Tennis Betting Advice - January 2020

Australian Open: Thursday night thumpers at 18/1…

Thursday 23rd January 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Play starts Midnight…
  • Day 5…
  • Zhang v Kenin in the morning…

Good evening and welcome to day five of our Australian Open coverage.

Play starts at Midnight. You can watch live on the Eurosport channels, website or app.

Fritz in five…

Yesterday we flagged up a trio of men’s matches as potential ‘Five Setters.’ Just the one hit the mark, with Taylor Fritz coming from two sets to nil down to beat Kevin Anderson, 3-2.

Fritz goes on to face our men’s Outright Winner pick, Dominic Thiem in the 3rd round.

Thiem also had a five-set battle, coming from two sets to one behind to beat Australian hope Alex Bolt. Dominic won going away in the end, taking the final two sets comfortably, 6-1, 6-2.

On the day five schedule, Tennys Sandgren v Sam Querrey looks the most likely five-setter to me. These two Americans are no strangers to each other. Serve will play a huge role here. When they met at Wimbledon last summer, the score was 6-4, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 to Querrey.

No surprise, then, that the bookies make it just 3/10 (1.30) at best for there to be a Tiebreak in the Match. And 2/1 (3.00) for a 1st Set Tiebreak. I’d be surprised if we didn’t see at least one 7-6 set in this one. Those prices are with Skybet.

For today’s feature matches though I’m concentrating on three tussles in the women’s draw…

Day Five power-plays…

Playing best-of-three sets (rather than best-of-five as the men do at Grand Slams), it’s logical that the women produce more matches that go to a deciding set. Compared to six Set Betting score options for the men, a women’s match can only end as one of four outcomes: 2-0, 0-2, 2-1 or 1-2.

The Thursday night & Friday morning schedule has these three all catching my eye in the 3-Set category. All feature women who take the power-play approach, battering and clattering the ball in an all-out assault for winners. Expect short rallies and lots of noise…

Ekaterina Alexandrova v Petra Kvitova

Madison Keys v Maria Sakkari

Alison Riske v Julia Goerges

In the Match Winner odds, Keys, Kvitova and Goerges are the favourites – in that order.

In each case though, their opponents are on the up. Alexandrova is on a 7-match winning streak in 2020 – and 12 wins in a row on hard courts going back to the end of last season.

Kvitova didn’t get the nickname ‘Kvi3ova’ for nothing. The Czech has a habit of playing out three-set matches – she’s a formidable competitor and can be especially dangerous when behind on the scoreboard.

Petra had two out of three matches go to a final set at the end of season WTA championships – and two out of four go a deciding set at Brisbane this month. In the 2nd round this week, Kvitova had to save multiple set points to prevent going to a third.

Keys can blitz opponents 2-0 – but 2-1 battles against Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova in January show how things can go to the wire against a tough competitor. Madison is also known to have costly lapses of concentration in matches, and as such is hard to fully trust at short prices.

Sakkari isn’t in the big league yet, but she’ll have a stack of Greek fans making a lot of noise here (seriously – have a look online for Greek tennis fans at the Aussie Open). And Maria has the hard-hitting approach to live with Keys for a set at least.

Both women have started in strong fashion this week, each winning 2-0 in both the 1st & 2nd rounds. It could get interesting.

Riske v Goerges is a genuine pick ‘em. Goerges has the experience. Riske has the career-surge momentum. The bookies make it close, with Julia 4/5 (1.80) and the improved American Riske at Evens (2.00).

Of the three matches we’re looking at, this is the only one with previous encounters in the book. The head-to-head is 2-1 to the German, but Riske won the most recent meeting. All three matches were on hard courts. This looks a three-setter in the making.

Plenty of sweat & tears could be in store in those matches. Total Sets = 3 is around 11/8 (2.38) – 13/8 (2.63) for each match. The Treble pays a top price 18/1 and is a decent if speculative contender for a Thursday night pick at an attractive price.

In particular, I fancy Kvitova to win 2-1 as the strongest selection of the lot.

Alexandrova is in the form of her life, but can get prone to the wobbles. Petra is fierce and has the champion quality of being able to find a way to win even if she’s not playing her best.

In the Set Betting market, odds of 3/1 for a textbook Kvitova three-sets win standout as a Single tonight.

Half a dozen chances…

In the Outright Winner markets our Australian Open book is made up of 10 outsiders at appealing Each Way prices.

Going into the 3rd round over the next two nights, we have six players standing:


  • Andrey Rublev – top advised price 66/1
  • Dominic Thiem – top advised price 22/1
  • Reilly Opelka – top advised price 500/1
  • Denis Shapovalov – top advised price 50/1


  • Belinda Bencic – top advised price 50/1
  • Sofia Kenin – top advised price 50/1
  • Amanda Anisimova – top advised price 40/1
  • Marketa Vondrousova – top advised price 50/1
  • Anett Kontaveit – top advised price 125/1
  • Iga Swiatek – top advised price 150/1

Kenin is the only one in action on the day five schedule. The American has night-time billing on the Margaret Court Arena stadium court. That means Sofia will be on court and live on Eurosport from around 10am Friday morning, UK time.

The bookies have our 21-year-old pick as a 1/2 (1.50) match favourite to get past 31-year-old Shuai Zhang of China. Kenin is ranked No.15 in the world. Zhang is at No.35.

This will be Kenin’s toughest match yet here. But the American is on the up and has the game and mental strength to erase the 2-0 win that Zhang posted over her almost two years ago at Indian Wells. A lot has changed since then.

Ones to Watch:

Match picks:

Ekaterina Alexandrova v Petra Kvitova – 3 Sets
Madison Keys v Maria Sakkari – 3 Sets
Alison Riske v Julia Goerges – 3 Sets

  • TREBLE: ‘Total Sets = 3’ in the three matches above is 18/1 (19.00) with Marathonbet, 14/1 (15.00) Skybet, BetVictor, SpreadEx, 12/1+ (13.00+) in general

 Note: some bookies call this bet ‘Over 2.5 Sets.’

Ekaterina Alexandrova v Petra Kvitova

Set Betting:

  • Kvitova to win 2-1 is 16/5 (4.20) with Boylesports, 63/20 (4.15) Marathonbet, 3/1 (4.00) in general

I’ll be back at 8pm tomorrow.

If you have any questions or want to drop me a line during the tournament, I’m on hand via email. You can message me at:

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch