Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Australian Open - Second Round (II)

Juan Martin del Potro wasted little time in first round action seeing off Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 and he can follow that up with another straight sets win against Benjamin Becker in the second round. Becker ended Andre Agassi's career at the US Open in 2006, but he should have no such luck against the Argentine tomorrow. Del Potro's fearsome forehand was in devastating display against Mannarino and there will be little Becker can do if the former US Open champion is in a similar vein of form. This selection represents near maximum value to The Overrule and we shall be placing a four point selection on it.

4* Juan Martin del Potro beat Benjamin Becker 3-0 @ 8/15 (Paddy Power)

Much was made of Roger Federer's early round draw in Melbourne, but I fully expect Federer to make a mockery of such exaggeration by seeing off Nikolay Davydenko in the same way he saw off Benoit Paire in the first round. Davydenko offers a stiffer test than Paire and comes in off some of his best form in a long while after he reached the final of Doha, where he dispatched David Ferrer along the way. However, even when Davydenko was at his peak amongst the world's top 5, Federer was consistently and routinely beating him, as their 17-2 head to head suggests.

Federer fully understands the importance of conserving energy in the first week of a Grand Slam and I would anticipate him to be on the ball early to quell any challenge that Davydenko might represent. As with the del Potro selection, this price offers great value, but we shall respect the capability of Davydenko to produce some very good tennis by making this a two point selection.

2* Roger Federer beat Nikolay Davydenko 3-0 @ 8/13 (Paddy Power)

Varvara Lepchenko had a career year in 2012 and she appears overpriced to defeat Elena Vesnina in the second round of the women's event. Vesnina has got off to a great start in 2013, winning her first ever singles title in Hobart, beating the likes of Yaroslava Shvedova, Sloane Stephens and Mona Barthel in the process. However, despite an underwhelming beginning to her 2013 season, I fail to see why Lepchenko should be priced at 2/1 to progress to the third round.

History between the two is minimal, Vesnina won an encounter in Budapest last year by virtue of retirement, and their only previous meeting to that was in 2005 which Lepchenko won, but bears little or no relevance to the present day. This selection, much like the one on Sabine Lisicki to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in the first round has the makings of in-play trading material.

1* Varvara Lepchenko beat Elena Vesnina @ 2/1 (Victor Chandler)

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