Day two of the Australian Open in Melbourne features Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray, who all play their opening matches overnight tonight.
Monday’s bets went only one from three, with Juan Monaco easily landing the +2.5 sets bet against Ernests Gulbis, who began like an amateur, while Di Wu didn’t take his chances in a tight one against Kenny De Schepper. I was surprised that Alex Dolgopolov got things done in three against Ricardas Berankis.
Bradley Klahn vs Grigor Dimitrov (starts around 00.05 GMT)
Out on Court 19 is the much-touted Dimitrov faces what will surely be a tougher match than the odds suggest against improving American lefty Klahn.
Similarly to Gulbis yesterday Dimitrov’s record is so poor at Grand Slams that he’s worth taking on against a confident opponent who I fancy to at least extend the Bulgarian to four sets.
Despite Grigor’s array of shots, he’s only once been past the second round of a slam and losses to Grega Zemlja, Joao Sousa and Julien Benneteau in majors last year tell a tale, as does the fact that he’s won just two matches here in Melbourne in his career.
Linking up with renowned taskmaster Roger Rasheed and presumably being made to work hard in the off season could help him to improve his performance at slams, but it hasn’t happened yet and he's lost three of his four matches so far in 2014. The over 34.5 total games at 1.83 looks a bet here.
Federer couldn’t have a much gentler opener than young Aussie James Duckworth, who doesn’t have anywhere near enough game to trouble the Swiss, while Andy Murray should also be comfortable in victory against Go Soeda unless his back plays up again.
The weather though could play a big part in proceedings today, with the temperature set to hit the 40C mark, which, having been there myself when it’s that hot, is painful to watch tennis in let alone play.
Again, there are plenty of unbackable favourites today who should win easily, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a cert at 1.02 against the hapless Filippo Volandri, who’s here for the $30,000 first round losers cheque, as is Daniel Gimeno-Traver against Milos Raonic.
Peter Gojowczyk vs Victor Hanescu (starts around 00.05 GMT)
The man in form at the moment on the ATP Tour is 24-year-old German Gojowczyk, who made it all the way to the semi finals in Doha as a qualifier and wasn’t far away from beating Rafa Nadal after leading in that match.
Peter is heading towards the top-100 easily on current form and he didn’t drop a set in qualifying in three convincing performances, so he comes here with supreme confidence and looks good to continue here against Hanescu.
The gentle giant Romanian has a shocking record in Melbourne and in majors generally, with no wins in a completed match at a slam since Wimbledon 2011.
In Melbourne Hanescu has lost in the first round seven times and he hasn’t won match at the Australian Open since 2010 when he beat Juan Ignacio Chela. Some of them have been real beatings and he was thrashed by Tobias Kamke here in 2011 and by Dudi Sela two years earlier.
The world number 76 hasn’t won a match at a hard court slam since 2010 and for a big man he doesn’t get enough from his serve to be much of a threat on hard courts these days. Gojowczyk will certainly be the hungrier of the two and I can see Hanescu fading in the heat if he starts poorly, which leads me to the minus 3.5 games on Gojowczyk at 1.98.
The 8am UK time clash between Rafa Nadal and Bernard Tomic should be a win for Rafa, but Tomic may have his moments and if so I would expect them to be early and the over 9.5 games in set one at 1.75 looks the best bet in that one before the heat exposes Tomic’s poor conditioning. A night match is certainly welcome from the Tomic point of view, but it will still be warm.
Back over 34.5 games in Dimitrov vs Klahn at 1.83
Back Gojowczyk –3.5 games to beat Hanescu at 1.98
Read more from Unibet columnist Sean Calvert.