Hewitt in for gruelling Australian Open first round match

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As the Australian Open rumbles into just its second day, there’s no end to the amount of heavy-odds-on favourites that line the schedule.

Whether it be Serena Williams in the women’s draw or Rafael Nadal in the men’s the big-names are barely worth backing in the early stages of the competition, such is their dominance.

Instead it’s far more profitable to dig a little deeper into the head-to-head records to find some truly juicy bets on some lesser names.

Fear not though, as we’ve studied the form books to bring you some of the best bet from either section of the day’s action:

Andreas Seppi v Lleyton Hewitt to contain exactly four sets @ 13/8

32-year-old Hewitt has made a blinding start to the year, beating Roger Federer in the final of the Brisbane International to prepare for an 18th appearance in his home Grand Slam.

Known for his never say die attitude, Hewitt tends to draw out his opening-round matches at the Rod Laver arena, with four of his last seven going beyond the three-set mark.

An first-round encounter with 24th-seed Seppi won’t be the easiest of assignments, as their split head-to-head record over six career battles indicates, and another battling match looks in store here.

Maria Sharapova to win first set against Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-0 @ 12/1

The Australian Open has been a favoured tournament of Sharapova’s during her career, winning it once and reaching three semi finals and two finals in her 10 appearances.

She’ll be delighted with her opening-round draw too, as she’s been an on-court bully to 28-year-old Mattek-Sands.

In their four career clashes to date, the Russian has triumphed in all four and has dropped just one set.

The American has also had to suffer the ignominy of being bagelled three times when opposing Sharapova in those matches, including in their most recent meeting.

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.