5.5 Games
Tiafoe had a breakthrough 2018 and I think he can continue some of that excellent form this year. His particularly strong serve makes him difficult to break and I think he claims at least a set here.
Roberto Bautista Agut
The #22 seed Spaniard got the job done on Monday, defeating Andy Murray in a thrilling 5-set clash. He had an excellent start to the 2019 campaign, defeating Wawrinka, Djokovic, and Berdych en route to a Qatar Open title. I think his strong defense and backhand will prove too much for the Aussie John Millman here.
The ‘Mailman’ delivered again in Round 1, registering a 4-set win over Argentinian Federico Delbonis. He had a solid start to the season in Sydney last week, reaching the Quarter Finals before losing to Frenchman Gilles Simon. Millman had his most ever ATP wins last season and will be looking to build on that form here.
Prediction: Bautista Agut -1.5 sets
Ultimately, I think Millman’s recent form has overpriced him here. Bautista Agut is comfortably the better player in my opinion, and I expect him to take care of business. Whilst I think he’ll do it in straight sets, the -1.5 does give some insurance.
Nadal opened his 2019 account with a solid straight sets win over Aussie James Duckworth in Round 1. It was a workmanlike performance from Rafa, breaking Duckworth 6 times in the match. Entering the tournament as the #2 seed, I don’t see him having any trouble against another Aussie in Matt Ebden.
Ebden progresses to Round 2 after a very solid win over Jan Lennard Struff first up. He was particularly strong on serve, getting 67% of first serves in and winning 73% of his points on those. He was particularly impressive in the final 3 sets, breaking the normally strong Struff an impressive 6 times.
Prediction: Nadal 3-0
Despite a good performance first up, Nadal will be a totally different beast for Ebden. Rafa has looked very strong of late and he’ll want to wrap this one up quickly in preparation for the later rounds. At $1.62, Nadal in straights is very solid value.
The solid multi opportunities just keep on coming. After strong Round 1 performances, Scwartzman and Khachanov are again good candidates to feature today. The power of Grigor Dimitrov should be too much for Pablo Cuevas, whilst I expect Bautista Agut to send the Mailman packing. At $2.18, this is another very solid play.