Alex Bolt’s dream run continued at the Australian Open with an epic 2-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 victory over Gilles Simon in 4 hours and 4 minutes. The 26-year-old saved four match points to score the biggest win of his career against former world No.6 on Court 3 at Melbourne Park. Bolt had never beaten a player in the top 100 before and considered retiring a few years ago. Nevertheless, the Australian wildcard is playing the best tennis of his life and is guaranteed to reach a new career-high ranking after the Australian Open with an unprecedented appearance in the Top 130.
Bolt will now face No.4 seed Alexander Zverev on Saturday in the third round of the Australian Open. Zverev is bidding for a maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne after winning the biggest title of his career at the Nitto ATP Finals in London. Looking now at Alexander’s campaign on this event, the 21-year-old reaches this stage of the competition after a five-set win over Jeremy Chardy. The German struck 29 aces and 71 winners to win back-to-back matches at the Australian Open for the third consecutive year.
Despite Bolt’s incredible run in Melbourne, Zverev is the undeniable favorite to win this match at -1250 with 5Dimes. The world No.4 has one of the best backhands in the game and is always a tough match-up for left-handed players. Adding to this, Zverev cannot afford to spend a lot of time on court after a long battle against Chardy in the previous round. For that reason, betting on the German’s -2.5 Set Handicap at -118 and -7 spread at -108 – both with Pinnacle – are two interesting lines for this contest.
Qiang Wang enjoyed the best season of her career in 2018, climbing as high as world No.20. The 27-year-old won 76.19% of the matches played since Wimbledon in July, including her two first titles on the WTA Tour in Nanchang and Guangzhou. Wang advanced to the third round of the Australian Open for the first time with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Aleksandra Krunic in 58 minutes. The Chinese No.1 dropped just two points behind her first serve and ended the match with 16 winners to just 10 unforced errors.
Anastasija Sevastova needed two hours and 14 minutes to survive a three-set battle against Bianca Andreescu. The 18-year-old won 11 of her 12 previous matches before this contest but Sevastova’s experience proved too much for Andreescu to handle. The Latvian broke serve five times and won 43.82% of the points in Bianca’s service games. Nevertheless, Sevastova struggled to find her rhythm on serve. Besides facing 11 break points, the 27-year-old only won 46.67% of the points behind her second serve.
The sportsbooks are expecting a close encounter with Anastasija as the slight favorite at -125 with Intertops. Even though Sevastova won their previous meeting two years ago in Dubai, Wang is in the form of her life and will count with a very strong support from the crowd. Adding to this, the fast court conditions at Melbourne Park suit Qiang’s aggressive style. For that reason, the value is clearly on Wang’s tennis betting odds to win this match at +114 with Pinnacle. On the other hand, the Over 21.5 at -120 at Bet365 is also interesting approach for this contest.