Australian open daily previews & best bets

Andy Schooler previews Monday’s action at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Tennis betting tips: Australian Open

1.5pts Alize Cornet (+5.5) to beat Simona Halep on the game handicap at 6/5 (Sky Bet, Betfred)

1.5pts Marin Cilic to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime at 6/5 (Sky Bet, bet365, William Hill)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Simona Halep v Alize Cornet

Halep has cruised through to the last 16 with three straight-sets wins but she’s played nobody of note – all three opponents have been ranked outside the top 80.

There’s obviously a decent chance that our outright pick continues in that vein here against the world number 61 but Cornet has been impressing herself and it should be remembered she dominated the 2020 finalist Garbine Muguruza in round two.

Last time out she added another seeded scalp, fighting back to defeat Tamara Zidansek, and I think she can keep this competitive – certainly more competitive than win odds of 13/2 suggest.

While I don’t want to read too much into it (the last of their matches came in 2015), Cornet leads the head-to-head 3-1 which I suspect will at least give her a boost mentally coming into the contest.

Cornet at 6/5 getting a 5.5-game start on the handicap looks tempting.

Marin Cilic v Felix Auger-Aliassime

It was hard not to be impressed by Cilic’s ball-striking against Andrey Rublev on Saturday as he notched up only his second top-10 win since 2018.

It continued a strong resurgence in the Croat’s career, something I’ve mentioned here in the recent past.

Cilic, who made two semi-finals in the opening two weeks of the season, now faces another top-10 opponent but one he’s beaten in all three previous meetings.

Auger-Aliassime hurt us the other day when he destroyed Dan Evans, although how much of that was down to his excellence is open to debate.

Evans, who disappeared after missing his chance to win a tight opening set, said afterwards he had “panicked” on court.

“I missed my chance and I panicked a bit and that happens in tennis,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here and say he was too good.”

FAA has struggled in the early rounds and while he’ll hope the result and performance and Evans have seen him turn a corner, Cilic’s form may prove too good here with the underdog getting the vote.

Posted at 0855 GMT on 23/01/22

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