Tennis’ final lead up events before the Australian Open are taking place this week, with great tournaments being played in Sydney, Hobart, and Auckland. Below, we’ve given our previews and best betting tips for the men's and women's draws at the Sydney International, and have provided some value plays for each event too. Good luck to everyone following!
There are eight seeded players in the men’s draw in what should be a great week of action at the Sydney International. There are plenty of young and exciting players in this field, as well as a few veterans who are looking to get their eye in before the first Grand Slam of the year.
There are two clear standouts in the men’s draw in Sydney that really should be meeting in the final unless something unexpected happens. In the top half of the draw we have Greek young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas, who’s currently ranked 15th in the world and is the number 1 seed at this tournament. He’s got a relatively soft draw with Diego Schwartzman posing the main threat in the top half. Their potential clash comes in the Semi Finals, although Tsitsipas punished Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 in their only clash in 2018.
In the bottom half of the draw we have Aussie rising star Alex De Minaur as the clear favourite. He’s coming off a breakthrough year in 2018 that saw him rise to the top 30 in the world rankings and comes in seeded fifth here. The draw has opened up for him with the late withdrawal of second seed Daniil Medvedev, which now means the only seeded player he will face in the bottom half of the draw will be in the Semi’s in the form of fourth seed Gilles Simon. Simon is also coming off a great year where he surged back up the rankings, although he’s lost the only time he’s played against the ‘Demon’.
The withdrawal of Medvedev has opened up the draw for what looks like a De Minaur and Tsitsipas final in Sydney. If this does eventuate, we do favour the big hitting Greek over the determined Aussie, so he’ll be our pick for the title. In terms of value, we see Simon as the most likely to win at double figure odds. If he can get passed De Minaur in the Semi’s, then Tsitsipas is the only man that stands in his way. These two guys are yet to face off on tour, so it’s possible that the veteran Simon could find a way to get the better of the lesser experienced Tsitsipas.
There’s no shortage of superstars in the women’s draw at the Sydney Invitational this year. We’ve got both the first and second ranked women in the world set to take the court, as well as a bunch of other top rated stars.
The top half of the women’s draw features world number 1 Simona Halep. The Romanian superstar gets the first round off due to her seeding, but faces a tough match-up in either Barty or Ostapenko first up. If Halep finds her best tennis she should progress deep and push for the title, but she faces a very demanding draw at first glance. Another one we like in the top half is Sloane Stephens. The fiery American is coming off a terrific 2018 campaign and has played the hard courts well at the US Open. She hasn’t had much success in Australia, but she has a decent run to the final in Sydney.
In the bottom half of the draw the clear standout for mine is Angelique Kerber. She had a successful 2018 where she finished second in the world rankings and finds herself with a much easier run to the final than some of her closest rivals. Kerber’s biggest threat looms as Petra Kvitova, who’s the fifth seeded woman and has beaten Kerber in six of their 12 meetings.
It must be said that the woman’s draw is stacked and has potential upsets written all over it. Of the main hopefuls, we lean towards Kerber with her easier draw and solid form looking the goods. In terms of value, we like Stephens at double digit odds to cause some trouble in the top half of the draw.
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