Australian Open men’s singles round 2: Djokovic, Federer to rally
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 19, 2016
2016 Australian Open
- Men’s singles round two
- Wednesday, January 20th
- Play scheduled to start: 00:00 GMT
- Melbourne Park, Melbourne
- Live on Eurosport 1 and 2
All-time greats Djokovic and Federer feature
Novak Djokovic (4/7 tournament odds-on favourite with Coral) and Roger Federer (9/1) have a combined nine Australian Open singles titles, and showed their class by skittling past respective opponents Chung Hyeon and Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round.
Defending champion Djokovic (1/200 match chance) has now been rewarded with facing a second successive teenager, Quentin Halys (25/1), who is ranked 187th and shocked experienced Croat Ivan Dodig.
Federer, meanwhile, has been handed a tougher challenge against former world number 13 Alexandr Dolgopolov, though is still heavily odds-on at 1/16 having beaten him in their two previous meetings with ease.
Ukrainian Dolgopolov (8/1) is a former quarter-finalist here, back in 2011, so has the ability to give the Swiss some troubles, so four-time champion Federer is a more enticing 11/4 to win 3-1.
Seeded stars aplenty left in top half of draw
There were not too many shocks in the men’s singles draw on the first day, with just two seeds going out – ace specialist Ivo Karlovic, who retired hurt, and Frenchman Benoit Paire.
The likes of Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all made it through in three or four sets and should have been handed straightforward battles to reach the third round.
Lower-ranked seeds Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin and home hope Nick Kyrgios should all also safely make it through.
But, 19th seed Dominic Thiem (2/5 favourite) may find life difficult against 30-year-old Spanish player Nicolas Almagro (2/1), who is a former top 10 star and also reached the quarters here in 2013.
Others to look out for on day three
Others to look out for include American wildcard Noah Rubin, who shocked Paire in straight sets. The teenager may be ranked way down at number 328, but is one for the future and is 9/4 to beat another Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Elsewhere, there is an all-Argentine clash in the top section between Federico Delbonis (4/11) and Renzo Olivo (9/4), who are both treading on new territory, so expect a hotly contested match that could go all the way. Odds of 5/2 are available for there to be over 4.5 sets.