Rafael Nadal’s quest to hold all four Grand Slam titles at one time will be the story to follow in the Men’s Draw when Tennis returns to the big time in Melbourne on Monday. Al Dannity likes the Spaniard’s chances of going all the way.
Experience will favor Nadal Rafael Nadal has, by his high standards, a mediocre record at the Australian Open. The Spaniard’s one victory from six appearances makes him the envy of most players but Nadal has history on his mind in Melbourne. Victory here and he will hold all four major titles, completing a Rafa Slam as it has already been dubbed. The draw is favorable to the top seed with Marin Cilic likely to be the only big test he faces before a possible semi-final with Robin Soderling.
The route to the semi-finals will prove particular precarious for Soderling however as he must negotiate a side of the draw that features both Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray. On their day both of these players are capable of making it to the semi-finals and their part of the draw also features threats like Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis and the ever improving Jurgen Melzer. The other half of the draw looks far nicer for the big names. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have challenging but manageable routes to the final four.
Djokovic has carried a good run of form through the winter and looks a chic pick to topple Federer and make the final. There he will likely face Nadal. When history is on the line, I always go with the best in the business. Right now that’s the Spaniard. Bet on Rafael Nadal to win the Men’s Singles title at +195 with Sports Interaction.
Draw suits a deep run by Ivanovic Three years is a long time in sport, as any Tennis betting fan following the career of Ana Ivanovic can surely attest. The Serbian was at the top of the game at Roland Garros in 2008 when she won the French Open but injury and poor form saw her drop out of the elite ranks. She finally returned to form in 2010 with a storming finish to the season, ending the year by taking titles in Linz and Bali. Injury in the Hopman Cup raises some doubts about her fitness for Melbourne but the draw makes her worth backing early on in the Women’s Singles.
Ivanovic’s path through the tournament is quite favorable. Nadia Petrova and Patty Schnyder are the two toughest opponents in her path to the last 16. There she could face Kim Clijsters but given the Belgian’s slow start to 2011, an upset isn’t out of the question. While I don’t like Ivanovic to go all the way, she will offer good value in her match-ups through to the quarter-final stage.
Picking a winner for the Women’s Singles is tough, especially without Serena Williams playing. Vera Zvonareva has the best chance to do it but given how open the field is, I like Sports Interaction’s Pinata pick in this tournament. The Pinata pick offers odds of +2500 no matter who you get.