Australian Open: Nishikori and Venus Williams headline our tips

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By the eighth day, the Australian Open really starts to heat up, as the fourth round throws some intriguing matches together.

Never ones to miss out on a big day of betting, Ladbrokes’ news team have put their best three bets for the day down on paper:

Kei Nishikori to beat David Ferrer @ 4/9

Last year’s beaten US Open finalist has had the beating of Ferrer of late, and is fully expected to continue in that vein when they clash at the Rod Laver Arena.

Nishikori has won all of the last four meetings with his Spanish rival, three of which have been on the hard courts.

Typically, Ferrer has made a fight of things, taking at least a set in all of those defeats, but we don’t fancy he’ll get much more than that on this occasion.

Venus Williams to beat Agnieszka Radwanska @ 11/8

The elder Williams was tipped as a potentially profitable 66/1-shot on these pages before the tournament and the 2003 finalist has so far done her cause plenty of good, only dropping one set on her way to the fourth round.

Her first real test comes in the form of sixth seed Radwanska, who has beaten her in each of the last three meetings, but the American’s superior form heading into this tournament suggests she is better placed to reverse that run.

Exactly 3 sets in Eugenie Bouchard v Maria Sharapova @ 13/8

If a quarter-final high-profile enough to be the tournament’s championship clash doesn’t excite you, then not much at this year’s Australian Open will.

Expect this one to be close, even though Sharapova has won all three of their previous meetings and two of them in straight sets.

Canadian Bouchard has been improving with every Grand Slam and will pose a far sterner test for the Russian here.

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.