Wed, Jan 18, 3:18pm by Senior Writer
The first-round of the Australian Open has proven a boon for tennis punters who like the longshots, with a run of upsets to kick off the year’s first Grand Slam.
A review of Round 1 results from Monday and Tuesday show that off the 128 matches played, 31 of them were won by the outsider, a somewhat high 24 per cent.
Surprisingly, it was the men’s matches which led the way, with 16 favourites beaten, including No.16 seed Lucas Pouille, who was $1.08 in his match against Russia’s Alexander Bublik.
Bublik was $7 to win the match and did so with relative comfort, wrapping up his place in the second round in four sets. The average price of a men’s first round winner was $1.71.
There were 15 upsets in the 64 women’s matches staged over the first two days with American Shelby Rogers recording the biggest shock, defeating No.4 seed Simona Halep in straight sets at odds of $6.75. Halep was $1.09.
The Romanian is developing a reputation for losing as a short-priced favourite. She lost at $1.22 in a recent tournament at Shenzhen, while her previous three defeats at tour level came at prices of $1.53, $1.14 and $1.55.
The average price of the Round 1 women’s winners was $1.73, slightly longer than the men.
That’s as much due to the volume of extremely short-priced favourites as anything else with 12 men winning at a price of shorter than $1.10 compared with just two for the women.
In terms of seeds, four on the top 32 men departed at the first hurdle, Pouille, Pablo Cuevas (22), Albert Ramos Vinolas (26) and Feliciano Lopez (28).
In comparison, seven of the top 32 women were first round casualties, highlighted by Halep, Roberta Vinci (15) and Sam Stosur (18).
Of the 16 women’s matches scheduled on day 4 (Thursday), only four have favourites which are longer than $1.50, while the men’s second round matches are even more lopsided in terms of the market with just two matches fitting that category.
Among those at a very short price are defending champion Novak Djokovic, who is $1.02 to defeat Denis Istomin, Richard Gasquet, who is $1.03 to defeat Carlos Berlocq and Rafael Nadal, who is $1.07 to beat Marcos Baghdatis.
Thursday Odds – Australian Open – (Sportsbet)
G Muller $4.25 v M Raonic $1.20
G Monfils $1.22 v A Dolgopolov $4.00
D Young $3.32 v P Kohlschreiber $1.30
G Simon $1.06 v R Dutra Silva $7.75
A Zverev $1.17 v F Tiafoe $4.65
M Baghdatis $7.00 v R Nadal $1.07
P Carreno Busta $2.00 v K Edmund $1.75
R Bautista Agut $1.08 v Y Nishioka $7.00
C Berlocq $10.00 v R Gasquet $1.03
R Stepanek $3.70 v D Goffin $1.25
D Thiem $1.25 v J Thompson $3.70
E Escobedo $4.25 v D Ferrer $1.20
B Paire $2.04 v F Fognini $1.72
G Dimitrov $1.14 v H Chung $5.20
I Karlovic $1.28 v A Whittington $3.50
D Istomin $12.00 v N Djokovic $1.02
L Safarova $5.20 v S Williams $1.14
Ka Pliskova $1.04 v A Blinkova 9.50
N Gibbs $1.42 v I Falconi $2.74
N Osaka $5.00 v J Konta $1.15
O Dodin $3.18 v C Garcia $1.33
S Errani $3.31 v E Makarova $1.30
J Ostapenko $1.55 v Y Putintseva $2.35
A Cornet $1.36 v M Sakkari $2.97
D Cibulkova $1.13 v S-W Hsieh $5.40
E Vesnina $1.28 v M Minella $3.45
C Wozniacki $1.11 v D Vekic $5.90
J Brady $2.42 v H Watson $1.52
D Kovinic $2.98 v T Bacsinskzy $1.36
B Strycova $1.50 v A Petkovic $2.47
D Gavrilova $1.78 v A Konjuh $1.96
M Lucic-Baroni $5.20 v A Radwanska $1.14
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