In what’s sure to be one of the matches of the day on the women’s top half we have two players who have been in scintillating form in their opening rounds here in Melbourne. Surprisingly this is the first time these players have faced each other, Alexandrova is on the best run out of any of the women coming into the opening slam of the year and currently on a 10 match win streak whereas the Czech lost in the semi-finals of Brisbane which was her warm up tournament earlier this year.
Kvitova has the experience on her opponent with having won two grand slams previously and making the final here last year when losing a very tight match against Naomi Osaka. With both players in great form I see neither budging and am taken by the idea of both players winning a set here. This is currently available at 11/8.
With my opening tip on Schwartzman, the pocket rocket, winning I’m going to have to support him here again whilst he’s in this form. He has won both his matches here in straight sets with nobody even getting past 5 games in a set which is mighty impressive considering Djokovic, the tournament’s heavy favourite has dropped one already.
Schwartzman is the type of player who wants to win every point regardless of the score. The Argentine has won their only encounter on hard court and I would be shocked if he doesn’t extend this lead on Friday. It has to be said that Lajovic is in good form having recent wins in the ATP Cup over Auger Aliassime and Khachanov but these wins were mixed in with some suspect losses to Jarry, Paire and Harris. I struggle to see Schwartzman losing more than one set and I see value in the 8/11.
A mouth-watering third round clash between next gen superstar Stefanos Tsitsipas, who this time last year knocked out a man by the name of Roger Federer, and big serving Canadian Milos Raonic. The Greek had an easy opening round versus non seeded Italian Salvatore Caruso in straight sets, his second round opponent failed to show so he has had a nice break going into Friday’s clash.
Raonic had a truly poor year last year but has opened his 2020 grand slam season in some style, not dropping a set in either of his first two matches here in Australia. Like Alexandrova v Kvitova, these two have not previously met so there is no history between the pair, Raonic’s big serving game means that there are bound to a lot of service holds but I just can’t see Milos troubling the young gun in the middle to latter stages of the match, so it’s Tsitsipas with the -1.5 set handicap for me.