THE locals have made a strong start at the 2018 Australian Open.
Matthew Ebden set the tone on day one with a stunning four-set victory over 16th seed John Isner.
John Millman followed suit, dismantling Croatia’s Borna Coric to the tune of 7-5 6-4 6-1.
Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova drove it home in the evening session with routine wins to ease into the second round.
The only real downer was Sam Stosur, who crashed out after an epic choke against Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.
What twists and turns will the second round serve up?
Best odds for Wednesday’s Australian Open tips come courtesy of CrownBet, which has a $50 cash-back bonus for multi bets that miss out by one leg.
Australian Open multi tips – Day 3
- Ostapenko to beat Duan – -344.83
- Millman to beat Dzumhur – -147.06
- Gavrilova to beat Mertens – -105.26
- Shapovalov to beat Tsonga – +148
Jelena Ostapenko vs. Ying-Ying Duan
Ostapenko (7) – -344.83
Duan – +260
Jelena Ostapenko was the breakout women’s star of 2017, winning the French Open and reaching the third round or better at every other major.
The 20-year-old Latvian has made a slow start to 2018, but she found some touch on Monday with a dominant win over Francesca Schiavone.
Ying-Ying Duan enjoyed an even breezier passage into the second round, dropping only one game against Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino.
Although nothing is ever certain in women’s tennis, the classy Ostapenko should back up the odds and deliver the goods here.
John Millman vs. Damir Dzumhur
Millman – -147.06
Dzumhur (28) – +118
John Millman was among the best in show on day one.
The Queenslander is a much-improved player who has reached the third round at three grand slams in the past two years.
Damir Dzumhur made hard work of the opening round, dropping two sets to the unseeded Paolo Lorenzi before fighting back to win in five.
One could argue that both players have plenty of momentum, but it should be Millman who comes in with the more positive mindset.
Daria Gavrilova vs. Elise Mertens
Gavrilova (23) – -105.26
Mertens – -117.65
Is it possible to be unconvincing in a 6-1 6-1 victory?
There was no evidence of any improvement in Daria Gavrilova’s overhead game as she mopped the floor with Irina Falconi on Monday night.
Now the adopted Aussie faces a much tougher task in Elise Mertens, who followed up her title win in Hobart with a dominant display against Viktoria Kuzmova.
Nevertheless, we are giving the points to Dasha on her preferred surface with the home crowd behind her.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Denis Shapovalov
Tsonga (15) – -185.19
Shapovalov – +148
Despite coming in with zero match practice under his belt, Jo-Willy Tsonga looked like a man in reasonable touch as he brushed past Kevin King in round one.
Now the popular Frenchman has an opportunity to reap revenge on the young upstart who dumped him out of last year’s US Open.
Denis Shapovalov is only 18, but already he has served notice with wins over the likes of Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro.
There is big value in backing the Canadian phenom to upset Tsonga again.
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