THE first two men’s singles quarter-finals are set for Tuesday at the 2020 Australian Open and Sean Calvert is back with his betting preview.

It was one very nice 3.40 winner – albeit a very tight one – and a loss on Monday in Melbourne when Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal played out two tie breaks, but Daniil Medvedev failed to convert a 2-1 lead over Stan Wawrinka into a 3-1 win.

A nervy attempt at serving out the match from Nadal allowed us to grab the win on the tie breaks bet (and anyone who took the 3-1 to Nadal instead would also have done well), but Medvedev’s fitness let him down against Wawrinka.

I said at the start of the tournament that we’d have to wait and see if Medvedev was able to handle the tough conditions here and they were far from tough, but still he was unable to manage his fitness over the full five sets.

On to Tuesday’s play, then, and we’re expecting another cool day at 21C in the shade, with some wind around, but not too strong at around 18kph at its windiest.

At around 08:00 UK time on Rod Laver will be defending champion Novak Djokovic taking on a resurgent Milos Raonic.

Djokovic is 45-4 win/loss in Grand Slam matches played when he was priced up between 1.10 and 1.19 and 22-2 on hard courts only, so he loses about once every 11 times.

The last time that Djokovic lost a major hard court quarter final was here in 2014 to Wawrinka as a 1.14 chance and the Serb doesn’t lose very often at a major to any of the big servers in my database.

With a more effective first serve to call upon now, as well as the great return game, it’s hard to see Raonic improving upon his previous efforts against this opponent unless he has an even better day than he did against Cilic from the service line.

I agree with the layers’ assessment of this one, so no bet here.

Roger Federer v Tennys Sandgren

But there could perhaps be a possible opportunity for a small wager in the other quarter final between Roger Federer and Tennys Sandgren, with Federer switching to a day match from two matches.

It’s never easy to make that adjustment and as Fed has never faced Sandgren before I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a little bit of a slow start from the Swiss, who may also be feeling it a bit physically now.

That said, Sandgren is also hardly in the best of shape after a few battles himself this week and he had an MTO for a hip problem (“it feels like it’s stuck,” he said) on top of a lot of strapping on the left knee – but he’s not 38-and-a-half years old though.

I’d expect Sandgren to come out firing here, trying to take the game to Federer, and if we look at his career stats now in the main draw of the Australian Open they’re very similar to Fed’s career serve stats here (although over a much smaller sample size of course).

In his 10 matches here, Sandgren has held serve 90% of the time (same as Fed) and won 77% of his first serve points (Fed 78%), winning 69% of his service points (Federer 71%).

And you can’t say he’s had the benefit of playing weak opposition in early rounds either: Fognini, Querrey, Berrettini, Thiem, Wawrinka, Chardy, Nishioka, Marterer and Chung (with only Trungelliti as a comfortable one) have been the opposition.

He’s been betting underdog in seven of his eight wins and I can’t see him lying down and just letting Federer do what he wants over the other side of the net.

Fed’s extra quality will probably win the day, but if Millman and Fucsovics can go a set up (and in Millman’s case almost grab the win) I see no reason why Sandgren (unless he’s injured) can’t make it at least competitive for a while.

Aussie player Matt Ebden – who should be well placed to judge – tweeted about the slow conditions on Monday:

Insane how slow the balls and courts are @AustralianOpen this year. Slowest it's ever been? Slowest grand slam there is now?

He went on to say in that thread that Federer was swinging before the ball even got to him in his last night match and while Fed will be happy to have a day match it’s still much slower than ideal for the Swiss veteran, who’s had to play several more shots than in previous years here to win points.

A couple of wagers appeal here, although not massively by any means, and they’re the over 32.5 games at 1.90 and the over 12.5 games in set one at 5.30.

For small stakes I’m happy to take a punt on the switch of match times from night to day and slightly quicker conditions, plus an unknown opponent may result in a set one tie break at a decent price, but it doesn’t look a great day for value seekers.

Best Bet

  • 0.5 points win over 12.5 games in set one of Federer v Sandgren
  • (5,30, Unibet)
  1. Ad 9 months ago

    Nadal V Thiem

    -over 38.5 games @ 22/25
    Thiem + 1.5 sets @ 57/50

    Wawrinka + 3.5/ Thiem + 5.5 double

  2. Ad 9 months ago

    Thiem and Wawrinka both to win over 1.5 sets
    3/1 Ladbrokes

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