It wasn’t the best of starts in Melbourne on Monday morning, as Lleyton Hewitt was unable to get past Janko Tipsarevic. The veteran Aussie lost the first set on a breaker and when Rusty went a double break ahead in the second set it looked like we could have had a classic on our hands. But Tipsy produced some great tennis and was able to turn things around as Hewitt failed with his serving.
Tonight’s men’s schedule at Melbourne Park features Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro and the unbeatable (according to him) Bernard Tomic.
There are at least a couple of dodgy-looking odds-on shots tonight: I’m thinking Florian Mayer and Marin Cilic are worth opposing at around 1.20 apiece. Rhyne Williams, who plays Mayer, is here for the first time, so given that he may be nervous I’d rather concentrate on the Cilic v Marinko Matosevic match. The bet that stands out to me is the 2.05 on offer about the over 37.5 games.
This pair had a real battle in New York last season, when Cilic had to come from two sets behind to grab the win. The lack of much subtlety in the Croat’s game will suit Matosevic, who likes a rhythm to work with and will get that from Cilic.
Matosevic has been a little unlucky with his opponents so far this season, with the variety of Tomic and Nishikori proving too much for him to handle. But unless Bob Brett has a serious word in Cilic’s ear pre-match, his usual game is perfect for the Aussie.
Cilic hasn’t had the best preparation for this, as his sole warm-up tournament in Chennai ended in defeat in his second match against Benoit Paire. In his last eight matches Cilic has won just one in straight sets, which is what he’ll need to do tonight if this match is to end in under 37.5 games.
Best bet: Back over 37.5 games in Cilic vs Matosevic at 2.05