Lukas Lacko is the unfortunate man tasked with the unenviable job of taking on Roger Federer in the first round of the Australian Open.
Federer is the 15/8 joint favourite alongside Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open, and with Andy Murray next best in the betting at 8/1, the Australian Open betting market believes it’s a two-horse race.
At 16/1 to beat Federer, the betting market suggests that the young Slovakian has no hope with the Swiss star priced at 1/100 to advance to the second round.
Federer’s dominance in the first round of the Australian Open is incredible – of 35 sets played, Federer has lost just two and won 33 – and the world number two is 1/6 to ease through with a 3-0 win.
Early rounds of Grand Slam tournaments historically provide little value for punters wishing to back the bigger names in tennis, but a trawl of the Australian Open betting market can find some value.
Federico Gil vs Pablo Cuevas is one such match and Cuevas, who won both of the match-ups between the two in 2010, is well priced at 8/15.
Portuguese Gil favours the clay surface and Cuevas , who is 49 places above Gil in the world rankings, offers the value of the first day’s play.
Elsewhere Albert Montanes faces a potential banana skin against German Dustin Brown, and Montanes, who has beaten Nikolay Davydenko, Michael Loodra and Arnaud Clement in his last seven matches, is 1/3 to progress.
World number 92 Brown is a better play on the carpet courts and while he may put up a fight in his opening first round match, Montanes offers plenty of value at 5/2 to win the match 3-1.
Novak Djokovic (1/50 to beat Marcel Granollers), Fernando Verdasco (1/6 to beat Rainer Schuettler) and Davydenko (1/4 to beat Florian Mayer) are also in action on the first days play.
A £25 stake on Roger Federer winning the Australian Open would return £71.87. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.