Australian Open men’s singles round 3: Murray to smash Sousa
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 22, 2016
2016 Australian Open
- Men’s singles round three
- Saturday, January 23rd
- Play scheduled to start: 00:00 GMT
- Melbourne Park, Melbourne
- Live on Eurosport 1 and 2
Magical Murray to sweep Sousa aside
Andy Murray (9/2 title second-favourite with Coral) continued his charge in the 2016 Australian Open after smashing his way through home hope Sam Groth in straight sets, combating his rapid serves with ease.
The Scot (1/50) next faces Portugal’s number 32 seed Joao Sousa (14/1), who he has beaten in all six of their meetings, including twice in this competition.
Murray won both those matches 3-0, in 2013 and 2015, and so is 1/4 to do so again. He is, however, a more enticing 10/3 to take the opening set 6-1, as he did last time out in the Australian Open against Sousa.
If Murray is to reach the fourth round at the expense of the Portuguese, who has never got past this stage, then Bernard Tomic is his likely next opponent.
Tomic to edge compatriot
That takes us to the next fixture, where Australian compatriots Tomic and John Millman go head-to-head, in what will be their second official meeting.
The younger Tomic, 23, is the heavy 1/7 favourite being seeded 16th, and a tempting 5/2 to come through in four sets, having defeated him 2-1 in their only previous meeting.
Millman is a 9/2 shout, but the Brisbane-born 26-year-old is unlikely to extend his winning streak after edging tough ties with Diego Schwartzman and Gilles Muller.
Spain v USA
Section seven of the men’s singles thirds round this year sees two Spaniards taking on American opposition, all seeded, to set up a meeting.
Two-time semi-finalist David Ferrer (1/5 match favourite) is up against Steve Johnson (7/2), who has never got past this stage at any Grand Slam before, while Dan Evans’ conqueror Feliciano Lopez (13/8) takes on giant John Isner (1/2).
Ferrer won his only battle with Johnson 2-1 in the Vienna Open final last year, and so is 5/2 to triumph 3-1 this time.
Lopez and Isner, meanwhile, has three wins apiece against the other. The latter in particular is somewhat of a five-set specialist, while their only Australian Open meeting, back in 2012 at this same stage, went the distance. Odds of 9/4 are available for there to be over 4.5 in this clash once more.
Wawrinka and Raonic to set up crunch clash
Elsewhere, fourth seed and 2014 winner Stan Wawrinka (1/12) should make light work of fellow 30-year-old Lukas Rosol (13/2), while Milos Raonic (1/5) might have a slightly tougher workout against Viktor Troicki (7/2).
Canadian Raonic has won two of his three battles with Troicki, though the Serb was the victor last time out last year. Back the former to triumph 3-1 at 5/2.
Coral’s top tip: Lopez and Isner have battled out a five-setter at the Australian Open before, so back their clash to go over 4.5 sets once more at 9/4.