Tennis Betting Advice - January 2020

Tonight – Great Britain v Australia...

Wednesday 8th January 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Australia in the quarter finals...
  • Nick Kyrgios – the team player...
  • Update on this week’s WTA picks...

Australia in the quarter finals...

Our first pick of 2020 has given us our first quarter-final run of the season.

At the inaugural ATP Cup event, host nation Australia are into the last eight. Lleyton Hewitt’s team produced a dominant performance to top Group F, winning all nine of their matches.

Those three 3-0 victories – against Germany, Canada and then Greece – included a clean sweep of Singles wins for Australia’s star players, Alex De Minaur and Nick Kyrgios.

The ever-reliable John Millman has done great, too, stepping in to win both his matches when required.

In the Doubles, the pairing of big Chris Guccione and the vastly-experienced & successful Doubles specialist John Peers have also carried out their roles with aplomb – triumphing in all three of their matches.

The camaraderie and good spirits in the Aussie camp were evident in the Group F medal winner presentation on Tuesday, with the team audibly cheering out each other’s nicknames and all smiles with captain Hewitt.

Great Britain v Australia...

Team Australia will now move on from Brisbane to the Sydney venue, where they will face Tim Henman’s Great Britain for a place in the final four...

As noted in our ATP Cup Outright Winner preview last week, GB were one of four teams in the weak-looking Group C – alongside Belgium, Bulgaria and Moldova.

Britain have done great to get through and win their group. But I’d have taken any of those four Group C opponents against this Australia squad...

Our 7/1 picks have the benefit of two superb Singles players in De Minaur and Kyrgios, as well as a solid back-up in Millman – and a strong Doubles pairing.

For Team GB, Dan Evans (in particular) and Cameron Norrie are respected. But without the injured Andy Murray, Henman’s squad does look to lack the full punch over this three-match tie against the hosts – made up as it is of two Singles rubbers followed by a Doubles decider if required.

Australia are now a general 3/1 shot to go all the way.

Play starts in that tie at 11pm tonight (UK time), with Norrie scheduled to take on Kyrgios in the opener...

Nick Kyrgios – the team player...

He’s still only 24 years of age, but there have been many false dawns in Nick Kyrgios’ career...

From a teenage Wimbledon breakthrough, beating Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter finals in 2014 – then only reaching one other Grand Slam quarter final since. To starting the 2018 season by winning the first tournament of the year in Brisbane, only to then drift down the rankings again through injury and ill-discipline... before returning to finals in 2019 with title wins at ATP Acapulco and Washington...

This supremely talented, enigmatic and erratic player has many detractors. But I’m happy for him to let the tennis do the talking, and Nick has shown a few signs in the last 12 months or so that he really has got the head – as well as the game – to do big things in this sport.

While fitness issues may still hamper him in the seven-match, best-of-five sets run needed to win a Grand Slam tournament over a two-week period, on his day Nick always has a chance and the ability to beat the best.

The making of the man?

Last November, ahead of representing Australia in the Davis Cup Finals, we noted that Kyrgios had seemed to thrive in the team format at the Laver Cup in September.

It’s visible again this week at the ATP Cup, with Kyrgios a vocal, enthusiastic and pumped-up presence for Team Australia from the sidelines in support of his teammates – and producing some of his best tennis on court when cheered on by his peers.

Could it be that Nick performs best when he perceives himself being treated as an equal by his team – rather than rebelling against being ‘told what to do’ by a coach? It could well be the case.

Add in the fact that Kyrgios has been a passionate and pro-active voice among the sporting world in the Australian bushfires relief campaign – frequently using the phrase that this is a cause ‘bigger than tennis’ – and this talented young man might just have found a way to ground himself and really mature as a professional.

One thing’s for sure – he’s a great tennis player. And great tennis players win more matches than they lose. I’ll be keeping Nick Kyrgios firmly on our weekly Ones to Watch radar this year.

Update on this week’s WTA picks...

We started this week with our first ‘Sunday Night Club’ of the season, putting up four players as Each Way picks in the Outright Winner markets for the opening WTA tournaments of 2020...

WTA Brisbane:

In Brisbane, our 33/1 outsider Karolina Muchova went out in the 1st round to an in-the-zone Alison Riske. There’s no shame in that. The 29-year-old Riske had her best-ever season in 2019, and has started the New Year in similar big-serving, hard-hitting fashion. The American could be one to keep an eye on for a late-career flourish.

Our other Brisbane pick Sofia Kenin (20/1) was an impressive 2-0 winner in her 1st round match, taking out the tricky Anastasija Sevastova. Things won’t get any easier, with World No.4 Naomi Osaka up next. Kenin won their last meeting though, at Cincinnati in 2019, which was also their only encounter to date on hard courts.

The bookies make Osaka an 8/13 (1.62) favourite to win the match. But our player will bring her all here – she knows no other way to play – and at this stage I wouldn’t rate a win for Kenin as that much of an upset.

It should be a good match. Osaka v Kenin will be shown live on Amazon Prime Video around 9am Thursday morning.

In the Outright Winner market, the firms now have Kenin 14/1, with Osaka 9/2 (5.50).

WTA Shenzhen:

Over in China, our 16/1 or 11/1 pick Ekaterina Alexandrova is through to the quarter finals at WTA Shenzhen.

The Russian hard-court specialist ended last season in good form and looks to have picked up where she left off, yet to drop a set here in her opening two matches of 2020.

Alexandrova will play one of our Ones to Watch in 2019 players in the quarter finals, Qiang Wang. The match betting has our pick Alexandrova as the 8/13 (1.62) favourite.

With pre-tournament favourites Aryna Sabalenka and Belinda Bencic already knocked out – having been market leaders at 10/3 (4.33) and 4/1 respectively – the revised Outright Winner list has Alexandrova down to 9/2 (5.50).

WTA Auckland:

Last but not least, in Auckland we’re on teenager Coco Gauff (16/1 or 12/1).

The 15-year-old American was a confident straight-sets winner in round one, coming through 6-3, 6-1 against the slightly higher-ranked 21-year-old, Viktoria Kuzmova.

In tonight’s match, Gauff is priced as 1/2 (1.50) favourite to beat the 31-year-old Laura Siegemund.

In the tournament market, the majority of firms now have Coco down to 8/1 to go all the way this week.

This season Amazon Prime Video have got all of the WTA tennis. Gauff v Siegemund will be live from 11pm tonight.

I’ll be in touch...

We have a few good prices on our side there, in this the very first week of the new season.

I’ll be back in touch around the end of the week if there is more to report or any further betting moves for us to make. And after that, Sunday Night Club will be in service again, ready for next week’s tournaments.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch