Fancied Federer favourite for comfortable first round win

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.