The 2013 Australian Open begins in Melbourne tonight with the opening matches in the men’s and women’s singles. On the women’s side the likes of Maria Sharapova, Sam Stosur, Angelique Kerber, Aga Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Na Li, Venus Williams and Dominka Cibulkova begin their campaigns on day one.
Of those it’s always risky backing Stosur at 1.27 in Australia, where she suffers terribly from nerves and I wouldn’t imagine that Cibulkova is brimming with confidence either after taking a double bagel drubbing from Radwanska in her most recent match.
There aren’t really many outstanding prices that catch my eye on day one at Melbourne Park, so I think it’s the sort of day where an accumulator bet is the way forward. The three that I like in a treble are Madison Keys, Ekaterina Makarova and Kirsten Flipkens.
The treble pays around 1.78 and I can’t see any of the three losing to opposition as weak as Casey Dellaqua, Michelle Larcher de Brito and Nina Bratchikova.
Keys is in superb form right now and although she lacks experience, her confidence is such that she might well take some stopping this fortnight after a recent run that has seen her demolish some very good opposition.
The likes of Lucie Safarova and Jie Zheng were dismissed in straight sets by the 17-year-old last week in Sydney and Na Li had to pull out all the stops to halt Keys’s run in their quarter-final. This leads me to believe that a fairly comfortable win should be on the cards against the limited Dellaqua.
Similarly, Larcher de Brito should be no match for Makarova - except in the shrieking stakes - with the lefty Russian showing decent touch in a narrow loss to a then in-form Cibulkova in Sydney. The Portugueseisn’t up to this level and it should show tonight.
Finally, Flipkens has been in excellent form of late and it would be some shock if Bratchikova was able to challenge the Belgian for long in their match tonight. The improving Flipkens has shown what she’s capable of since overcoming injury problems and she’s surely too strong for the likes of Bratchikova.
Back Flipkens, Keys and Makarova in a treble at 1.78