3 Australian Open first-day talking points to watch out for


1) Nick Kyrgios getting upset

The leading home hope in the men’s draw is never far from controversy, but he has just as much chance of getting stung by his first round opponent at Melbourne Park as he is to lose his rag.

Kyrgios faces Spanish hopeful Pablo Carreno Busta in the Hisense Arena on the first day rated the 1/9 favourite to progress.

However, his opponent is cut from the same confident mould as the Canberran and has talked up his chances of causing a shock ahead of the match.

Carreno Busta arrives in form having taken a set of Rafa Nadal and beaten Marcos Baghdatis and Gilles Simon recently, so rightly fancies his chances of picking up his first career Aussie Open win.

2) Other British men advancing

Great Britain has four male entrants into this year’s first Grand Slam.

It will be a huge surprise if anyone other than Andy Murray carries the flag into the latter rounds of the tournament, but there’s a chance that at least one other Brit progresses beyond the first round.

Kyle Edmund is in action on the opening day of the tournament and is the 1/3 favourite to beat Bosnian Damir Dzumhur with Ladbrokes.

The 21-year-old featured in three of last year’s four Slams and booked a spot in the second round of the French with a five-set win over Stephane Robert. He should experience the second round Down Under this year too.

3) Exits for numerous women’s seeds

In the last two years, the first day of the Australian Open has been problematic for female seeds to navigate.

Ana Ivanovic was the highest ranked of eight to depart the scene last year. Angelique Kerber joined the then fifth seed as the other top 10 player to be shocked, while Lucie Safarova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Sabine Lisicki and Belinda Bencic also fell by the way side.

In 2014, four seeds were knocked out and again the top 10 seeds provided two casualties. This year, Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Navarro are vulnerable to the opening-day top-10 curse.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.