Belinda Bencic v Kateřina Siniakova: Siniakova to win – 11/10
We just can’t understand the Bencic hype train that she has seemed to garner over the past year or so.
Granted she is an ITF queen and has racked up more victories there than Meryl Streep has Oscar nominations, but she has yet to really do anything of significance on the main tour.
We’re not saying Siniakova is a world beater, but she showed some serious potential in the Asian swing back in late September and October. She was also unlucky to lose to a fancied Elise Mertens last week at WTA Sydney.
At 11/10 to win this one, we fancy Siniakova to get the job done.
Marin Cilic v Bernard Tomic: Tomic Game Handicap (+5.5) – 10/11
This match should be a lot closer than most people might expect. Neither man has played competitive tennis in a few months now, but we expect the confident Tomic (who is 11/4 for a victory) to put up a good showing here after winning two events (Mallorca Challenger and ATP Chengdu) back in August and September of last year.
You either hate Tomic or you love him, but when he is on form there is no denying that he is a very talented operator.
Cilic would have likely been hoping for an easier first round draw here as the Aussie fans will likely get behind their man early. We still expect Cilic to see this one home, but fully anticipate Tomic to sneak a set and thus the (+5.5) games at 10/11 looks to have some serious value.
Maria Sakkari v Jeļena Ostapenko: Ostapenko to win – 6/5
We have tried to think of a way to sugar-coat this one, but wesimply cannot. Both these ladies are in putrid form with wins coming few and far apart for them over the past six months.
However, the stats are still there which suggest that Sakkari is a perennial ‘I can’t make it past the third round’ type player, whereas the passionate Ostapenko is a Grand Slam champion and has regularly contended in the biggest events (most recently when she got to the Wimbledon Semi Finals).
So, recent poor results aside, give us the classier player any day. Ostapenko must surely be backed at an astonishing price of 6/5.
* All odds correct at time of posting.