Australian Open Odds: Day 1 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 1 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 1 Match Analysis and Picks
By Ricky Dimon
Covers.com

JURGEN MELZER (-190) VS. IVO KARLOVIC (+140)

Melzer has won all four of their previous encounters, but they have not faced each other since 2007. Five years later, both players are north of 30 and Melzer seems to be declining at a more rapid rate. Granted the Austrian is still ranked well ahead of his opponent, but he was inside the Top 10 in 2010 and now he finds himself at 33rd in the world.

Karlovic is finally healthy after being sidelined with a foot injury early last season. The 6'10'' Croat will be bombing serves and there will be too much pressure on Melzer to hold serve every single time.

Pick: Karlovic

DAVID NALBANDIAN (-160) VS. JARKKO NIEMINEN (+120)

Speaking of 30-year-olds, Nalbandian and Nieminen are also going head-to-head on Monday. Nieminen has a clear edge in current form, but his recent good play may actually be the reason he loses this one.

The Sydney final was supposed to be on Saturday, but it got pushed back to Sunday because of rain. As a result, Nieminen--who beat Julien Benneteau for the title--will be playing the first round of a Grand Slam on zero day's rest. That's basically unheard of.

Nalbandian should be able to take advantage.

Pick: Nalbandian

PARLAY: DONALD YOUNG (-180) VS. PETER GOJOWCZYK (+130) AND GRIGOR DIMITROV (-180) VS. JEREMY CHARDY (+130)

Now in their 20s, highly-touted prospects Young and Dimitrov are finally coming of age. Both played the best tennis of their careers last year and they are well inside the Top 100 (Young is all the way up to No. 42). The draw has set up nicely for them to reach the second round and even beyond.

Gojowczyk is a German ranked 248th in the world and he has never won an ATP main-draw match of any kind. Chardy slumped mightily last year and plummeted to 82nd in the world rankings. Dimitrov was on fire two weeks ago at the Hopman Cup and he should be able to keep it up.

Pick: Young and Dimitrov

ARANTXA RUS (-120) VS. LESIA TSURENKO (-120)

Both players are struggling at the moment, having lost in qualifying in each of their first two tournaments of the year. This one could come down to experience, and Rus has the edge in that department.

She is well inside the Top 100 at No. 77 in the world in part thanks to a third-round appearance at the 2011 French Open. That's where she earned the defining win of her career, stunning Kim Clijsters in three sets.

Rus also qualified for the Aussie last year and advanced to the second round. Tsurenko has not won a WTA main-draw match since a clay-court event in Bucharest last July.

Pick: Rus

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