2018 Australian Open Men's Final Odds, Prediction
Australian Open Semifinals Recap
Marin Cilic (6) defeated Kyle Edmund 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
Kyle Edmund's impressive run at the Australian Open came to an abrupt end against a determined Marin Cilic. The British outsider started his tournament by knocking out 11th seed Kevin Anderson, before a series of positive results was capped off with a huge upset win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. At just 23 years of age, he has a bright future and is certainly going to be one to watch, particularly for Britons if Andy Murray's injuries continue.
Ironically, it was an injury to Edmund that hampered his progress in this match, and a medical time-out taken at the end of the first set did not seem to help a clearly restricted young man. It made for a disappointing match overall, especially considering the fact that Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov and local favourite Nick Kyrgios were all in this side of the draw.
Still, Cilic was far too good and his experience of converting two prior grand slam semi finals was vital in a steady performance. His service game, as always, was near unplayable and he certainly lifted for this match. At one stage, he was winning 91% of the points when his first serve landed, which is going to cause problems for even great players like Roger Federer.
Roger Federer (2) defeated Chung Hyeon 6-1, 5-2 (ret)
Federer continued his march to an unprecedented twentieth grand slam title in a walkover win against South Korean Chung. After winning the first set 6-1 and cruising to 5-2 in the second, it was clear that his opponent was hampered by an injury, which was later revealed to be severe blisters. It means that Federer enters the 2018 final without dropping a set, and he will enter as heavy favourite.
As the first South Korean to make a grand slam semi final, you have to feel for Chung, who was obviously unable to put in the type of display that saw him make it this far in the first place. We were robbed of what could have been a classic semi-final between the greatest player of all time and a player that resembles a young Djokovic in terms of playing style.
The Swiss maestro now has the opportunity to equal his incredible performance at Wimbledon last year. Due to the retirement of first round opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second set, Federer achieved what few before him have done and won a grand slam in less than twenty completed sets. If he is able to beat Marin Cilic in three it will be the second time in seven months that he goes perfect through a major. Incredible.
2018 Australian Open Final Prediction
The 2018 Australian Open Men's final between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic will start at 8:30am GMT, Sunday January 28th. Federer will start as the clear favourite, but will be wary of his Croatian opponent's tremendous serve. Cilic has won one grand slam, so he is certainly capable, but compared to Federer's nineteen his record looks rather lame. Below we take a look at each player's run to the final, followed by their head to head analysis and our match prediction.
Roger Federer (2)
Federer has made no secret of his attempts to win more majors by reducing his schedule, and it appears to be paying dividends. The veteran won last year's Australian Open despite needing five sets against compatriot Stan Warwinka and world number one Rafael Nadal in the semi-final and final respectively, before resting for the entire clay court season and coming back to win yet another Wimbledon title.
Although unsuccessful at the US Open, Federer finished off 2017 with wins at both the Shanghai Masters and Swiss Indoors. He exited the ATP World Tour Finals at the semi-final stage, although notably beat Marin Cilic in the group stage. The November tournament was Federer's last before the Australian Open, and the rest looks to have been a great decision considering the injury issues felt by a number of his closest rivals.
As mentioned above, the Swiss ace is yet to drop a set in this year's tournament, and only three of his sixteen completed sets have required a tiebreak. He is yet to come up against a player rated higher than nineteenth-seed Tomas Berdych, although he can only play what is in front of him and has clinically dispatched each opponent.
Marin Cilic (6)
The number six seed has played in a stack of tournaments in the last twelve months, although only won one title, coming in Istanbul back in May. He did well to make it to the final of Wimbledon in July, although came up against a red-hot Federer and fell in straight sets.
Cilic was eliminated at the semi-final stage in Pune, his warm-up event directly prior to the Open, although looked in good touch for the first three rounds of this tournament when he eliminated Canada's Vasek Pospisil, Joao Sousa and Ryan Harrison. He needed four sets and three tiebreaks to defeat tenth-seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round, while his match against Rafael Nadal ended due to an injury suffered by the world number one.
Similar to Federer, you could argue that the Croatian has had a relatively incident-free run to the final with no real threat to his progression. He will have an extra day of rest before the big match, and if he can serve as well as he can the match will certainly be more interesting than the semi-final.
Head to Head Analysis
Federer holds an 8-1 winning record over his opponent, dating back to their first meeting in 2008 which Federer won in straight sets. Their last three meetings have all been in Britain, and the world number two has won all three - the quarter-final epic at Wimbledon in 2016 that went to five sets, the 2017 final at Wimbledon which Roger won easily, and in the ATP Finals group stage in late 2017.
Cilic's only ever win over Federer came in the 2014 US Open semi-final in straight sets, which came prior to his maiden and only grand slam title.
Why Federer Will Win The Australian Open
There are several reasons why Federer will win this match. His experience and aura alone is enough for us to believe he will cruise to another win over Cilic, adding yet another title to his imperious resume. Federer has not been troubled by anyone throughout this year's tournament, and with three recent wins over the Croatian, there is little doubt that only a miracle would prevent a Federer win here.
Cilic has an extra day of rest to prepare for the event, although history suggests that is not necessarily a critical factor. Neither player has been stretched in the tournament so far, meaning two relatively fresh athletes will take to the court on Sunday night. Despite Federer's age, his best is still better than Cilic's best, and he will only need to put in a typical performance to win his twentieth grand slam and 96th ATP tour title.
Our Pick - Roger Federer in Straight Sets @ +142
Sports Interaction have listed the Swiss genius at just -442 to win the 2018 Australian Open final, which really does not provide the return that punters are looking for. To ensure you get the best out of your bet on Roger Federer, we suggest either parlaying the bet with the women's final, or placing a wager on the number of sets required for victory.
Given Federer's recent record, and ability to dominate matches from start to finish, we are going to make a bold prediction and declare the G.O.A.T. will win in three sets. You can get odds of +142 on this, which makes for a very good bet with excellent potential returns.
If you believe Marin Cilic can pull off a fairly large upset, you will get +292, while you will be rewarded with +232 and +424 if you believe he will lose but still snare one or two sets respectively.
At the end of the day, we are going to see a historic match. Either Marin Cilic will win his first Australian Open title, or Roger Federer will win his twentieth title and take one step closer to immortality. It's going to be a great match.
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