Tennis Tips: Our trader’s 3 best bets for the Australian Open on Saturday

Paddy's ace tennis trader Ronan Lawler serves up his 3 best bets at the Australian Open on Saturday.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

1.30am: Ruud v Albot – Albot (+5.5 games)

I think Radu Albot will be more at home on this hard court than his opponent, the Norwegian Casper Ruud, who is much more effective on clay than any other surface. Ruud made short work of Jordan Thompson (retired) in the first round and grinded out a four-set win over the impressive American Tommy Paul in the 2nd round.

Albot defied the odds with a stunning upset of Bautista Agut in the first round, and breezed past wildcard Christopher O’Connell last round. I actually like Albot to win this match, as I think it is much more of a toss-up than the prices suggest.

However, it is probably the better play to take the +5.5 games with the Moldovan, which seems quite generous. This is the first time either man has made it to the 3rd round Down Under and there doesn’t figure to be more pressure on one or the other, and it may pay to side with the more experienced.

1.30am: Harris v McDonald – Harris (-1.5 sets)

Lloyd Harris has played nine sets already to get to this point but there’s a chance this has readied him for another challenge more than drained his energy. He defeated lucky loser Mikael Torpegaard comfortably after dropping the first set in Round 1 and dispatched wildcard Alexei Popyrin in five sets last time out.

Mackenzie McDonald won both his matches so far in four sets, firstly against plucky Italian Marco Cecchinato and then an impressive victory over seeded Borna Coric in Round 2. This is another battle between two opponents who are each making their first appearance in the 3rd round at the Australian Open.

Mackenzie McDonald

Harris seems to be quite a decent price to win the match, but I think he wins quite comfortably here at (-1.5) on the Set Handicap, and don’t think he drops more than one set to the American, who has spent the majority of his playing days to date on the Challenger circuit. I think the South African is simply a more complete player than McDonald and he’ll show it to progress to the last 16 of a Slam for the first time.

8am: Kontaveit v Rogers – Kontaveit (-2.5 games)

I can’t see how Anett Kontaveit loses this match, so the price seems generous for her to win. However, I’ll look for a small bit more value in the games handicap market, as I think Shelby Rogers is well outmatched here. The Estonian Kontaveit made the quarter finals here last year and looks in pursuit of matching that progress again this time around. She took care of Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Round 1 with ease and then came out on top against Heather Watson after dropping a first set tiebreak.

In stark contrast to these two stern tests for the world number 23, the American Rogers has had two easy wins against qualifiers in her first two rounds, and I think this is where her luck runs out. Essentially, Kontaveit is the classier operator here who enjoys all surfaces. She already made a final (which wasn’t played) in her tune-up for this tournament, at WTA Grampians. Undefeated so far in this Australian summer, expect Kontaveit to keep rolling (-2.5 games) against the 35-year old Rogers.

Tips for Saturday at the Aussie Open

1.30am: Ruud v Albot – Albot (+5.5 games)
1.30am: Harris v McDonald – Harris (-1.5 sets)
8am: Kontaveit v Rogers – Kontaveit (-2.5 games)

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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