Come join us for the fifth day of the Australian Open, and get valuable insight to make your betting picks profitable!
We’ve seen round 2 of the Open come to a close. Again, the brutal 90+ Fahrenheit temperatures along with high humidity troubled the players, and we saw some big upsets on the WTA side as both 9th seeded Petra Kvitova and 8th seeded Bianca Andreescu crashed out. We also saw a few all-out wars, like wild-card Thanasi Kokkinakis pushing 5th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to the absolute brink.
Day 5 signifies the start of Round 3, and the absolute highlight is no doubt the last match on John Cain Arena, where 3rd seed Dominic Thiem takes on the enigmatic Nick Kyrgios. Our chosen matchups will guide you through Day 5 and provide some free tennis picks. Let’s begin!
Nick Kyrgios vs. Dominic Thiem
Friday, February 12, 2021 – 03:00 AM EST at John Cain Arena
For the first time in his career, Dominic Thiem has reached the third round of the Australian Open without dropping a set. Possessing world no.1 talent, the tricky part for the 27-year old Austrian has been putting it all together. Earlier in his career, Thiem would often be taken to four or five sets in the early goings of a Major, burning valuable energy.
Finally breaking a worrying final losing streak to win his first Major title at the 2020 US Open, the world no.3 shook off the rust from his first match and took out Dominik Koepfer comfortably in straight sets.
While the mercurial Australian often swears, breaks racquets, and gives umpires a fair share of trouble, he certainly can't be blamed for the otherwise often seen lack of effort when on his home courts. Nick Kyrgios produced an absolute show-stopper to come back from double match point down when Ugo Humbert served for the match in the fourth set.
Breaking serve at the death, dominating the ensuing tiebreak, and winning the match in the fifth set in front of a delirious home crowd, we saw some scintillating tennis from the 25-year old. Often not given enough credit for his tennis IQ and athleticism, Nick's fitness has also held up well considering he had barely played in a year.
Surprisingly enough for two superstars born around the same time, this pair has only battled once, in an incomplete clay-court match in Nice 2015. Thiem was one of the players Kyrgios criticized during the offseason, when the Austrian was defending Alexander Zverev's actions: "What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does? None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable," tweeted Nick Kyrgios.
We shouldn't be lacking for drama in this one in front of a raucous home crowd in prime time. Both are immense talents that can defeat any one player at their peak, but the world no.3 looks quite juiced indeed at around the -405 mark with most sportsbooks.
Kyrgios has a staggering 8-1 record in fifth sets, and has played many thrilling encounters in this tournament throughout the years. He won't go away easily on his favorite court, the John Cain Arena. With a behemoth first serve, the Aussie can always turn the momentum around with a flash of inspiration on return, and we could once more be in for a thriller. The Over 38 games is priced at -115 at Bovada, and is a great angle for this contest.
Simona Halep vs. Veronika Kudermetova
Friday, February 12, 2021 - 03:00 AM EST
Veronika Kudermetova has long been one of the most dangerous unseeded players in a Major draw, this year capturing the last seed. The tall, big-serving, flat-hitting Russian is often a given to go deep in most hard court events, and she's started 2021 off well reaching the final in Abu Dhabi. Only the scorching hot Aryna Sabalenka extending her win streak to 15 straight matches could best the 23-year old.
Kudermetova's mix of big serving, big-hitting but also a nice changeup slice has come to good use in these rapid conditions, where she's overcome the challenge of two talented young players in Marta Kostyuk and Varvara Gracheva.
The competition gets noticeably stiffer here as world no.2 Simona Halep stands on the other side of the net. Halep, who made the 2020 semifinal at this tournament, opted to play in Europe after the pandemic shutdown. After winning back-to-back titles in Prague and Rome, the 29-year old Romanian was once more the overwhelming favorite to reclaim her Roland-Garros crown on her favorite clay surface. However, another young gun would thwart her, Iga Swiatek disintegrating her in straight sets - just as Amanda Anisimova did the year prior.
For readers of our WTA futures article, you'll know there were murmurs of a back injury for Halep. The world no.2 had to come back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to an inspired Ajla Tomljanovic, but still doesn't look quite right. On top of previous concerns, Simona also took a medical time out in her doubles match yesterday for a right shoulder problem.
This could be where another big WTA seed falls. Simona Halep doesn't look fully fit, and in quick conditions the elite counterpuncher is always vulnerable to a bigger ball-striker penetrating her defenses. Veronika Kudermetova is just that, and looks in good touch.
She is stubborn enough from the baseline to hang in the extended rallies, while possessing a bigger serve and more power off the ground. With the Romanian north of -200 with most sportsbooks, the value in the Russian's price is immense. At +200 with GTbets, we'll be banking on the upset.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.