Caroline Wozniacki continued her Australian Open title defense with an impressive 6-1, 6-3 win over Johanna Larsson in just 66 minutes. The former world No.1 won 70.27% of the points behind her first serve and made just 12 unforced errors to extend to nine matches her winning streak in Melbourne. Known as one of the greatest competitors in tennis history, Wozniacki is trying to become the first woman to defend the title since Victoria Azarenka in 2013.
Wozniacki will next meet Maria Sharapova, who won the tournament in 2008. The 31-year-old dropped just three games in her first two matches in Melbourne. After a “double bagel’ in the opening round against Harriet Dart, the Russian superstar eased into the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Rebecca Peterson in the last match of the night on Margaret Court Arena. Sharapova did not face a break point in the match and won 56.25% of the points played on Peterson’s serve.
These two players will face each other for the 11th time in their careers. Sharapova leads the head-to-head 6-4 but Caroline won two of their last three official encounters on the WTA Tour.
The sportsbooks are expecting a close contest with Wozniacki as the slight favorite at -120 with Pinnacle while 5Dimes offers +114 for Sharapova to win this match. Despite Maria’s impressive performance in the previous round, it won’t be easy for the Russian to overcome such a great competitor as Caroline. Adding to this, Wozniacki also won their previous two matches at Grand Slam level. For that reason, our suggestion is to add the Dane’s moneyline to your betting picks at -120 with Pinnacle as the best betting approach for this contest.
Alex de Minaur continued his fine start to the season with a five-set win over Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen to reach the third round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career. Playing in Australia brings the best out of de Minaur with the 19-year-old winning 16 of the last 21 matches played in his home country. On the other hand, the Australian teenager won his maiden ATP title in Sydney to become the youngest player to lift the trophy at the Queensland Tennis Centre since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.
De Minaur will face two-time champion Rafael Nadal in the third round of the Australian Open. Nadal cruised past Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 56 minutes to score his 249th Grand Slam win. The 32-year-old won 81.13% of his first serve point and ended the match with 33 winners to just 15 unforced errors. Nevertheless, Nadal admitted he got off to a “slow start’ but gained control of the match after saving three break points at 3-3 in the opening set.
This will be the second meeting between these two players. Nadal crushed the Australian 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in their maiden meeting at Wimbledon last year and is once again the heavy favorite to win at -714 with 5Dimes. Third round three match will be the first match in the night session on Rod Laver Arena. The slower conditions at night should benefit Nadal on this match-up but it’s impossible to find any value in his current tennis betting odds. De Minaur should keep the scoreboard close during the first hour or so but after that, the five-set marathon and the long week in Sydney will begin to take effect. For that reason, the best approach is to wait for an in-play opportunity to grab a better line on Nadal. Our suggestion is to watch the match and look for any signs of Alex’s fatigue, which should indicate a good opportunity to back Nadal’s spread.