Round 2 of the 2021 Australian Open wraps up today as the best of the best prepare for Round 3!
Danielle Rose Collins vs Karolina Pliskova (6) – From 7PM ET @ Rod Laver Arena
Karolina Pliskova started her Australian Open with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Jasmine Polini. Unsurprisingly Pliskova covered her first round games spread, nailing both the spread and exact set for her round one match.
Pliskova’s second round opponent, world No. 40 Danielle Rose Collins also got her tournament off to a strong start defeating world No. 96 Ana Bogdon 6-3, 6-1 on Monday.
Any @KaPliskova fans out there?
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 9, 2021
Although both players won comfortably against their opponents ranking in the mid 90’s, Pliskova was not broken, nor did she face a break point throughout the entirety of the match.
Collins however faced six, and was broken once. Given her dominant service game as well as superior ranking and experience, Pliskova is the pick here for second consecutive straight sets win.
Head to Head – Karolina Pliskova (-130)
Games Spread – Karolina Pliskova -1.5 (-109)
Exact Sets – Karolina Pliskova 2-0 (+165)
Belinda Bencic (11) vs Svetlana Kuznetsova – From 7PM ET @ Margaret Court Arena
Young Swisse star and 11th seed Belinda Bencic will face 35 year old, two time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Bencic won her opening match 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, finishing strongly against Lauren Davis, while Kuznetsova was much more clinical, defeating Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-2. This will be the fifth encounter between Bencic and Kuznetsova, with the head to head currently split at 2-2.
Their fifth career matchup has the makings of a tightly contested three setter, however the younger, more energetic, higher ranking Benic should get the win in this one as the underdog. Although Kuznetsova will not make it easy for the 11th seed.
Head to Head – Belinda Bencic (+100)
Games Spread – Belinda Bencic +0.5 (-113)
Set Handicap – Belinda Bencic +1.5 (-250
Ashleigh Barty (1) vs Daria Gavrilova – From 7PM ET @ Rod Laver Arena
Ash Barty showed just why she is the No. 1 ranked player in the world and No. 1 seed for this tournament on Monday, with a clinical 6-0, 6-0 victory over Danka Kovinic.
Barty will meet fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova in the second round on Wednesday, after Gavrilova defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 7-5. Despite currently ranking 387th in the world, Gavrilova is a much better player than that, having once been the 20th ranked female on tour, before achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis ruled her out for over a year.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 9, 2021
The two Aussies have met four times competitively with Barty currently leading the head to head 3-1, after her 6-1, 6-2 victory at the Madrid Open in 2019.
After seeing how Barty performed in her tournament opener, there is no evidence to suggest that she will slow down against Gavrilova, utilising her slice backhand and cross court forehand to manipulate the depth of this match and set up another two set win on her terms.
Head to Head – Ashleigh Barty (-1250)
Games Spread – Ashleigh Barty -6.5 (-109)
Exact Sets – Ashleigh Barty 2-0 (-334)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) vs Thanasi Kokkinakis – From 7PM ET @ Rod Laver Arena
Coming up against Tennis journeyman Gilles Simon in his first round matchup, fifth seed Stefanos Tistsipas was one of the standout performers of Day 2, comfortably beating the Frenchman 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.
Tistsipas did not concede or even allow Simon the chance to break his serve on Monday. The Greek will face Australian local Thanasi Kokkinakis in his second round match on Wednesday.
Although Kokkinakis’ highest career ranking is just 69th in the world, the Aussie is clearly a better player than his record suggests having beaten the likes of Roger Federrer prior to a string of injuries keeping him off the court.
Kokkinakis also won his opening match in three sets on Monday. Despite being touted as one of the favorites for the tournament, this match will be a tough one for Tistsipas as Kokkinakis was a junior Aus Open champion who is familiar with the surface while also possessing a big serve and solid groundstrokes. Tistsipas wins this one however Kokkinakis will make him earn it.
Head to Head – Stefanos Tistsipas (-1000)
Games Spread – Thanasi Kokkinakis +7.5 (-125)
Sets Handicap – Stefanos Tistsipas -1.5 (-125)
Andrey Rublev (7) vs Thiago Monteiro – From 8PM ET @ John Cain Arena
The seventh seed for the 2021 Australian Open, Andrey Rublev got his 2021 Grand Slam season off to the perfect start with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Yannick Hanfmann. Rublev will face world No. 74 Thiago Monteiro in the second round, who is fresh off a three set victory of his own against world No. 103 Andrej Martin. Monteiro’s victory on Monday was his first win at the Australian Open since turning pro in 2011.
Red-hot Rublev 🔥
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) February 9, 2021
The two players did face off in 2019 in the qualifying rounds at an ATP event with Monteiro winning 2-1. However, Rublev has since developed into one of the best players in the world and will be looking to build off his breakout 2020 season, with the aim of making his first Grand Slam semifinal in 2021. The seventh seed has more weapons than Monteiro and will utilise them all to cruise to a second consecutive straight sets victory on Wednesday.
Head to Head – Andrey Rublev (-5000)
Games Spread – Thiago Monteiro +9.5 (-125)
Exact Sets – Andrey Rublev 3-0 (-278)
Sofia Kenin (4) vs Kaia Kanepi – Not Before 9PM ET @ Margaret Court Arena
Fourth seed Sofia Kenin got her Australian Open title defense off to a strong start with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over world No. 133 Maddison Inglis.
It wasn’t the dominant performance that you would expect from Kenin in her opening round against a non top 100 ranked player, however the No. 4 ranked player in women’s tennis did what she needed to do to secure the victory.
World No. 65 Kaia Kanepi will take on the 2020 Aus Open champion on Wednesday having defeated world No. 53 Anastasija Sevastova on Monday. Prior to Kenin’s breakout 2020 season, Kanepi defeated Kenin 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 at the 2018 Rome Masters, however the 22 year old has become a vastly superior player since their last encounter.
This will be a tough matchup for Kenin who wasn’t in overwhelmingly great form on Monday, however we still like the 2020 Aus Open champion to continue her title defense past the second round, defeating Kaia Kanepi in a close one.
Head to Head – Sofia Kenin (-125)
Games Spread – Sofia Kenin -1.5 (+100)
Sets Handicap- Sofia Kenin +1.5 (-300)
Tomas Machac vs Matteo Berrettini (9) – Not Before 9PM ET @ Margaret Court Arena
It wasn’t necessarily easy, but Matteo Berrettini got his Grand Slam season off to a solid start with a 3-0 victory over Kyle Anderson. Anderson made Berrettini work for each of his points, with the first set going to a 11-9 tie break as well as a 7-5 second set and a 6-3 third. Berrettini’s second round opponent, world No. 199 Tomas Machac got his tournment off to a rocky start, dropping his first set against world No. 181 Mario Vilella Martinez.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 9, 2021
Machac responded and won the next three sets to seal up a 3-1 upset. Given that he overcame the 81st ranked player in the world in just three sets on Monday, Berrettini should have absolutely no issues defeating, covering and sweeping the 199th ranked player in the world when he takes on Machac on Wednesday.
Head to Head – Matteo Berrettini (-1250)
Games Spread – Matteo Berrettini -7.5 (-110)
Exact Sets- Matteo Berrettini 3-0 (-167)
Coco Gauff vs Elina Svitolina (5) – From 3AM ET Thursday @ Rod Laver Arena
Both Coco Gauff and fifth seed Elina Svitolina recorded straight sets victories in their first round matchups at Melbourne Park. Svitolina held onto a tiebreak in her first set, before turning up the heat in the second, winning 6-3.
While 16 year old world No. 48 Coco Gauff got her Grand Slam season underway with a 6-3, 6-2 win over world No. 58 Jil Teichmann. Given her wide array of shots, her fast feet and her proactive court positioning, Coco Gauff is our first pick of the 2021 Australian Open to upset a top 10 seed.
Despite possessing a solid service game, Svitolina has not been in the most solid form in 2021 suffering upset quarterfinal losses in both the Abu Dhabi Open and the Gippsland Trophy.
As well as that, Gauff has shown many times in her short career that she is capable of beating the best, having won against Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2019, before defeating both Williams and Naomi Osaka at Melbourne Park last year. Gauff to upset Svitolina in our first top 10 upset of the Australian Open.
Head to Head – Coco Gauff (+155)
Games Spread – Coco Gauff +3.5 (-120)
Sets Handicap – Coco Gauff +1.5 (-160)
Roberto Carballes Baena vs Daniil Medvedev (4) – Not Before 3AM ET Thursday @ John Cain Arena
Fresh off a victory at the ATP Cup final last weekend, Daniil Medvedev brought his strong form into his first round clash at Melbourne Parks.
The No. 4 seed comfortably defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 on Monday to advance to the second round. Medvedev will face world No. 99 Roberto Carballes Baena on Wednesday. Carballes Baena won his first round match in 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 against world No. 94 Attila Balazs.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 9, 2021
Despite his lower ranking, Carballes Baena has beaten the likes of world No. 12 Denis Shapovalov when on his preferred clay court surface, however this match against Medvedev will arguably be the toughest of his career. Given his form coming into the tournament and his performance in the first round, it is impossible to go past Medvedev in this matchup.
Head to Head – Daniil Medvedev (-10000)
Games Spread – Roberto Carballes Baena +10.5 (-113)
Exact Sets- Daniil Medvedev 3-0 (-556)
Michael Mmoh vs Rafael Nadal (2) – From 3AM ET Thursday @ Rod Laver Arena
Despite concerns surrounding an ongoing back issue that he brought into the tournament, Rafael Nadal showed no signs of being hindered in his dominant 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Laslo Djere. The No. 2 seed will face off against world No. 177 Michael Mmoh on Wednesday.
Mmoh is fresh off a marathon five set opening round against world No 202 Viktor Troicki. Despite trailing two sets to one, Mmoh stole the fourth in a tie break and won the fifth set 7-5.
The only inkling that suggested Nadal was not at 100% was that his average first serve speed was down to 176 kmph, however the Spaniard still comfortably cruised to a three set victory and should do the same when coming up against Mmoh, who required five sets (three of which were tiebreaks) to get past the 202nd ranked player in the world.
Head to Head – Rafael Nadal (-10000)
Games Spread – Rafael Nadal -9.5 (-140)
Exact Sets – Rafael Nadal 3-0 (-455)
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.
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