Gael Monfils began his Australian Open campaign in style, recording a 6-0, 6-4, 6-0 win against Damir Dzumhur. The 32-year-old suffered an injury scare after twisting his ankle in the first game of the match but nothing too serious. Monfils returned to court after the medical timeout at full speed, winning the opening set 6-0 in just 24 minutes. Gael fired 10 aces and 32 winners to beat Dzumhur and reach the Australian Open second round for the 13 time in 14 appearances at Melbourne Park.
Monfils will face American Taylor Fritz in the next round. Fritz advanced to the second round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career after a 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-2 victory over Cameron Norrie in little over two hours. The American gained revenge for his defeat to Norrie last week at the ASB Classic in Auckland. Known for his powerful serve, Fritz won 75.76% of the points behind his first serve and saved 5 out of 6 break points Cameron held against him.
The sportsbooks are expecting a close encounter with Gael as the slight favorite at -152 with Pinnacle while 5Dimes offers +135 for Fritz to win this match. Monfils is one of the greatest defenders in the game and always a tough match-up for big servers. On the other hand, Gael is also the more experienced of the two at this level while Fritz only won 36.84% of the best-of-five-set matches played throughout his career. With this in mind, placing a bet on Gael’s moneyline is an interesting approach for this contest.