IT has taken only a week for the local hopes to crash out of the 2018 Australian Open.
Ashleigh Barty fell to Japan’s Naomi Osaka in straight sets on Saturday, while Nick Kyrgios finished on the wrong side of three tiebreaks in a thrilling four-setter against Grigor Dimitrov.
Now, as ever, we enter the last eight wondering which of the overseas stars will come up trumps.
Top odds for Tuesday’s quarter-final clashes come via Sportsbet, which is offering early payouts on all matches in the men’s singles draw.
Australian Open multi odds – Tuesday, January 23
- Wozniacki to win – $1.18
- Svitolina to win – $1.36
- Nadal to win – $1.25
- Dimitrov to win – $1.32
Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Caroline Wozniacki
Suarez Navarro – +400
Wozniacki – -555.56
This is the first time since 2012 that Wozniacki has made it to the last eight at Melbourne Park.
The Dane had to conjure something special to overcome the unseeded Jana Fett in round two, but she has backed it up with impressive wins over Kiki Bertens and the dangerous Magdalena Rybarikova.
Her next opponent is no stranger to hard work.
Suarez Navarro comes into her third Australian Open quarter-final on the back of consecutive three-setters against Timea Babos, Kaia Kanepi and Anett Kontaveit.
That workload will count against the Spaniard, as will a 0-5 conversion rate in grand slam quarters and a 0-3 record against Wozniacki on hard courts.
Top tip: Wozniacki -5.5 games handicap (+100 at Sportsbet)
Elise Mertens vs. Elina Svitolina
Mertens – +290
Svitolina – -384.62
Mertens has well and truly announced herself as a rising star of women’s tennis.
The young Belgian’s sweet ballstriking and surprising maturity has seen her through four rounds without dropping a single set.
Can she keep it up against one of the hottest players on the planet?
Svitolina has conceded only 10 games in total since losing the opening set of her second-round clash with Katerina Siniakova.
No wonder she holds the second line of Sportsbet’s title market at +350.
The Ukrainian is a class above anything Mertens has faced so far, and we think that will show.
Top tip: Over 20.5 total games (-111.11 at Sportsbet)
Rafael Nadal vs. Marin Cilic
Nadal – -400
Cilic – +315
This is an interesting matchup between two very good, very different players.
Nadal looks hellbent on winning the Australian Open title that Roger Federer denied him last year.
All parts of the Spaniard’s game were in fine shape as he negotiated the tricky Diego Schwartzman on Sunday afternoon.
Cilic is enjoying his best campaign at Melbourne Park since 2010, when he reached the semi-finals.
The Croat boasts one of the biggest serves on tour, but will his temperamental ground game hold up against one of the all-time greats?
Rafa all the way.
Top tip: Cilic to win no sets (+110 at Sportsbet)
Grigor Dimitrov vs. Kyle Edmund
Dimitrov – -312.5
Edmund – +243
Dimitrov answered his critics with a superb shot-making performance to edge out Kyrgios on Sunday night.
All aspects of the third seed’s game showed vast improvement on what he dished up in the early rounds.
The second serve and the backhand are works in progress, however, and you can bet Edmund will look to exploit those holes.
The emerging Brit is in the midst of a career-best run at the grand slams and is shaping as one of the big movers on the men’s circuit in 2018.
He has taken sets off Dimitrov in each of their previous two meetings, but the Bulgarian will be hard to beat now that he has found his rhythm.
Top tip: 3-1 Dimitrov (+250 at Sportsbet)
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