The 2019 Australian Open has entered its second week and is building towards the massive final weekend! With two of the four singles semifinal matchups decided at the time of writing, it’s time to delve into each of the matches below and give our betting tips for both!
Note: Make sure to check back later for updated semifinal previews once the rest of the matchups have been decided!
The Mens semifinals will get underway with a massive clash between World No.2 Rafael Nadal and young Greek superstar Stafanos Tsitsipas. For Tsitsipas, a win would see him reach his first ever Grand Slam final, while Nadal will be going for number 25.
Nadal enters the semifinal having won all five of his Australian Open matches so far in straight sets. He started his campaign off by beating Australians James Duckworth, Matthew Ebden and Alex De Minaur in the first three rounds before taking out Czech Tomas Berdych in the fourth round in a dominant performance.
Nadal then faced American Frances Tiafoe, who had been one of the surprises of the tournament, and dispatched of him quite comfortably in straight sets. Nadal hasn’t had his toughest Grand Slam run, not by a stretch, but he has looked incredibly dominant, especially his forehand, which seems to be back to its best.
20-year-old Greek sensation chalked up the best win of his short career in the fourth round as he dispatched of Roger Federer three sets to one. Interestingly, Tsitsipas has dropped a single set in all five of his Australian Open wins so far, which isn’t surprising given the caliber of opponents he has had to navigate.
Tsitsipas run to the semifinal so far has consisted of #54 Matteo Berrettini, #200 Victor Troicki, #20 Nokoloz Basilashvili, #3 Roger Federer and #24 Roberto Bautista-Agut. Considering that Troicki has been as high as number 12, the run that Tsitsipas has been impressive to say the least.
The Greek relies on his massive serve, which was on another level in the game against Roger Federer, as well as consistently forcing his way to the net to finish points early. It will be interesting to see whether he continues to come to the net on a regular basis against a passer as good as Rafa.
Tsitsipas controlled the majority of the crowd in his matchup against Roger Federer, which would have been strange for Federer, who is loved by the Australian fans. With such a big Greek community in Melbourne and Tsitsipas’ notoriety at an all-time high after the Federer win, he should have the crown in his favour once again.
He seems to be a very streaky player that is able to get hot for periods of time so we think he should be able to snatch at least a set of Rafa here, as the Spaniard hasn’t really been challenged yet in this tournament.
The tournament favourite in the Men's singles and No.1 ranked player in the world, Novak Djokovic will face off against Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the semi final on Friday night.
Joker has lived up to his No.1 ranking throughout the first five rounds of the Australian Open. In those games he has dropped just two sets and faced a really tough run of opponents, especially considering he is the number one seed.
Djokovic breezed past No.230 Mitchell Krueger in the first round but his run got much tougher after that. In the second round he had the unlucky task of drawing Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who is currently ranked 177 due to missing much of last year through injury. However, it didn't stop Djokovic from making light work of Tsonga, defeating him in straight sets 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
Djokovic then put away a couple of up and coming stars in Denis Shapovalov and Daniil Medvedev, dropping just one set in each match. Djokovic's return game is particularly on so far this tournament and on his favourite surface, our pre tournametn pick will be extremely tough to beat.
Frenchman Lucas Pouille is currently ranked No.31 in the world but you can expect that number to rise after a strong performance at the Australian Open. This will mark the first time that Pouille has reached the semi final of a Grand Slam, and he did so in style, defeating an in form Milos Raonic in the quarters three sets to one.
Pouille defeated Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round in straight sets, before going on to defeat Maximilian Marterer, Alexei Popyrin and Borna Coris all in four sets or more.
The win over Raonic is the telling one for Pouille. The fact that he was able to defeat such a big server highlights how good his return game is, which should hold him in good sted when he faces off against the Joker.
While Djokovic will be coming into this game extremely fresh after a quarter final retirement from his opponent Kei Nishikori, he is still prone to a bit of a lapse in concentration at times, even more so since his return from injury a few years ago. He dropped sets to both Medvedev and Shapovalov so far this tournament and Pouille is in arguably the best form of his career. We think the Frenchman can steal a set here.
The first of the women’s semifinals gets underway on Thursday at 2pm and sees World No.6 Petra Kvitova facing off against Danielle Collins from the United States.
Kvitova has had a dominant Australian Open so far, breezing through the first five rounds without dropping a single set. She has, however, just one win over a seeded player so far, which came in the quarter finals over Australian Ash Barty.
Her run in the first four rounds consisted of wins over #57 Magdalena Rybarikova, #70 Irena Begu, #49 Belinda Bencic and #87 Amanda Anisimova. She did, however, dispacth of all of these opponents with ease, including Barty in the quarter finals. Kvitova has racked up straight sets wins in all of her games and is yet to go to a single tiebreaker in the tournament so far.
Kvitova has also lost just one match since embarking on her tour of Australia. She was unsuccesful in the second round of the Brisbane ATP but went on to win the Sydney International the next week, dropping just one set along the way. She has now won her last 10 games in a row, all on hard court.
Danielle Collins has been one pf the surprise packets of the Australian Open in the women’s side so far and unlike her semifinal opponent, she has had to beat some top ranked players to make it this far.
After losing her first set of the tournament 6-2 to World No.13 Julia Goerges, Collins rallied to win the match and went on to claim straight sets victories in rounds two, three and four. In those matches, Collins defeated #123 Sachia Vickery, #19 Caroline Garcia and #2 Angelique Kerber. The win over Kerber was particularly impressive as she dominated the World No.2 6-0, 6-2.
The win against Kerber set up a quarterfinal matchup with World No.44 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and after losing the first set 6-2, Collins once again rallied to take the next two sets 7-5 and 6-1 to make her first Grand Slam semi. In fact, this tournament is the first time Collins has even progressed past the first round of an Australian Open.
Collins has played fantastically in the Australian Open so far, but she might have finally met her match in Kvitova. The Czech is in a rich vein of form at the moment and looks nearly unstoppable on the hard court.
The two met a few weeks ago in the first round of the ATP Brisbane, where Kvitova won two sets to one with two of the sets going to a tiebreaker. Interestingly, the set that Kvitova lost to Collins was one of just four sets she has lost since she arrived on Australian soil. We think she is just playing too good at the moment to drop a set to the American again.
After playing their respective quarterfinal matchups on Wednesday, both Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka will have to back it up on Friday as they face off in the semifinal from 3.30pm.
After a shock upset victory over former world No.1 Serena Williams, Pliskova continued her dream run at the Australian Open and will now compete in just her third Grand Slam semi final and her first at the Australian Open. Pliskova downed Williams 7-5 in the third set to advance to the semi finals and send the American home before the final for the first time in four years.
Pliskova defeated No.138 Karolina Muchova in straight sets in the first round before fighting past No.88 Madison Brengle and No.28 Camila Giorgi in three set wins in the next two rounds. The win over Giorgi set up a fourth round matchup with world No.18 and two time Grand Slam champion Gabrine Murguruza.
Pliskova breezed past Muguruza in straight sets, winning 6-3 and 6-1 to advance to the quarter finals against Williams.
Naomi Osaka has been the talk of the Women's tennis world since her win over Serena Williams in the US Open last year. She has skyrocketed to No.4 in the world and has some brilliant hard court form with 21 wins from 27 games on hard court dating back to the US Open.
She has looked fantastic in the Australian Open as well, dropping just two sets in her five games so far and claiming a convincing 2-0 win against world No.7 Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals.
We tipped Osaka to win the Australian Open in our tournament preview because she is arguably the most in form women's player in the world at the moment, and with the crowd behind her on Thursday, she'll be incredibly tough to beat.
It's a great betting match here as Osaka starts as a slight $1.82 favourite at most outlets. It's hard to look past her form at the moment, even as she comes up against the world No.4 in Pliskova. We think Osaka wins here and goes on to reach her second straight Grand Slam Final.
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