Who doesn't love a good 7-furlong slugfest between topnotch horses? That's exactly what the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint provides in addition to returning some generous prices such as 2017 winner Bar of Gold's $135.40 payout for every $2 wagered. I'm not sure we can catch that kind of lightening in a bottle this year, but the future bets do look juicy.
2018 Australian Open Quarterfinals Odds, Predictions
Australian Open Fourth Round Recap
The fourth round results in the men’s draw went mostly to script, although very few players have had it easy. Grigor Dimitrov may be the third seed, but he was pushed all the way by local hope Nick Kyrgios, who would have won plenty of new fans with a more mature display. Both players were evenly matched, although in the end, it was the Bulgarian who managed to win in four sets despite needing three tiebreak victories to do so.
Fifth seed Dominic Thiem suffered the upset of the round when he lost in a five-set epic to Tenny Sandgren. The 96th ranked American had already defeated Stanislav Warwinka on his way to the fourth round. Novak Djokovic also suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of South Korea’s Chung Hyeon.
Number one seed Rafael Nadal dropped his first set of the tournament in his clash with Argentine 24th seed Diego Schwartzman, although managed a four-set victory of his own, while British hopeful Kyle Edmund and Marin Cilic won their matches after both dropped the opening set.
World number two Roger Federer was pushed all the way in the first two sets by Marton Fucsovics, although a tiebreak win in the second saw the fight leave the Hungarian and the Swiss maestro progressed once more without losing a set. Tomas Berdych was emphatic in his win over Fabio Fognini, also winning in three.
Over in the women’s draw, our predictions for the fourth round were spot on as Simona Halep and Madison Keys comfortably won their matches in straight sets, both with a scoreline or 6-3, 6-2. A parlay bet on the pair would have yielded you a return of +138, not bad for what was close to a sure thing.
Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki ensured that alongside Simona Halep there will be three of the top four seeded players in the quarters. Another pair of identical results was the result after they cruised to 6-3, 6-0 victories. It proved to be tougher for Belgium’s Elise Mertens and Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, who won their matches 7-6, 7-5 and 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 respectively.
Angelique Kerber took three sets to ensure she remains in the hunt, while Karolina Pliskova also dropped her opening set before winning in the last match of the round.
Men’s Tournament Quarterfinals Picks
The Australian Open quarterfinals will be played on Tuesday, January 23rd and Wednesday, January 24th. We’re now at the stage where every match has the potential to be a classic, and as such the odds on the biggest stars have reduced dramatically. Below we preview all eight matches across the men’s and women’s draws. The top three seeds are in action in the quarters, and it looks pretty likely that they will all progress to the semis. The toughest match to pick will be between Sandgren and Chung, who were both upset winners in the fourth round.Grigor Dimitrov (3) vs Kyle Edmund Dimitrov (-349)
Kyle Edmund continues to be one of the stories of the tournament, especially if you are a fan of British tennis and were thinking of giving it a miss after Andy Murray’s withdrawal. Edmund has exceeded all expectations, although will face a very strong opponent in Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian looked scratchy earlier in the competition, although his win over Australian Novak Djokovic was nothing short of incredible.
It is never easy to get up against the home favourite and he will likely be up against the crowd again as a number of Brits are likely to be in attendance. However we think his performance in the last round was oozing with class, and he will be too strong here.Rafael Nadal (1) vs Marin Cilic (6) Nadal (-490)
Nadal has a 5-1 head to head record against Cilic, who despite being ranked sixth in the world is still just short of being considered one of the best players on tour. Cilic has impressed so far, and his service game remains a strength, however, Nadal is close to being back to his best at present, and we can’t see the Spaniard losing. If you’re looking for value, try the +115 on offer for a Nadal 3-0 victory.Tomas Berdych (19) vs Roger Federer (2) Federer (-667)
Roger Federer is elite, and will once again head into a match as heavy favourite. The world number two hasn’t dropped a set at the Australian Open since he was beaten in the 2016 semi-final, and has his sights set firmly on what could be his twentieth career grand slam. Federer has a 19-6 record over Berdych, and although the Czech star has been strong in his campaign so far, he will be no match for the G.O.A.T. Again, betting on the number of sets required may be your best bet here.Tennys Sandgren vs Chung Hyeon Chung (-590)
Sandgren has only just cracked the world’s top 100 players, yet he has managed to defeat both ninth seed Stan Warwinka and fifth seed Dominic Thiem on his way to the quarters. He will face Hyeon Chung who eliminated him at the Auckland Open recently, and the South Korean is the clear favourite here given his outstanding performances so far
Women’s Tournament Quarter-Finals Picks
With three of the four quarters in the women’s draw featuring the top four players at the tournament, the odds still point to one sided matches. The match of the round though is the Angelique Kerber vs Madison Keys clash, which will be extremely tight. That is definitely a match that could go the distance.Elise Mertens vs Elina Svitolina (4) Svitolina (-387)
Mertens has not dropped a set so far in the tournament, and will bring plenty of confidence into her clash with fourth seed Svitolina. The Belgian will have to lift to another level if she wishes to stay on track against the Ukrainian, who has also been performing well. The pair have only contested once, on clay, with Svitolina coming out on top in straight sets. We are leaning towards Svitolina here, who will continue her push for a first career grand slam title.Carla Suarez Navarro vs Caroline Wozniacki Wozniacki (-197)*
*In straight sets.
Suarez Navarro is one of the crowd favourites at the Aussie Open, and has been impressive in her run so far. Although the semi-finals looks to be ot of reach as she comes up against a red hot Wozniacki in this one. Caroline has been pretty emphatic so far, and we can’t see the veteran Spaniard coming close. She has lost the opening set in her last two matches, and this time we feel she will lose the first two to go out in straight sets.Simona Halep (1) vs Karolina Pliskova (6) Halep (-128)
The world number one made short work of Japanese star Naomi Osaka, and will go into this match against her Czech opponent with plenty of momentum. She will face her toughest test to date against Czech Pliskova, who has survived two matches against compatriots in the last two rounds. We simply cannot see Halep losing at this point given her form.Angelique Kerber (21) vs Madison Keys (17) Kerber (-181)
This is a huge match. Madison Keys is flying the American flag solo in the women’s draw, which is something we’re not used to seeing in an era dominated by Serena Williams. Although ranked above Kerber in the seeds and having not yet dropped a set at the tournament, Keys will have her work cut out against the German, who is of course a former winner at this event.
Kerber did need three sets to win against Hsieh Su-wei, although that is the only time she’s fallen behind in a run that includes a win against Maria Sharapova. She will need to fight hard against a strong Keys, who made the US Open final and the Australian Open semis last year, and we think she can get the job done. The older of the two has a 6-1 record, and we expect it to be 7-1 at the end of this one.
More Betting Tips
Don’t forget that you can also pick the number of sets required for victory in all Australian Open matches, just like we have done in the Wozniacki / Suarez Navarro match. While one of the other top players may not be worthwhile betting on because of their overwhelming superiority and low return potential, taking on the number of sets may be a useful pick.
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