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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Steely Swiss ace has a semi-final in sight

Federer has impressed with a run to the last eight

Roger Federer looks as if he means business in Melbourne
1 of 1

Day nine
Eurosport 1 & 2, 8am & midnight

Federer v Zverev
Mischa Zverev registered the biggest win of his career by toppling Andy Murray in the fourth round and is capable of causing problems for Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

Murray had no answer to the Moscow-born German, who is playing a bold, net-rushing style rarely seen in modern-day tennis.

Victory will have done wonders for Zverev’s confidence and he looks a more dangerous opponent to Federer than the match odds suggest.

Federer has lost none of his hunger despite a six-month layoff with a knee injury and has impressed with a run to the last eight. He faced a major test of his credentials against fifth seed Kei Nishikori in the last 16, demonstrating excellent fitness to prevail in five sets.

However, that match is likely to have taken something out of the 35-year-old’s legs and if he is unable to play at the same intensity he may give Zverev a chance to spring another surprise.

Zverev has some mental baggage to overcome having lost 6-0 6-0 to Federer on the grass courts at Halle in 2013 but is likely to be much more competitive this time and looks a value 13-10 shot to win at least one set.

Recommendation
M Zverev to win a set
1pt 13-10 Ladbrokes


Wawrinka v Tsonga

There have been fewer shocks in the second quarter of the draw where fourth seed, and 2014 champion, Stan Wawrinka looks set to continue his progress by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Wawrinka is one of the fittest players on tour and often improves the longer he stays in a tournament.

He looked unconvincing in a five-set first-round victory over Martin Klizan but has dropped just one set since and is through to the quarter-finals for the third time in four years.

The Swiss ace has won his last three meetings with Tsonga including four-set successes in the 2014 Davis Cup final and the 2015 French Open semi-finals.

Those victories on the biggest stages augur well for his chances today and should give him plenty of belief. It could also play on the mind of Tsonga, who has not reached a Grand Slam final since Melbourne 2008.

Tsonga can be a dangerous player when he hits the lines but he lacks Wawrinka’s control from the baseline and is likely to come up just short.

Recommendation
S Wawrinka
2pts 4-7 general


V Williams v Pavlyuchenkova

Venus Williams has not dropped a set on her way to reaching the quarter-finals and looks a solid bet to go a step further by beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Despite turning 36 last year, Williams is still going strong and has a three to two head-to-head lead over her Russian opponent. She crucially also has a wealth of experience of how to deal with big matches in the second week of Grand Slams.

Pavlyuchenkova is playing well and came through 6-3 6-3 against vastly experienced compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round. But she has never played in a quarter-final at the Australian Open and may not handle the occasion as well as her opponent.

Recommendation
V Williams
1pt 10-11 general


Vandeweghe v Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza had an up and down 2016 but has not dropped a set in her four matches in Melbourne and can continue her impressive results against big-hitting Coco Vanderweghe.

The world number seven is 8-15 to win the match but looks a more attractive proposition at 5-4 to progress in two sets.

Vandeweghe is dangerous player and will be feeling confident after her win over an out-of-sorts Angelique Kerber.

She has beaten Muguruza twice on grass courts but lost 7-6 6-2 to the Spanish player on a hard court at Cincinnati last year and today’s outcome could be similar.

Recommendation
G Muguruza to win 2-0
1pt 5-4 BoyleSports

Tsonga can be a dangerous player when he hits the lines but he lacks Wawrinka’s control from the baseline and is likely to come up just shor
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