Tennis Betting Advice - January 2019

Australian Open: Djokovic v Pouille – and two for the finals…

Thursday 24th January 2019

Australian Open - Bets of the Day

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Day 12 – Djokovic v Pouille…
  • Rafa for the Men’s…
  • Petra for the Women’s…


Relentless. That was one heading used to describe Rafael Nadal yesterday. And I have to agree. Rafa was simply too good for 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas – and on that evidence, too good for pretty much anyone right now…

Two for the finals…

I’m calling it right now and naming Nadal as my pick for Sunday’s Men’s Final. I see no benefit in waiting until the night before the match.

Odds of 10/11 and 5/6 suggest a 50-50 match-up and are based on facing Novak Djokovic in the final. Djokovic has still got to beat Lucas Pouille on Friday, and although he’s the overwhelming favourite to do so, nothing is ever certain in sport and there is still a job for the World No.1 to do.

And this selection is all about Rafa. The Spaniard kept up his new fast-match tactic against Tsitsipas, blitzing it 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 despite the young Greek star not actually playing badly.

Rafa is the only man in the draw with a 100% record, having won all six matches in straight sets, 3-0. Djokovic has dropped sets in two of his last three – and the third doesn’t really count as an injured Kei Nishikori only lasted a set and a half.

Djokovic has had the better over Nadal on hard courts for the last few years, granted. But when and if it comes down to a big shootout in the final between the world’s two top-ranked players, the deciding edge will come from the slightest edge, be it time on court over the last fortnight – or that little bit more hunger for the trophy…

Nadal will still be smarting after a five-set defeat v Djokovic in their Wimbledon semi final last summer, in a match that stretched over two days. Rafa wants revenge and that extra percentage of motivation could be significant here.

I’m also going straight in with Petra Kvitova as my Match Winner pick for Saturday's Women’s Final v Naomi Osaka. Kvitova was impressive again last night in taking out an up-for-it Danielle Collins, 7-6, 6-0. The way Petra got better as the match went on is ominous form that suggests she is accelerating towards a third Grand Slam title – and a first since 2014.

Kvitova likes playing finals. She’s come out on top in each of her last eight trophy matches.

Like Nadal, Kvitova is the only player in her draw yet to drop a set. Six consecutive 2-0 wins mark her out as the form player going into Saturday's final.

Osaka is dangerous of course and good enough to turn on the style against anyone, any time. However the Japanese youngster has dropped sets in three of the last four rounds, including twice having to come back from a set down. Kvitova has the ruthless edge to capitalise on any lead that Osaka gives her.

And if we consider ‘off court’ factors as motivation, then the fact that Petra is looking to win a first Major since a horrific hand injury sustained in an attack at her home in late 2016 is a big reason to see the case for the Czech here. My take is that Kvitova will go tooth & nail in this final and can edge out Osaka.

Day 12 – Djokovic v Pouille…

Back to the Friday schedule and the big match is the remaining Men’s Semi Final, Novak Djokovic v Lucas Pouille (8.30am UK time)…

Djokovic is as short as 1/20 (1.05). Pouille is a 10/1 (11.00) outsider. The 24-year-old Frenchman has played out of his skin at this tournament, with his best ever Grand Slam run in his very first Grand Slam under the tutelage of Amelie Mauresmo. In fact, Lucas had never previously been past the 1st Round at the Australian Open in six visits.

Pouille can definitely cause the World No.1 problems here. Looking to covert that threat into a winning move in the betting markets, I’ve worked through a few options and prices in my match research:

In the Set Betting market, Djokovic to win 3-1 @ 3/1 (4.00) would appear a percentage play based on results at the tournament so far. The non-mathematical verdict being that ‘Pouille can take a set off Djokovic’…

Odds of 13/8 (2.63) at best for the underdog To Win a Set don’t appeal on their own – I’d want more than that when opposing the always-real possibility of a 3-0 Djokovic win, which is odds-on at 8/15 (1.53).

Pouille has served fantastically well throughout, hitting double figures for Aces in all six of his matches so far. Djokovic rarely hits a mountain of Aces. Odds of 8/15 (1.53) for Pouille to hit Most Aces are nothing to write home about though, especially in such a big match and with Skybet the only bookie with that market, too.

The pick for me is Evens+ (2.00+) for there to be a Tiebreak in the Match. I’ve been waiting all tournament to get a price I like for this market, and this is the one. There has been two tiebreak (7-6) sets in each of Pouille’s last four matches en route to this semi final. Djokovic lost a tiebreak set v Medvedev in the 4th Round. With the Frenchman serving well, he can take Novak all the way in at least one set here.

Today’s Ones to Watch picks are:

Men’s – Outright Winner:

BET: Rafael Nadal @ 10/11
BOOKIES: 10/11 (1.91) William Hill, Betfred, 9/10 (1.90) 888 Sport, Unibet, 5/6 (1.83) in general

Latest odds here >>

Women’s Final:

BET: Petra Kvitova to beat Naomi Osaka @ 10/13
BOOKIES: 10/13 (1.77) NetBet, 10Bet, 8/11 (1.73) Bet365, BetVictor, William Hill, Boylesports

Latest odds here >>

Novak Djokovic v Lucas Pouille:

BET: Tiebreak in the Match – Yes @ 5/4
BOOKIES: 5/4 (2.25) Boylesports, 6/5 (2.20) BetVictor, Evens (2.00) Bet365, Skybet, Betway, Sportingbet

Latest odds here >>

I’ll be back over the next two evenings with a further look at the markets for the Men’s and Women’s Finals.


The tennis tour is relentless (that word again) and on Monday there are two WTA tournaments getting underway. Petra Kvitova is reigning champ in St Petersburg but now she’s in the Aussie Open final it’s looking highly unlikely that she’ll be off to play full-tilt in Russia next week. So that’s one favourite that looks set to drop out of the St Petersburg draw – where we’ll be on the hunt for an outsider at a nice Each Way price once again.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch