The big talking point coming from Melbourne this week is the scorching conditions with players, ball-boys and spectators alike all being reported taken ill due to the heat. Play was finally suspended on Thursday afternoon as temperatures reached a sweltering 44ᵒc.
However the majority of the top seeds from the men’s draw remain as we head into round three where 32 players remain.
Selected Third Round Matches
At this stage of the tournament, there’s still little value on betting on matches involving the top seeds with few shocks to be found.
But one notable departure from the tournament already is fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro who crashed out in the second round against Roberto Bautista-Agut so you can’t take anything for granted.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic plays his third round match on Friday morning against the Uzbekistani Denis Istomin. The Serb is huge 1/50 favourite with Sportingbet whilst Boylesports price Istomin at 28/1. This match is live on British Eurosport at approximately 9:30am.
A better match to bet on on Friday morning is Tommy Robredo’s clash with Richard Gasquet. Ninth seed Gasquet has not dropped a set in his opening two matches, most recently beating former Australian Open Quarter-Finalist Nikolay Davydenko on Wednesday.
17th seed Robredo has been pushed much further in his opening two matches, having to play nine sets so far which could count against him. The best price on him winning comes from Stan James at 7/4 with Paddy Power providing the best value on a Gasquet win at 4/7. This match is live on British Eurosport 2 from 8am.
The pick of Saturday’s third round matches sees number one seed Rafael Nadal take on 25th seed Gale Monfils. The Spaniard has won his opening two matches with ease, seeing first round opponent Bernard Tomic retire in the second set before beating wildcard entry Thanasi Kokkinakis on Thursday.
Frenchman Monfils, who’s career highlight so far is a run to the semi-finals of his home Grand Slam in 2010, is currently available at 6/1 with Boylesports. Paddy Power represent the best value on a Nadal win at 1/7.
Andy Murray has also made it through the first two round unscathed with straight-set victories over Go Soeda and Vincent Millot and faces 26th seed Feliciano Lopez on Thursday afternoon.
Djokovic remains the bookie’s favourite to retain his crown, although odds have opened since the commencement of the tournament, with Ladbrokes providing the best value at 8/11.
Serena Williams plays her third round match against Daniela Hantuchova early on Friday morning and remains 8/13 favourite to win the women’s competition with Totesport.
Second seed Victoria Azarenka continues her tournament against Yvonne Meusburger on Saturday and is priced at 5/1 by Sportingbet as outright winner in the women’s draw.
You can also claim free bets with the Paddy Power app by clicking HERE.
Live coverage from Melbourne continues all this week and next on British Eurosport 1 and 2.