2021 Australian Open Preview – Quarter by Quarter.

Last year was a total disaster for the Grand Slam tips, it couldn’t have gone much worse in truth. The Aussie isn’t one of my favourite two slams either. Then on top of the pandemic and different conditions for mosts players, there are the potential injuries. Djokovic (not too bad but blisters are a bit of a concern), Nadal (back), Osaka (shoulder), Serena (shoulder) and Halep (back) are all making noises. So are many other players, it is sifting through what you believe and what you want to take with a pinch of salt, that isn’t too different to normal in fairness. It is difficult to punt with any certainty though and if anything betting on matches round by round looks more attractive to me. I have reduced my stakes for the first time in a while for a major. Running scared you may say.

Men’s

1st Quarter

It is difficult to oppose Djokovic here but yet I’m not going to be putting him up at 1/2 either. Zverev is the natural danger at 4/1 but I think I will keep it in my pocket. Wawrinka is also in here around the 12/1 mark, I would rather take the risk with Milos Raonic at 16/1. The Canadians fitness is always a concern though, as is Stans right now, especially after pulling out with fatigue this week. Monfils, Opelka, Fritz and the talented Corentin Moutet are all in this quarter but if I was really going to have a small bet it would possibly be on the 80/1 Adrian Mannarino. Just for shits and giggles, the reality is Nole will be immensely tough to dislodge and if he is, it is more than likely by Sascha. No bet basically.

Recommendations

No bet.

Second Quarter

Dominic Thiem has proved he is a step above the field for these quarters already. There are some nasty banana skins here though and at 5/4 I have more to lose by tipping him up in this crazy world right now. Jannik Sinner is second in but is just a 15/2 top price and the unseeded Italian has Denis Shapovalov first round. Nick Kyrgios is third in but he sounds like he’s injured, on his serving leg! Also in this quarter, there are first-round matchups of Carreno Busta v Nishikori and Dimitrov v Cilic. The latter of those winners will likely face Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last 32. Diego Schwartzman looks to have a nice draw but will the courts be ok for him? Ugo Humbert is 125/1 with Betfair Sportsbook/Paddy Power and that quite frankly is a ridiculous price as big an ask as this might be for the Frenchman. That’s the ‘value’ here though for a small bet. Pablo Carreno Busta is the kind of player that seems to be able to get results in the slams and has shown clear improvement, I will also be having a small bet on him.

Recommendations

Very small bets as Thiem will take some beating I suspect! He does zone in for the slams. Take the 20/1 Pablo Carreno Busta with William Hills and the 125/1, Ugo Humbert, with Betfair Sportsbook/Paddy Power.

Third Quarter

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev once again find themselves in the same quarter. Both are in really good form and take around 75% of the book in this section. Medvedev has a nasty first round against Vasek Pospisil but should he get through that there will be nice few rounds waiting for him you would think. Daniil has a really good record against Rublev so its difficult to take the 3/1 about Andrey unless you see Daniil getting beat. Coric and Bautista Agut are also in this section and have squeaks, David Goffin is also in here but I can’t have him right now. I wouldn’t put Thiem up but Medvedev looks a better bet at a similar price to me. Like I said I certainly respect Pospisil in the first round but he is 1/10 to win that still.

Recommendations

I will take the 11/10 with Betfair Sportbook/PP on Medvedev. A small cover will go on Roberto Bautista Agut at 12/1 with Hills. Two players, I have put up a few times before but they have served me very well generally, so will stick with them here.

Fourth Quarter

You would think this is the standard toss-up between Rafa and Stefanos Tsitsipas and I am almightily tempted to put Rafa up as another short-priced favourite. I’m trying to work out this week if his decision to not play is precautionary or are the alarm bells ringing? That is enough to make me think twice, so I might as well do my money on Stefanos! I am a big admirer of Tsitsipas but he has been known to let me down. There is a section here that has Khachanov, Anderson and Berrettini, the latter two play in the first round. Alex De Minaur will like his chances but you feel someone will need to beat Rafa for him, as I’m not sure he’s that man. At 9/1 it doesn’t interest me at all though. Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie are playing well and it’s a real shame they play each other first. At 66/1 Evo looks a bit of value but I am totally biased and it’s a huge ask. The Solihull shotmaker is playing in the final against FAA tonight, so we know he likes the conditions. Awful first-round draw though against a fellow compatriot!

Recommendations

Stefanos Tsitsipas at 7/2 with William Hills and a very, very small bet (with my heart) on Dan Evans at 66/1 with Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower.

Outright

I just can’t bring myself to back Medvedev at 11/10 for his quarter and 4/1 on the outright. I will not be massively ‘going for it’ with these bets. Unprecedented times may bring unprecedented results. Or it may just bring us a Nole, Rafa, Thiem champion.

Recommendations

Small bet on Stefanos Tsiotsipas at 16/1 with BetVictor or Bet365, then very small bets on Pablo Carreno Busta at anything between a general 150/1 – 200/1 and same with Roberto Bautista Agut at a general 100/1.

Women’s

First Quarter

With top seed, Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Elise Mertens and Ekaterina Alexandrova head the betting here and Kontaveit, Muchova, Bencic, Martic and Ostapenko all further down. Barty might be in the final this week but she has struggled and lack of matches over the last year may show, its enough to put me off the 2/1. I’m never a big fan of punting Karolina Pliskova and that hasn’t changed here and Ekaterina Alexandrova is too short at single figure quotes. I won’t be going in heavy here, surprise, surprise but I will back the consistent Mertens, who has also made the final this week. I will also have a similar-sized bet on Danielle Collins who looks to be playing well again. The American made the last four here a couple of years ago and 22/1 is far too big.

Recommendations

Similar stake bets on Elise Mertens at a general 8/1 and Danielle Collins at 22/1 with Betfair Sportsbook/Paddy Power, if not try and get the 16s about.

Second Quarter

This is ultra-competitive. Kenin, Brady, Azarenka, Sakkari, Svitolina, Gauff and Konta is the rough order of the betting, give or take, depending on which firm. I would be all over Kenin around 4/1 here but surely she isn’t exaggerating the apparent groin injury? I am tempted to have a small bet on her. Jennifer Brady has a great chance but at 6/1 I think she is short enough. Vika Azarenka has a back injury and withdrew from the Grampians Trophy. Sakkari is a player I have tipped up a few times and I believe she is making progress, so I think at 9/1 her form is good enough for me to give her another shot. I tinkered with Yulia Putintseva at 33/1 and Mayar Sherif at 100/1 for fun bets.

Recommendations

Maria Sakkari at 9/1 and a ‘fun’ bet on either Yulia Putinsteva with William Hills at 33/1, don’t take anything lower though or Mayar Sherif at 200/1 with BetVictor. Very, very small stakes on these two. I’m more tempted by the Egyptian as Putintseva is too temperamental.

Third Quarter

This is now a competitive heat with Garbine Muguruza tearing it up this week. Naomi Osaka just about heads the betting from the Spaniard, then Andreescu and Kvitova. Kerber, Pironkova, Garcia and Venus are all in here too. Andreescu hasn’t played since the end of 2019, so as much as I respect her, considering her injury record I can’t possibly back her at 6/1. Muguruza looks to be very close to another slam but she has let me down a few times when I have trusted her. I think ts worth taking the risk with Osaka despite the injury doubt at 11/4. She does have a nasty opener against one of last years tips from my blog, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova who made the last 8 and has a decent record here. I think I will leave it at that though.

Recommendations

Naomi Osaka at 11/4 with BetfairSportsbook/Paddy Power, take the 9/4 with BetVictor if not.

Fourth Quarter

Serena, Halep and Sabalenka are in this section. I tend to be very biased towards one, I don’t back one unless the price is huge in my opinion and the other is blacklisted at the moment (Sabalenka). Iga Swiatek is also in this section but at around 6/1 she doesn’t look very attractive and isn’t exactly talking up her chances. So, Serena it is then. The injury is a concern and Laura Siegemund has the potential to be very nasty in the first round. I would hope she could get through this and get into the event though. Elena Rybakina (12/1) is also in this quarter but after that Veronika Kudermetova is next in at 33/1. The front three are virtually joint-favourites. Alison Riske is someone I would normally back here but there seems to have been a few problems lately.

Recommendations

Serena Williams at 7/2 with BetfairSportsbook, though there is plenty of 3/1 if not.

Outright

I am going to go with Naomi Osaka, Maria Sakkari and Danielle Collins as my main bets, like I keep saying, nothing major. Sakkari and Collins are each-way bets for me.

Recommendations

Naomi Osaka at 11/2 with Betfair Sportsbook/Paddy Power/Bet365, Maria Sakkari at 40/1 each-way with William Hills and Danielle Collins at 66/1 each-way with VC, BetFred and Betfair to name a few. I am sure I will have my usual bet on Serena in addition but you probably already knew that.

Happy punting and enjoy the tennis.

Andy Del Potro

2 thoughts on “2021 Australian Open Preview – Quarter by Quarter.

  1. What a fantastic summary.
    You certainly give me value for money reading this.
    It’s a really exciting ladies singles event

    Liked by 1 person

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