Australian Open Odds: Day 11 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 11 Match Analysis and Picks

Australian Open Odds: Day 11 Match Analysis and Picks
By Ricky Dimon
Covers.com

ROGER FEDERER (-160) VS. RAFAEL NADAL (+130)

There are plenty of expectations for the 27th career meeting between Nadal and Federer. Based on current form, this one should live up to the hype. Both players were outstanding in the quarterfinals; Federer crushed Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets and Nadal overcame Tomas Berdych in four.

The world No. 3 has won an unbelievable 25 matches in a row dating back to last fall. That's why it comes as no real surprise to see the oddsmakers favor Federer. Nadal, on the other hand, went into Melbourne with question marks surrounding both his knee and his play (lost to Gael Monfils in the Doha semifinals). Other than losing the first set to Berdych, though, the Spaniard has been flawless.

A huge factor that must be taken into account, of course, is head-to-head history. Nadal leads the overall series 17-9, including 7-2 in Grand Slams. While most of Nadal's wins have come on clay, Federer almost exclusively gets the best of Nadal on very fast surfaces.

The Swiss' last two victories have come on indoor hard courts in London and the win before that was three years ago in Madrid, where Nadal had battled Novak Djokovic for four hours one day earlier.

The bottom is line is that in a best-of-five match and on anything other than a lightning-quick surface, Nadal has the edge.

Pick: Nadal

VICTORIA AZARENKA (-120) VS. KIM CLIJSTERS (EVEN)

Clijsters just doesn't want her last Australian Open (allegedly) to end. She was down four consecutive match points against Li Na in the fourth round, and now finds herself in the semifinals. The defending champion has dropped only one set through five rounds, and that was to Li after Clijsters suffered what appeared to be a badly sprained ankle early in the match.

Clijsters came back out 100 percent and defeated world No. 1 (soon-to-be former world No. 1) Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 7-6(4).

Aussie Kim is through to her seventh career semifinal Down Under and is seeking her second title. She is also a three-time U.S. Open champion. Azarenka, on the other hand, is bidding for her first career Grand Slam final. Like her opponent, Azarenka has lost just one set this tournament. After coming up short in a tiebreaker against Agnieszka Radwanska, she rolled 6-0, 6-2. Clijsters leads the head-to-head series 4-2, including 4-1 on hard courts.

Pick: Clijsters

PETRA KVITOVA (-135) VS. MARIA SHARAPOVA (+115)

Sharapova looks like a woman on a mission to win her fourth career major title and her first since the 2008 Australian Open. She has dropped only one set through five matches; the first to Sabine Lisicki on Monday. Sharapova has won 10 of 11 sets and has won all 10 by a score line no closer than 6-3. In other words, the Russian has been absolutely dominant.

This is a rematch of last summer's Wimbledon final, in which Kvitova rolled 6-3, 6-4. Their only other completed encounter (one ended in a Sharapova retirement) went Sharapova's way, 6-4, 6-3 at the 2010 Memphis event. Kvitova is playing well, but she donated a set to Carla Suarez Navarro and her quarterfinal against unseeded Sara Errani was a relatively close 6-4, 6-4 decision.

The level of play looks even, but intangibles edge goes to Sharapova.

Pick: Sharapova

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