2018 Australian Open Semi-Final Odds, Predictions
Australian Open Quarterfinals Recap
The first two matches on Tuesday produced upsets: Belgium's Elise Mertens knocked out fourth seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets, progressing to her first ever grand slam semi-final, while an even bigger upset occurred in the men's draw as Briton Kyle Edmund eliminated third seed Grigor Dimitrov in four sets. The Bulgarian was nowhere near as good as he was against Nick Kyrgios.
Then, to cap off a day of strange results, Rafael Nadal was forced to retire from his match against Marin Cilic due to injury, visibly struggling in the fourth set and calling it quits early in the decider. While we never like to see injuries take hold at a grand slam, the fact is that the Spaniard joins a list of high profile players including Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray who pulled out either before or during the tournament.
Second seed Caroline Wozniacki was the only favourite to win on Tuesday, although she needed three sets to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro.
All matches went according to the script on Wednesday. Angelique Kerber was utterly dominant in her 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of American Madison Keys, and is certainly channeling her 2016 form when she won the Australian and US Open tournaments. She sets up a blockbuster semi-final against number one seed Simona Halep, who was equally brilliant in her defeat of Karolina Pluskova. The score in that one was 6-3, 6-2.
In the men's draw, Roger Federer continued his ridiculous run of not dropping sets at the Australian Open, comfortably seeing off Tomas Berdych in three despite needing a tiebreak in the first. The 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 scoreline was as clinical as the one seen in the match between outsiders Hyeon Chung and Tennys Sandgren. The Korean won the match in straight sets to become the first ever from his nation to make it to a grand slam semifinal.
So as the climax of the 2018 Australian Open draws nearer, who will be the two to emerge from each draw to participate in the final?
Men's Tournament Semifinals Picks
It looks as though Roger Federer will be the last man standing after closest rivals Nadal, Djokovic and Dimitrov were all eliminated during the last two rounds. He is closing in on his twentieth grand slam, which would be an outstanding achievement, although he has to get past an impressive Hyeon Chung to even consider that feat.Kyle Edmund vs Marin Cilic (6) Edmund (+231)
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 and managed to overcome a very strong opponent in Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Could we be about to witness the first unseeded finalist at the Australian Open since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did it in 2008.
First, he will need to overcome Marin Cilic, who outlasted rather than outplayed world number one Rafael Nadal. It is a huge bonus for Edmund, although Cilic is no slouch and may prove to be a bigger threat than that of Dimitrov. The Croatian has never made it past the semi-final at the Australian Open, and will be looking to convert this opportunity, even if it means a likely date with Roger Federer.
However, we are tipping Edmund to stun the world and convert his first ever grand slam semi into a finals berth. Cilic is the clear favourite, but we feel as though the crazy results will continue. Edmund presents an exceptionally good betting opportunity at +231.Hyeon Chung vs Roger Federer (2) Federer (-714)
Roger Federer is still going strong, 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 would be a ridiculous thirtieth grand slam final. As is often the case with the Fed Express, he has continued to improve as this tournament as progressed.
He will need to step up a gear once again in order to defeat the most successful Korean at a grand slam event. Chung has only needed more than three sets once in this tournament, coming from 2-1 down to beat Alexander Zverev in the third round. He has been playing impeccable tennis, and has been compared to a young Novak Djokovic - a serious compliment, especially considering the Joker is one of the few who has been able to beat Federer in his prime.
Despite his form, it still looks as though this will be a David and Goliath contest, and we can't see Federer losing. Once again, you could bet on the Swiss maestro to win in straight sets, which will improve your odds considerably, although we think this one might be closer than the odds suggest.
Women's Tournament Semifinals Picks
The top two seeds are still on track to reach the final, but they will face tremendously difficult challengers on the quest to get there. All four players in the semis are in top form, and it is certainly hard to pick a winner!Elise Mertens vs Caroline Wozniacki (2) Mertens (+196)
Mertens has not dropped a set so far in the tournament, and will bring plenty of confidence into her clash with second seed Wozniacki. The Belgian managed to knock off fourth seed Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals, putting the tennis world on notice. It is the first time she has ever made it past the third round, let alone the quarters at a grand slam, and it will be great to see her test the Dane.
Wozniacki has been pretty hot herself though, and is the number two seed for good reason. She is yet to make it to an Australian Open Final, and has also never managed to win a grand slam despite making two US Open finals. She won't have it easy against either Angelique Kerber or Simona Halep, although she needs to focus on the job at hand before she can dare to dream.
We are leaning towards Mertens here. She has already played on Rod Laver Arena against a top four seed so she should not have any doubts when her semi-final gets under way. Wozniacki has been good but has a history of failing at crucial times during grand slam matches. Mertens is a great value outsider here.Angelique Kerber (21) vs Simona Halep (1) Halep (+109)
This match is worthy of being the final. Two giants of women's tennis will face off for a place in Saturday's final, and it couldn't be any tougher to pick. Kerber and Halep have both won their last ten matches - the German won in Sydney before her Aussie Open campaign kicked off, while Halep took the top prize in Shenzhen. Their last six meetings all came in 2016, when Kerber was at the top of her game, and unsurprisingly she was victorious on five occasions.
While Kerber did need three sets to win against Hsieh Su-wei in the fourth round, that is the only time she's fallen behind in a run that includes a win against Maria Sharapova and a huge victory over Madison Keys. Her quarter-final win was over in just 51 minutes, and she will have no excuse not to be anything but fresh when she commences a huge battle against the top seed.
Halep was just as ruthless in her quarter-final, knocking out the sixth seed so that only herself and Wozniacki remain out of the top six. Kerber's seed, however, does not indicate that she is a weaker opponent, and Halep will need to be on her game to ensure the 2016 winner does not get a chance to win a second slam.
Although the outsider, we are quietly confident of the Romanian making it through to the final, and she is at the best value you will see in this tournament. We are also pretty confident that the winner of this match will go on to win the trophy. Sports Interaction is our pick to place your Australian Open bet, and all odds listed are from their site.
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