Borna Coric should deal with the threat posed by Millman
Dzumhur can expose Lorenzi weaknesses on hard courts
Eurosport, midnight Sunday
Millman v Coric
John Millman is seldom an easy opponent to silence, particularly in his home Grand Slam, but classy operator Borna Coric should now have enough experience to be able to deal with the Australian on day one at Melbourne Park.
Coric, at 47th ranked 80 spots higher in the ATP chart than his opponent, remains one of the best young players on the men’s tour and while Millman will bring plenty of huff and puff to the court, it should not prevent his opponent claiming an opening victory.
Coric has matured well as a performer and the Croat possesses a lot more self-belief than he would have done in his previous Australian Opens.
Bookmakers are aware of the threat that Millman poses, but the younger man is favourite for a reason and he should be able to stamp his supremacy on the clash early on.
Millman will hope to pinch one of the first two sets but Coric may not let him and a quick triumph is a definite possibility. Coric is 7-2 to win 3-0 and punters can consider taking those odds.
B Coric to beat J Millman
2pts 3-4 Betfair, 188Bet
Lorenzi v Dzumhur
Paolo Lorenzi has enjoyed a fine couple of seasons and deserves much credit for maximising his potential, but the seasoned Italian could be vulnerable on a hard court against a player of Damir Dzumhur’s ability.
The Bosnian had the best campaign of his career in 2017 and that has earned him a seeding in the opening Grand Slam of the year.
He will be keen to justify that honour and while Lorenzi will battle manfully on the fast courts, it will be disappointing if the younger man cannot find a way to triumph.
D Dzumhur to beat P Lorenzi
1pt 3-4 BetBright, Betfair, 188Bet
Niculescu v Barthel
Monica Niculescu is a warm favourite to defeat Mona Barthel, but the German is such a talented player that she could offer a spot of value.
Punters should not be deterred from backing the outsider to post an upset, but a safer way to bet on the clash could be to back Barthel to win at least a set.
She’s 8-11 to do so and that price is difficult to quibble with.
Niculescu tends to hit peak form once or twice in a season, but Barthel is potentially a superior performer to the Romanian.
Disappointingly it has not happened yet for Barthel in the Grand Slams, but her best years may well lie ahead and punters should keep faith in her.
M Barthel to win at least a set v M Niculescu
1pt 8-11 Betway, Hills
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