The 2018 Australian Open has arrived and our tennis experts are going to be providing tennis punters with the best Australian Open tips and predictions every day of the tournament. With Serena Williams pulling out of this year's Open the women's draw looks wide open with most bookies setting the market at $8 the field making it the most open slam in recent memory.
While on the men's side of the draw has some familiar faces at the top of the market. Federer will start the short priced favourite after continuing his stellar 2017 form with an undefeated title win at the Hopman Cup. On the second line of betting are 2 players surrounded by injury - Rafael Nadal has had to pull out of any lead up tournaments in Australia due to his recurring knee injury and Novak Djokovic is on the comeback trail after missing most of 2017 with an injured elbow.
Andrey Rublev @ $1.90
After playing some great tennis to make the final of Qatar this year, Rublev should be the favourite here in his round one match against David Ferrer. He showed some great form in the back half of 2017 which included making the quarter finals of the US Open where he defeated a number of quality opponents, including Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin both in straight sets, before being beaten by Rafael Nadal.
David Ferrer had a disappointing 2017 by comparison. The journeyman didn't make it past the third round in any slam and suffered a first round defeat to Kukushkin in the US Open. He showed a slight return to form in Auckland this year when making the semi finals but his opposition through the opening rounds wasn't that strong.
Rafael Nadal -11.5 @ $2.16
Despite coming into the Australian Open under an injury cloud, Nadal should have zero problems putting away Estrella Burgos in fast time. The 37yo Estrella Burgos is a clay courter who is coming into the 2018 Australian Open with some pretty average form on the Challenger circuit. When he stepped up and played in Qatar at the start of this year he won just 2 games in his round one defeat against Richard Gasquet.
While Nadal has been nursing a knee injury he would only have to be 75% fit to cover this line. The world #1 had a sensational hard court record in 2017 and if he puts his hand up to play you have to back in his fitness and if he is even remotely fit Estrella Burgos will have to fight for every single game point.
S Zhang @ $1.40
The fall of Sloane Stephens since she won the US Open last year has been quite incredible, with the American losing her next 7 straight matches (mostly against lowly ranked opposition). Her latest defeat in the opening round in Sydney was very disappointing when she lost 3-6, 0-6 to Giorgi. She is horribly out of form at the moment and it is hard to see how she can turn it around this quickly.
Zhang hasn't been in the greatest form to start this year either with two second round losses, but she finished 2017 with titles in Honolulu and Guangzhou so she has some decent winning form under her belt which is more than can be said for Stephens.
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