Australian Open Odds: Day 3 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 3 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 3 Match Analysis and Picks
By Ricky Dimon
Covers.com

DAVID NALBANDIAN (-140) VS. JOHN ISNER (EVEN)

There is no real reason--at least not a good one--why Nalbandian should be favored over Isner on Wednesday. The only explanation is that Nalbandian is a bigger name (former world No. 3, 2002 Wimbledon finalist) and he leads the head-to-head series 2-0. But the Argentine’s heyday was in the mid-2000s and one of his wins over Isner (Cincinnati 2010) came by retirement when Isner led by a break in the first set.

Now 30 years old, the injury-plagued Nalbandian is struggling down at No. 87 in the world. He got a retirement from Jarkko Nieminen while leading by a set and a break in the first round. Isner has climbed to 17th in the rankings thanks to a brilliant second half of 2011. He rolled over Australian Benjamin Mitchell in straight sets on Monday.

Pick: Isner

MARCOS BAGHDATIS (-140) VS. STANISLAS WAWRINKA (EVEN)

Wawrinka made a run to the Australian Open quarterfinals last year, but he was coming off a title in Chennai and had plenty of momentum. This season he lost his second match in Chennai in straight sets to little-known Japanese player Go Soeda. The Swiss, once in the Top 10, is down at No. 22 in the world after a lackluster end to his 2011 campaign.

Baghdatis is also coming off a mostly forgettable season, but the 2006 Aussie Open runner-up appears to be back on track. He reached the Brisbane quarterfinals and the Sydney semis as he prepared for Melbourne and he won his opener on Monday in straights over Benjamin Becker. Wawrinka, who has not faced Baghdatis since early 2008, advanced with a straight-set win over Benoit Paire.

Pick: Baghdatis

DONALD YOUNG (-120) VS. LUKAS LACKO (-110)

Lacko once registered as high as No. 60 in the world in 2010, but he virtually disappeared from the tennis map in 2011. As a result, the Slovakian (now ranked 119th) had to qualify over the weekend and he came back from two sets down on Monday to stun No. 28 seed Ivan Ljubicic.

Sure, Lacko has some momentum; but it's no secret that Ljubicic is a shadow of his former self at 32 years old. Young's breakout 2011 season was defined by a surprising run to the U.S. Open fourth round. There, prior to an upset of Wawrinka, the American crushed Lacko 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 (their only previous meeting).

Pick: Young

CHRISTINA MCHALE (-200) VS. MARINA ERAKOVIC (+150)

At 19 years old, McHale is rightly regarded as one of the United States' future (and present) stars. She surged onto the scene in 2011, highlighted by an upset of Caroline Wozniacki in Cincinnati and a trip to the third round of the U.S. Open (beat Marion Bartoli). McHale opened Down Under with an impressive straight-set upset of No. 24 seed Lucie Safarova.

Erakovic has not done much to inspire any confidence. The 23-year-old Croat lost to Angelique Kerber in the first round at Auckland begin the season before falling to Yanina Wickmayer in Round 1 at Hobart. She took advantage of a nice Aussie draw against world No. 219 Irena Pavlovic, but that was a close 7-5, 7-6(4) decision.

Pick: McHale

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