Tennis betting tips: Australian Open, Thursday 18th February
0.5 points Serena Williams 2-0 beating Naomi Osaka 16/5 (SBK)
0.5 point Jennifer Brady wins 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2 in the first set 3/1 (Sky Bet)
0.5pt Aslan Karatsev wins the first set 4/1 against Novak Djokovic (bet365)
Sky Bet rates | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook
Naomi Osaka – Serena Williams (0300 GMT)
Osaka starts this match as a light favorites, with the pair leading 2-1 head to head.
Chances are a tight match, but it’s worth noting that their previous meeting was somewhat one-sided, the player refusing to give up and taking early control.
Service was key. Williams failed to break the service during his first appearance in Miami in 2018, and only managed to do so once in the famous US Open final that same year.
The most recent was Williams in Toronto in 2019, serving 12 wands and never having to face a breaking point.
In this second case, the American had 62 percent of his first serve in the game. He’s going to look for something similar here, but he’s got that figure over 60 percent in just one game so far in the tournament.
Osaka will need more consistency on its first serve – two of its last three rounds, the first serve is under 55 percent. If that number stays low, Williams seems in a form that would take full advantage.
Her act looked amazing as she patronized Simona Halep in the quarterfinals. Osaka also made a breeze in his last eight games, but before that he could easily be defeated by Garbine Muguruza, who held two match points in the final set.
Significantly, Osaka’s power has been borne by Muguruza and I expect Williams to cause similar problems here.
The price seems to go with the veteran player, although I can’t be confident to look for it. The best price to win the match is 27/20 but I will get 16/5 about the flat set success compared to the model of their previous matches.
Karolina Muchova v Jennifer Brady (04:15 GMT)
With Brady a 40/1 all-round ante-post selectionThis match offers the supporters of the American front game a chance to make a profit, as Muchova is around 7/5 weak players for this competition.
Despite losing a lot of weight, the couple won only their previous match. In 2019, before Brady’s big breakthrough at last year’s US Open, he took to the ground in Prague.
What might be more relevant is that there are only two service breaks (one each) in the match. Brady will definitely try to dominate with his great service here and the conditions are ideal for him.
Another hot day is expected to play into the hands of the Americans – in addition to helping the speed of service, Muchova’s shots and slices will go up a little higher.
The perspective I’m going to approach this is a quick start from Brady. He started out in four of his five matches in this tournament by winning the first set 6-1, while Muchova had a rather slow start.
The quarter-final lost the first set of 6-1 to Ash Barty, and it was 4-0 to Elise Mertens in the previous round.
Here’s an issue that adds that this is the first Grand Slam semi-final, and we’ve seen in the past how many players got hit on the nerves of being so close to a big final.
Brady, by contrast, competed in this stage at last year’s US Open and also managed to bring the A-game to that match against Naomi Osaka. Brady is 4/6 to win the first set but I like it when Sky Bet wins 3/1 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2. Seems worth a little game.
Novak Djokovic v Aslan Karatsev (0830 GMT)
Djokovic is no bigger than 1/12 to move on to another Australian Open final that summarizes the task facing Karatsev, the surprise package of the tournament.
Rus have already defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime (from two sets) and a sick Grigor Dimitrov in this tournament, but this is another big step forward.
Yes, he has some hard floor kicks in his closet, but Djokovic’s undo game is best on average, as he showed up against Alex Zverev on Tuesday.
Unlike Zverev, Karatsev doesn’t have a huge service that will earn him loads of free points – Zverev scored 21 aces – and with Djokovic being impressive in the service department so far in Melbourne, the problems faced by the weak side are clear.
However, there is a risk of supporting Djokovic on flat set success with prices as short as 7/10.
The big question mark hanging over the match is Djokovic’s fitness due to the abdominal tension he had received before in the tournament. It is fair to say that it was not as problematic as it was initially feared, but it was striking how the Serbs started against Zverev.
He was sluggish (Zverev served in the first set) and seemed to be trying to finish the numbers early. He confessed that he felt his injury after the game and took time to “warm up”. This leads to a possible value angle here.
This will be the couple’s first encounter, so Karatsev’s play has the potential to surprise Djokovic a bit.
Certainly the reading of the service might not happen right away, even given Djokovic’s returning guts. Karatsev is 4/1 to win the first set, which he must do to have the chance to be upset. About his 15/1 win, 7-6 also looks a bit big.
For those happy to play with short prices, Djokovic also looks lumpy at 4/9 with Sky Bet.
Djokovic has served very well so far and referred to this aspect of the game after his win against Zverev. He has served at least nine asses in each game so far, with 23 against Zverev and a career-best 26 against Frances Tiafoe in the second round.
Karatsev did not play more than 10 in any of his matches. At Paddy Power 1/25 as reference point.
Released on 02/17/21 at 1245 GMT
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