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Australian Open Odds: Day 2 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 2 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 2 Match Analysis and Picks
By Ricky Dimon
Covers.com

DUDI SELA (-130) VS. THOMAZ BELLUCCI (-110)

Sela is ranked 38 spots behind Tuesday's opponent, but there is a reason why he is favored in this one. The 5'9'' Israeli has won both of their previous matchups, both of which came last season. He came back from a two-set deficit in round one of the U.S. Open then beat Bellucci in straight sets in the Challenger Tour Finals.

Those results should not come as any surprise because Sela has always fared well on hard courts and Bellucci is the essence of a clay-court specialist. The Brazilian lost his last seven hard-court matches in ATP tournaments in 2011. There is no reason to think he will turn the tide Down Under.

Pick: Sela

JUAN IGNACIO CHELA (-130) VS. MICHAEL RUSSELL (-110)

Chela finds himself inside the Top 30 of the ATP rankings, but don't be fooled. Like many Argentines, he is a completely different player on hard courts than he is on clay. Chela makes his living on the slow stuff. He won only four hard-court matches all of last season (none since the U.S. Open) and he heads into the Australian Open on a five-match losing streak.

One year older than his opponent at 33, Russell is still going strong--especially on hard courts. He lost to Andy Roddick in a tight four-setter at the U.S. Open then posted stellar results at the Challenger level throughout the fall. "Iron Mike" earned three good qualifying wins in Sydney to prepare for Melbourne. Expect the American to keep it going.

Pick: Russell

RICARDO MELLO (-140) VS. ROBERTO BAUTISTA-AGUT (EVEN)

Bautista-Agut qualified for the main draw over the weekend, but he knows as well as anyone that there's a big difference between qualifying and the big time. In fact, the 23-year-old Spaniard has never won a main-draw match at the ATP level in his entire career (0-3).

Mello's best seasons are behind him, but he was ranked high enough for direct entry into the Aussie and he is a decent 2-2 so far in 2012 (qualifying matches included). The Brazilian generally does his best work on clay, yet he won a hard-court Challenger title in the fall. He also has a huge edge in Grand-Slam experience over Bautista-Agut.

Pick: Mello

ALISON RISKE (-140) URSZULA RADWANSKA (EVEN)

There's Agnieszka Radwanska...and then there's Urszula Radwanska. Don't mistake the sisters because Agnieszka is firmly in the Top 10 while Urszula is struggling to stay inside the Top 100 at No. 99 in the world. She managed to qualify for Sydney earlier this month but then got blown out 6-1, 6-1 by her sister.

Urszula has not fare well against Riske, either. Riske won a 2010 clay-court encounter and a 2011 grass-court meeting, so it's clear the American can get it done on any surface against Radwanska. Speaking of getting it done, Riske is 8-2 qualifying matches this year (successfully getting into the main draw in Auckland and now at the Australian Open). Her confidence is sky-high.

Pick: Riske

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