The tennis season is back for 2013 and, as ever, the first Grand Slam of the new season will be Down Under as the Australian Open prepares to welcome the world’s best to Melbourne Park.
Last year the 100th edition saw Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka claim the singles titles and both will be confident of defending their crowns. With the first round set to begin on Monday, if you want more value than what is available with single matches, why not go for an accumulator – here’s our 14/1 six-match accie..
Lleyton Hewitt to beat Janko Tipsaravic (5/4)
Adelaide-born Hewitt will expect to have the boisterous backing of the home crowd and he’ll look to put in another impressive performance after reaching the fourth round last year, before being put out in four sets against eventual winner Novak Djokovic. And while an increasingly injured Hewitt is no longer the world number one of old, he is in good form – having recently beaten Thomas Berdych and Milos Raonic to win the Kooyong Classic on hard courts recently, and boasting a won three, lost one head-to-head record against the Serb, Hewitt has enough to progress at the expense of the world number nine.
Tommy Haas to beat Jarkko Nieminen (4/11)
The German not only has the edge over his Finnish counterpart – having won three of their four career matches so far, the latest being a two-set victory in Indian Wells last year – but he’s also proven in the past that he enjoys playing at Melbourne Park, having made the semi-finals here on three previous occasions. Haas will therefore fancy his chances of defeating Nieminen, with the left-hander having been defeated in the first round here on three of his last four occasions.
Brian Baker to beat Alex Bogomolov Jr (8/15)
The American number five takes on the man who recently changed his allegiance from USA to Russia in tasty looking match-up, particularly as they’ve never played before. Baker should edge it, with a three-set victory over the highly-rated Jerzy Janowicz in Auckland last week suggesting that 2013 may well see him climb up the rankings, while the 30-year-old qualifier he finds himself up against has already needed to play three matches just to get to the first round.
Alexander Dolgopolov to beat Gael Monfils (4/7)
The Ukraine number one made the Quarter-finals here in 2011 and the 24-year-old is gradually climbing the rankings following a solid 2012 where he won his first ATP 500 title in Washington and made another final in Valencia before losing to David Ferrer. Currently finding himself ranked 20th, the same can not be said of his opponent, who missed much of last season due to a knee injury and in turn dropped to 86th in the rankings. Monfils has never made it past the fourth round here and may struggle against his up-and-coming opponent.
Caroline Wozniacki to beat Sabine Lisicki (2/5)
World number 55 Lisicki has an encouraging record against her Danish opponent, having won two of their three previous meetings, but she has started the season in terrible form having won only one of her last five matches. World number ten Wozniacki, meanwhile, has lost only three of her last ten and she’ll be sure to take heart from the fact that her only previous win over Lisicki was at the Australian Open in 2008 – their only meeting on hard courts.
Marion Bartoli to beat Anabel Medina Garrigues (1/3)
These two players could be forgiven for being sick of the sight of each other, having faced each other five times in the last two seasons. Bartoli holds the psychological edge, leading 8-3 in career head-to-heads, while her Spanish opponent has never made it past the fourth round on her fourth previous visits to Melbourne – Bartoli made the quarter-final in 2009.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.