Former Australian Open champions picked to lead latest accumulator
In our Australian Open accumulators to date, we have favoured leaving out many of the sport’s biggest guns at short prices in favour of some more even match-ups at much more profitable odds.
However, times are a changing and we are relying on two players with six Australian Open titles between them to lead the charge in this 13/2 fivefold.
Neither Roger Federer or Victoria Azarenka have dropped a set in the early stages of the Grand Slam and we are expecting more of the same.
Roger Federer to beat Teimuraz Gabashvili 3-0 @ 1/3
Gabashvili may have knocked out the 31st seed Fernando Verdasco in five sets in the last round, but given that his game is based more around keeping the unforced error count down, it is unlikely that he has the attacking strokes and aggressive streak to trouble Federer.
The Swiss maestro may have lost a step from his dominant days, but he hasn’t dropped a set in reaching the third round and can continue that record here.
Roberto Bautista-Agut to beat Benoit Paire @ 1/2
Bautista-Agut arguably caused the biggest shock in the tournament so far when dumping Juan Martin del Potro out in the second round and he will be confident of progressing again, having won all four career meetings with Paire.
Paire has also has some trouble with a left knee injury and that has to be a negative to his chances.
Stephane Robert to beat Martin Klizan @ 5/4
Halley’s Comet doesn’t appear particularly often, but it’s latest appearance in 1986 was more recent than the last instance that two wildcards made it through to face each other in the third round of a tennis Grand Slam, which was back at Wimbledon in 1973.
Robert has conceded only 12 break points in his two matches to date and only three players in the men’s event have won more break points, which suggests he can keep things tight on serve and then take advantage when returning.
Klizan is hardly a worthy favourite either, having lost 11 out of his last 12 matches on hard courts before arriving at the Australian Open.
Dominika Cibulkova to beat Carla Suarez Navarro @ 4/9
Cibulkova has only dropped eight games in reaching the third round and was on court for under an hour in beating Stefanie Voegele in her last match.
Her power should be too much here against Suarez Navarro, who is not only away from her preferred surface of clay, but needed three hours to win her last match in the most humid of conditions.
Victoria Azarenka to beat Yvonne Meusburger 2-0 @ 1/6
Azarenka dropped only three games in the only other meeting between these two and it is the weakness of Meusburger on her second serve that puts her in serious trouble here.
The Austrian only won 18 per cent of her points on second serve against Bojana Jovanovski and Azarenka should prove even more deadly on return as she goes in search of a third successive Australian Open title.