Tennis Tips: 3 punchy picks from Paddy’s trader for Thursday at the Australian Open

Paddy's traders are burning the midnight oil this month as they keep a firm eye on all the action from Melbourne - and Liam O'Keeffe has picked his 3 best bets for Wednesday.


*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

Frances Tiafoe v Taylor Fritz – Frances Tiafoe to win

  • Estimated start time: From 2am Thursday

Frances Tiafoe is an attractive proposition against his compatriot. Last time they played was under similar conditions in the Paris Masters where Tiafoe went off favourite when he was considerably lower in the rankings.

His form is slightly worrying in recent weeks but I am willing to forgive losses to the capable Tommy Paul and Thanasi Kokkinakis, who is a far better player than his ranking suggests and went on to win his first ATP event last week.

Both players went on their own run for an ATP title at the end of last year reaching finals in October. Arguably, Tiafoe’s run in Vienna was far more eye-catching knocking out some big names on his way to a runner-up finish. Either way, both players seem to be in good nick and I think this will be a hotly contested tie, where the value lies with Frances Tiafoe to Win.

Alize Cornet v Garbine Muguruza – Alize Cornet to win

  • Estimated start time: From midnight Thursday

I’m not sure if you were Garbine Muguruza you’d enjoy seeing a plucky player like Alize Cornet, who is one of the few players she does not have a winning record against at WTA level, awaiting you in Round 2.

Muguruza was no doubt in fine fettle winning in Guadalajara at the end of last season but a surprise straight-set loss to Daria Kasatkina at the Sydney International last week highlights she could be ripe for another upset.

Undoubtedly Muguruza will have to be off her game to lose this one but Cornet would certainly be the type to pounce if so. She had no problem dismissing the Spaniard in Berlin last year in their last meeting, even when push came to shove in a final set tie-break. I think it’s worth a small investment for a repeat of the same at a similar price again.

Anett Kontaveit v Clara Tauson – Clara Tauson to win

  • Estimated start time: From midnight Thursday

This is an intriguing matchup between one of the hottest on tour in Anett Kontaveit and one of the most highly-rated teenagers to come through recently in Clara Tauson.

When you think of a well-touted sensation Emma Raducanu tends to spring to mind, and truth be told Tauson has a lot to do to even be mentioned in comparison. It probably went unnoticed due to all that happened in the weeks after, but just before Raducanu’s historic US Open run she made a run at the WTA Chicago Challenger, going all the way to the final only to be beaten by… Tauson.

Tauson then went on to win another WTA title in Luxembourg in the following weeks before contesting another final before the year was out. While Kontaveit had a ridiculously good run at the end of last year herself, she was a little underwhelming in the slams going no further than the third round.

I think Tauson has shown enough that she can hang with the world’s best and will be considered as such herself pretty soon. I am willing to take a chance she might announce herself here by knocking the sixth seed to make it yet another early exit for Kontaveit in a Grand Slam.

Australian Open tips

Thursday’s trader tips

Frances Tiafoe v Taylor Fritz – Frances Tiafoe to win
Alize Cornet v Garbine Muguruza – Alize Cornet to win
Anett Kontaveit v Clara Tauson – Clara Tauson to win

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What do you think?