Wed, Jan 17, 10:40am by Staff Writer
The second round of the 2018 Australian Open begins on Wednesday with 32 matches across the men’s and women’s draws.
A number of top seeded players from both draws were eliminated in round one including Jack Sock, John Isner, Kevin Anderson and Venus Williams.
Our best bet of the round for round one won comfortably as Yuichi Sugita cashed at odds of $3.
Conditions for play during round two will be hot, with temperatures expected to reach 39 degrees on Thursday.
Pablo Carreno Busta versus Gilles Simon
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 at 11am AEDST
10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta takes on veteran Gilles Simon in the first match on court three on Wednesday morning.
It’s been a good start to the season for Simon, who won the inaugural ATP 250 Pune title defeating Kevin Anderson in the final.
Carreno Busta has had an indifferent start to the season, losing all three of his matches at an exhibition event in Doha, before picking up two wins at Kooyong.
Simon was steady in his first round defeat of Marius Copil, breaking the Romanian in each set to win in straight sets.
Carreno Busta was in a tussle for the first two sets of his match with wildcard Australian Jason Kubler but was victorious in four sets.
This will be a return oriented match, with Simon favoured and justifiably so.
The last time these two met on hardcourts was at the Shanghai Masters in 2016 and Simon won 6-0 6-3.
We are expecting more of a fight from the number 10 seed this time around, but Simon should be able to cover the meagre 1.5 game handicap.
Best bet- Gilles Simon to cover -1.5 at $1.80
Ivo Karlovic versus Yuichi Sugita
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 at 12.30pm AEDST
Big serving Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic takes on Japanese player Yuichi Sugita in the second match on court eight on Wednesday afternoon.
Sugita delivered in our best bet for round one, beating number 8 seed Jack Sock in four sets.
Sugita was in control for the first two sets, with Sock appearing to be well below his best.
A third set revival from Sock threatened to curtail Sugita’s victory, but he held firm, winning the fourth set 6-3.
Karlovic defeated clay courter Laslo Djere in straight sets which included two tiebreaks on Monday afternoon.
At 38 years old, Karlovic is very much in the twilight of his career, but can still produce results against players the calibre of Sugita.
This will be a match of contrasting styles, with Karlovic enjoying a serve and volley style game, while Sugita is more comfortable at the baseline.
Sugita has traditionally struggled against some of the games ‘big servers’, recently losing 6-2 6-3 to American Sam Querrey and he has also lost to South African Kevin Anderson in the past.
While Sugita was value in round one, the Japanese man cannot be taken as a $1.60 favourite in best of five tennis, whereas Karlovic has proven his ability to win close matches, particularly in tiebreaks.
Best bet- Ivo Karlovic to win at $2.25
Lesia Tsurenko versus Agnieszka Radwanska
Thursday, 18 January 2018 at 11am AEDST
26th seed seed Agnieszka Radwanska takes on world number 43 Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko on Thursday for a spot in the third round of the 2018 Australian Open.
Both Tsurenko and Radwanska have a number of matches under their belt for the 2018 season, with Tsurenko making the semi-final of the Hobart International last week and Radwanska quarter finals of the Sydney International.
A highlight of Tsurenko’s play has been her ball striking and ability to make her opponent hit one more shot, a trait which Radwanska is renowned for.
Tsurenko will be the more aggressive of the two, with an aggressive style of play against the Polish 26th seed proving to be the winning formula this season.
Last week in Sydney, Camila Giorgi was aggressive against Radwanska and was victorious in straight sets.
Unlike first round opponent Kristina Pliskova, Tsurenko’s ground strokes are more accurate and she should test Radwanska on current form.
Best bet- Lesia Tsurenko to win at $2.71
*Odds provided by Sportsbet
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