Australian Open 2014 – week 2, Monday

So Serena and Kerber went out this morning. That’s opened things up a little and I think we’ll see at least a couple more upsets tonight.

 

First up we have Cibulkova v Sharapova.

Sharapova leads the head to heads 3-2 and Cibulkova has won 2 of their last 3 matches. However the last two matches were in 2011. They have never played on a hard court.

Cibulkova hasn’t been messing about in the first week. Voegele and Suarez Navarro both won just a single game. Only Schiavone in the first round made a match of it but still lost in straight sets.

Sharapova hasn’t had thing so easy. Mattek Sands kept the sets close and Cornet in the last round took her to a tie break in the second set. Sharapova almost didn’t make it to the Cornet match. Knapp took the second set from her and then Sharapova scraped through the final set 10-8.

Over the last 3 months Cibulkova has excellent serve stats and they are much better than Sharapova’s. That’s the only category which Cibulkova leads though.

With Williams going out Sharapova must feel she is in with a great chance to add to her single Australian Open title from 2008. I wonder if that will distract her a little  and I feel she is going to struggle.

Sharapova starts at 1.40 but I think we will see a lot higher. Cibulkova has beaten her before and has been playing more solidly. If she can keep her head I am slightly favouring her to get the win.

 

The Dimitrov v Bautista Agut and Jankovic v Halep are covered for the Shark Tips service.

 

Azarenka has won the title for the past two seasons. With Serena dumped out by Ivanovic Aza is a strong favourite to make it three in a row.

Sloane Stephens is the last American in the draw. I don’t see her being able to spoil Aza’s party tonight but 1.17 has to be laid.

Stephens will have to play better than she has in previous rounds where she has scraped through some tight sets.

 

Nishikori managed to take just 1 set from Nadal in their 5 meetings. That was in their first match in 2008.

Nishikori has been quite fortunate with his draw so far but he won’t be going any further.

 

Robert has had a superb tournament and I’m sure I’m not the only one who didn’t expect him to get this far. Murray has improved as the tournament progressed and Robert’s aim should be to take a set. His best chance is a tie break.

The 1.03 on Murray can be laid but don’t get greedy.

 

I think Tsonga has a great chance against Federer.  The faster courts will suit him especially if he gets his serve going.

Federer pulled himself out of his slump towards the end of last season. He has had a very easy draw and none of his opponents have given him a chance to fine tune his game.

Gilles Simon pushed Tsonga in their opening set but wasn’t able to do so in the next 2 sets.

They played in the Australian Open quarter final in 2013 and Federer won in 5 sets. If Tsonga can keep the pressure on Federer I think he can get the win.

Fed starts at 1.63 and I will be looking to lay him below 1.40 .

 

Radwanska’s match with Muguruza is also covered for Shark Tips.

 

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