The Wolf’s best bet for Day 6 saluted for punters with Andrey Rublev making light work of Lopez and now we enter the Round of 16 where the value starts to emerge.
Although Novak Djokovic was hampered by injury in his five-set win over Taylor Fritz, The Wolf’s still expecting the world number one to get past Canadian Milos Raonic.
The 20-year-old has been on the cusp of seriously breaking out the last couple of years, but after what he produced against countryman Denis Shapovalov in the third-round, his time appears now.
Standing at 6’4, the Canadian is a supreme athlete with some serious power behind his ground strokes and has been very impressive since landing in Australia.
‘FAA’ reached the Final of the Murray River Open, losing to Daniel Evans in what appeared to be a very wise decision conserving energy for the Australian Open. He’s yet to drop a set this tournament, and now faces qualifier Aslan Karatsev who has surprised many being reaching the fourth round.
Karatsev took out The Wolf’s man in Diego Schwartzman, managing to save 10 of the 11 break point opportunities the Argentine presented against him. But FAA is a completely different beast to Schwazrtman which should present a challenge to the Russian.
The power and athleticism of the young Canadian is something Karatsev hasn’t faced yet, and although he’s playing career best tennis, The Wolf thinks FAA is about to end his run in convincing fashion.
It was last year’s French Open when the 19-year-old Pole introduced herself to the tennis world with a 6-1 6-2 win over Simona Halep in the Round of 16. The two once again face off, and The Wolf thinks she can do it again.
Halep has had an interrupted preparation with injury and still doesn’t appear 100%, extremely lucky to escape the second-round against Alja Tomljanovic who fell in a heap when the proposition of an upset win presented itself.
The Romanian looked a lot better against Russian Veronika Kedermetova, but Swiatek has both these players covered.
The Pole didn’t play much tennis in the lead-up, but has advanced through the first three rounds with ease and has the game to beat Halep once again.
I’ve seen this movie before. Novak Djokovic not playing up to his lofty heights, so he really milks the injury card for a ‘miraculous’ five-set win.
I’m not buying it – the Serbian isn’t 100% but he’s certainly playing up this ab injury a bit which sees him at the unrecognizable odds of $1.50 when he takes on Milos Raonic.
The big-serving Canadian hasn’t had much fun against Novak over his career – he’s yet to beat the Serbian from 11 matches dating back to 2013 with the set totals sitting at 26 for Novak and just the four for Raonic.
Novak will continue to grimace in pain, but he’ll do it with another win over Milos Raonic.
The Wolf really likes how Grigor Dimitrov is playing this Australian Open, and although his third-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta didn’t last long due to the Spaniard retiring hurt, the Bulgarian still did enough to show he can make a genuine run this tournament.
He comes up against Dominic Thiem who came from two sets down against Nick Kyrgios and must be significantly more tired than Dimitrov after being on court for 3 hours and 20 minutes in the third-round – just a bit longer than the Bulgarian’s 38 minutes.
But it’s not just the difference in time on court that has The Wolf leaning towards Dimitrov in this – the two have played five times across their career with the Bulgarian leading 3-2. The last three hard court matches have been won by Dimitrov, all three when the Bulgarian was ranked below Thiem.
Although the Austrian looked incredible in the last three sets against Kyrgios, there’s a few chinks in the armour which the in-form Dimitrov can take advantage of and The Wolf is very keen on the Bulgarian making a deep run.