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January 23, 2019

Although it wasn't the worst day of 2018 or 2019, I think I can classify yesterday as one of the more frustrating days. It ended 1-3, but felt as though 2 of the 3 losses put themselves in pretty good situations. RBA led by a break in that third set, before a massive momentum swing from Tsitsipas, winning the last 4 games of the third set and never being troubled in set 4. Ofner also led by an early break in Burnie, before Purcell dominated from late in set one onwards.

Onto today, where there isn't a lot that stands out in my opinion, so it is a reduced volume day for mine. I will be back later with some further Challenger Plays once odds become available, however just wanted to get these plays out now.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Good Luck Today,


Twitter: @Ace_Previews
2.5 Unit Bet
Djokovic -7.5 game handicap vs Nishikori at $1.97 (-103 or 97/100) at Topsport - ATP Australian Open***

2 Unit Bet
Serdarusic to defeat Villanueva at $1.61 (-164 or 61/100) at Bet365 - ATP Challenger Punta del Esta

Williams -3.5 games handicap vs Pliskova at $1.84 (-119 or 21/25) at Topsport - WTA Australian Open***

Note: Odds in brackets provided in all styles worldwide at request of subscribers.
*** denotes selections that will be posted on The Hub at Betfair

ATP Challenger Punta del Este

Villanueva vs Serdarusic (Approx 02:00am AEDST)

Small staking on a short price, however I do feel that Serdarusic is still a value price today. The ITF guys who have made it through qualifying haven't exactly set the world on fire yet this year, and when you consider the claycourt form of Serdarusic in 2018, it is hard to not have a little nibble at the price on offer.

Look for Serdarusic to be too strong in this one.

Suggested Bet:

2 units Serdarusic to defeat Villanueva at $1.61 at Bet365

ATP Australian Open

Djokovic vs Nishikori (Approx 07:30pm AEDST)

We saw Roberto Bautista Agut run out of legs yesterday against Tsitsipas, so it does beg the question: how on earth is Nishikori going to get through tonight's match?

Something that is really important for a player such as Nishikori is the ability to get on and off court quickly in the early stages of a Grand Slam, in an attempt to conserve energy when he comes up against the tournament favourites. Instead, Nishikori found himself down 2 sets to 0 in round 1 to Majchzrak, and since then has found himself in two final set tiebreaks (vs Karlovic and Carreno Busta). All in all, Kei has done the opposite of what is recommended, and after over 5 hours on court Monday night against Carreno Busta, you have to wonder what is left in the tank for today.

These two met at the US Open last year, with Novak winning 6-3 6-4 6-2 whilst converting only 4 of 17 break point opportunities. That day, Nishikori was again coming off a 5 set match against Cilic, and again looked to be just a touch off his game. Everything needs to be running smoothly and Nishikori needs to be at 100% to be any chance (see US Open 2014).

Kei is a confidence player, and I don't think losing the last 15 sets on hardcourt is going to fill him with a lot of confidence. I am happy to make a play on the -7.5 games for today. For perspective, Novak covered this handicap in a 4 set win at Wimbledon last year whilst dropping a set 6-3.

Novak was grabbing at his hip/thigh after a fall on Monday against Medvedev, however it is hard to read anything into this one, as Novak does have a bit of a history of putting on a bit more of a show than necessary. He looked okay after the fall, so I wouldn't read too much into the whole thing.

Look for Novak to cover the -7.5 game handicap on the way to the semi final.

Suggested Bet:

2.5 units Djokovic -7.5 game handicap vs Nishikori at $1.97 at Topsport

WTA Australian Open

Williams vs Pliskova (Approx 01:00pm AEDST)

In a similar fashion to their match at the US Open, I get the feeling Serena is going to cover the handicap again in this one.

You watch Serena over the last couple of years and there has this feeling at times where she is absolutely cruising in some matches, as she knows she has enough in the tank to just flick a switch and effectively end the match whenever she feels it is appropriate. She doesn't seem to cruise against Pliskova, and I think it has something to do with Pliskova's win over Serena at the 2016 US Open Semi Finals.

I don't think the speed and weight of shot is going to worry Serena today. After all, Serena and her team have recently adjusted her training plan to hit against some of the bigger hitting players on the men's tour. Players such as Grigor Dimitrov and Chris Eubanks have shared the practice court with Serena in a bid to keep Williams challenged and always improving at practice. Considering that, I don't see today being a big issue for Serena from a match-up perspective.

On current form, I don't think that Pliskova has enough variety in her game to be particularly challenging for Serena in her current form. Whilst Pliskova has come into the net quite a bit in the first few rounds, it would be another thing entirely to come in with such confidence against Serena. Serena's ability to re-direct balls at pace is underrated, and will become a key area of interest in this one. Pliskova will need to go for the lines here, because hitting back to Serena at pace will lead to many shots flying back past her into the open court. Whilst the 3 unforced against Muguruza was impressive, the Spaniard wasn't moving particularly well (struggled physically even though it wasn't a hot day), and Pliskova could play well within her limits and still get the job done well.

Happy to make a 2 unit selection on Serena to cover the -3.5 game handicap on her way to the semi finals.

Suggested Bet:

2 units Williams -3.5 games handicap vs Pliskova at $1.84 at Topsport

ATP Challenger Burnie

Sela vs Majchrzak (Approx 12:00pm AEDST)

Whilst not strong enough to make a play, I am very intrigued by the price on offer for Sela today against Majchrzak, who is coming off his 5th set retirement to Nishikori last week in the heat. Sela was very impressive yesterday in sets 2 and 3, and if back to near his best, should really trouble Majchrzak in my opinion.

No Play
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