After an action pack opening two days at Melbourne Park we are into the Round of 32!
Bianca Andreescu (8) vs Su-Wei Hsieh – From 7PM ET @ Rod Laver Arena
In her return to Grand Slam tennis after over a year on the side-lines, Bianca Andreescu recorded a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win in her first round matchup at the Australian Open, while world no 71.
Su-Wei Hsieh cruised through her opening round matchup against world No. 125 Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets. Andreescu looked solid in her opener without completely looking like a top 10 player, giving up a set to world No. 138 Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Day 1️⃣ had it all!
Yesterday the tennis world welcomed back Bianca Andreescu 😍 Serena makes a statement 💪 Gael and Kerber fall in upsets 😮
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 8, 2021
Ultimately, Andreescu gets a pass for her first round match, given that it was her long awaited return to Grand Slam tennis. However when coming up against Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round, the eighth seed will need to improve again to progress into the third round.
Andreescu should comfortably defeat Hsieh on Tuesday, however the Canadian will undoubtedly be pushed once again as she looks to re-establish herself as one of the best players in tennis.
Head to Head – Bianca Andreescu (-350)
Games Spread – Su-Wei Hsieh +4.5 (+100)
Exact Sets – Bianca Andreescu 2-0 (-130)
Sorana Cirstea vs Petra Kvitova (9) – From 7PM ET @ Margaret Court Arena
Despite committing 10 double faults to zero, ninth seed Petra Kvitova cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over world No. 110 Greejte Minnen on Sunday. Her double faulting errors resulted in her failing to cover her games spread, however her class prevailed as she nailed our first round pick for exact sets. In the second round, Kvitova will face world No. 68 Sorana Cirstea who won her opening matchup 6-2, 6-1.
Onwards and upwards 📈
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 8, 2021
Kvitova will need to improve on her first serve if she is looking to go deep in this tournament, as 56% will not cut it against higher seeded players. Although she wasn’t at her best, Kvitova still recorded a comfortable two set victory in the first round, and if she marginally improves her serve prior to Tuesday’s match against Cirstea, Kvitova will comfortably record her second straight sets win, and advance to the round of 16.
Head to Head – Petra Kvitova (-475)
Games Spread – Sorana Cirstea +5.5 (-140)
Exact Sets – Petra Kvitova 2-0 (-455)
Aryna Sabalenka (7) vs Daria Kasatkina – From 7PM ET @ Margaret Court Arena
Aryna Sabalenka got her 2021 Australian Open campaign off to a strong start with a 6-0 opening set, before going on to defeat Viktoria Kuzmova 6-0, 6-4. Sabalenka’s opponent in the second round had a similar first round result, as world No. 75 Daria Kasatkina defeated world No. 315 Katie Boutler 6-1, 6-4.
Things will be vastly different for Kasatkina on Tuesday as coming up against the world No. 7 fresh off a 2-0 victory, will be completely different to facing the 315th ranked player in the opening round.
Even with a first serve percentage of just 49%, Sabalenka still managed to dominate her opening matchup. Given Kasatkina’s win is someone tainted by her opponents ranking, Sabalenka is the deserved favorite to win their round two matchup, likely in straight sets.
Head to Head – Aryna Sabalenka (-350)
Games Spread – Aryna Sabalenka -4.5 (-135)
Exact Sets – Aryna Sabalenka 2-0 (-134)
Dominic Thiem (3) vs Dominik Koepfer – From 7PM ET @ Margaret Court
Both Dominic Thiem and Dominik Koepfer recorded comfortable three set victories in their opening matches at the 2021 Australian Open. After being forced into a tiebreak in the opening set, Thiem comfortably won the second set 6-2 and the third set 6-3.
Although he won comfortably we correctly picked that Thiem wouldn’t cover his games spread of -9.5 and would also win in straight sets. Koepfer defeated world No. 112 Hugo Dellien, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in his opening match.
Finishing strong 💪
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 8, 2021
However, Koepfer will be thrown into the deep end in the second round, coming up against a Grand Slam champion in Thiem. Thiem is the deserved -3334 favorite heading into this second round matchup and will likely once again do so in straight sets.
The world No. 3’s games spread line has dropped to -8.5 for this matchup. A -8.5 spread still would not have seen Thiem cover in his opening match. As he is also coming off a convincing straight sets victory, we like Koepfer against the spread in a second round loss.
Head to Head – Dominic Thiem (-3334)
Games Spread – Dominik Koepfer +8.5 (-115)
Exact Sets – Dominic Thiem 3-0 (-239)
Alexandre Muller vs Diego Schwartzman (8) – From 7PM ET Tuesday @ 1573 Arena
Both Muller and Schwartzman claimed 3-1 victories in their opening matches at Melbourne Park. After dropping his opening set to world No. 83 Juan Londero, world No. 210 Alexandre Muller claimed the next three sets to cause a first round upset.
Contrastingly, it was far from a convincing start for the No. 8 seed, as Diego Schwartzman won his opening set in a tiebreak and second set 6-4 before dropping the third set 2-6. Schwartzman responded with a 6-2 set of his own in the fourth to secure the win.
Given that Schwartzman, who is the eight seed, had a strong finish to his opening match and he will be coming up against the 210th ranked player in the world, it is impossible to go past the Argentinian in this round two matchup.
Schwartzman will likely win this one in a more convincing fashion than his opening match, given that he is coming up against a lesser ranked and experienced opponent.
Head to Head – Diego Schwartzman (-2000)
Games Spread – Diego Schwartzman -8.5 (-115)
Exact Sets – Diego Schwartzman 3-0 (-182)
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Frances Tiafoe – Not Before 9PM ET @ Rod Laver Arena
Eight time Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic got his quest for a third consecutive Aus Open title underway in almost surgical fashion, defeating Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-1, 6-2. Djokovic was not broken, nor did he face a breakpoint in his tournament opener while also nailing 75% of his first serve.
Make that 76 wins at the #AusOpen
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 8, 2021
World No. 64 Frances Tiafoe defeated world No. 60 Stefano Travagila in three sets to get his Grand Slam season often a strong star. Tiafoe won 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday, however the 23 year old only landed his first serve 54% of the time.
Djokovic will pounce on any weakness that Tiafoe shows early in this match and the world No. 1 should easily cruise to a second consecutive 3-0 victory, which should really be no surprise to anyone.
Head to Head – Novak Djokovic (-10000)
Games Spread – Novak Djokovic -9.5 (+102)
Exact Sets – Novak Djokovic 3-0 (-358)
Dennis Shapovalov (11) vs Bernard Tomic – Not Before 12AM ET Wednesday @ Court 3
World No. 12 and 11th seed for the tournament, Dennis Shapovalov got his 2021 Grand Slam season off to a rocky start, winning a five setter in his first round matchup. World No. 32, Jannik Sinner took the first set 6-3 before Shapovalov won the second 6-3 and the third 6-2. Sinner claimed the fourth 6-4 to force a deciding set, which Shapovalov won 6-4.
There is no shame in being pushed by Sinner, however it is undeniable that a five setter is not the ideal way to start your tournament. Shapovalov will face another challenge in the second round, coming up against Aussie local, Bernard Tomic.
Despite his off court issues, Tomic has undeniable talent, having once been ranked the 17th best player in the world. Tomic was leading his first round matchup two sets to one before his opponent, Yuichi Sugita withdrew from the match.
With fresher legs, Tomic has a massive chance of pinching a set in this match, however Shapovalov will put a more complete performance together and advance to the third round.
Head to Head – Dennis Shapovalov (-1250)
Games Spread – Bernard Tomic +7.5 (-120)
Set Handicap – Dennis Shapovalov -1.5 (-475)
Ajla Tomljanovic vs Simona Halep (2) – From 3AM ET Wednesday @ Margaret Court Arena
Both Simona Halep and her opponent for Tuesday, world No. 72 Ajla Tomljanovic recorded, 6-2, 6-1 victories in their first round matches at Melbourne Park.
As expected Halep cruised to a two set victory over wildcard Lizette Cabrera, where she also covered her games spread. Australian local, Tomljanovic got her home Slam off to a strong start comfortably defeating world No. 87 Misaki Doi.
Although she put out a strong performance in her opening round, Tomljanovic will be coming up against a vastly superior player in Halep, who is one of the toughest opponents in the women’s fixture, the deserved No. 2 seed and the deserved short favorite for this matchup.
Head to Head – Simona Halep (-850)
Games Spread – Ajla Tomljanovic +6.5 (-155)
Exact Sets- Simona Halep 2-0 (-264)
Caroline Garcia vs Naomi Osaka (3) – From 3AM ET Wednesday @ Rod Laver Arena
Naomi Osaka came up against the highest ranking opponent for any of the top 10 women in her opening round matchup on Sunday. With ease, the No. 3 seed dispatched world No. 39 and three time Australian Open quarterfinalist, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Osaka claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Pavlyuchenkova, easily covering her first round games spread of -5.5.
The No.3 seed @naomiosaka moves on! 👏
— wta (@WTA) February 8, 2021
Osaka will face another top 50 ranked opponent when coming up against world No. 43 Caroline Garcia on Tuesday. Garcia defeated world No. 51 Polona Hercog 7-6, 6-3 in her opening match.
Given that she gave up just one third of the total games that Garcia did in her opening match and she was facing a higher ranked opponent, Osaka will comfortably record a second straight sets win. Which will advance her to the third round at Melbourne Park having not dropped a set, just as she did at last year’s Aus Open.
Head to Head – Naomi Osaka (-1100)
Games Spread – Naomi Osaka -6.5 (+118)
Exact Sets – Naomi Osaka 2-0 (-286)
Maxime Cressy vs Alexander Zverev (6) – From 3AM ET Wednesday @ Rod Laver Arena
After dropping the opening set of his 2021 Australian Open campaign in a 10-8 tiebreak, Alexander Zverev warmed into the game, responding with a 7-6 (7-5 tiebreak) second set, 6-3 third set and 6-2 fourth set to claim with 3-1 victory over Marcos Giron.
World No. 172 Maxime Cressy started his tournament with a 3-0 victory over world No. 118 Taro Daniel. In what was just his second start at a Grand Slam event, Cressy showed how capable a server he is recording 25 aces in his 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 win.
Although Cressy won his opening match 3-0, he only broke Taro Daniel on two occasions. If Zverev brings his form from the third and fourth set of his opening match into this encounter, the sixth seed should record his first straight sets victory of the tournament on Tuesday.
Head to Head – Alexander Zverev (-2000)
Games Spread – Alexander Zverev -6.5 (+100)
Sets Handicap – Alexander Zverev -1.5 (-160)
We’ve got 14 days of hard core tennis action, so strap yourself in!
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