Tennis fans rejoice. The first grand-slam of the 2020 season is upon us. The futures odds to win the Australian open are out, for the Men’s and Women’s sides. And for those of you with your sights set firmly on the first round, here are the matches to watch and bet on next week.
— 5Dimes Sportsbook (@5DimesSB) January 15, 2020
2020 Australian Open First Round Must Watch Matches
Coco Gauff -170 vs. Venus Williams +150
It’s going to be the youngest versus the oldest when Coco Gauff takes on the legendary Venus Williams in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open. Gauff put herself on the international map by taking out Williams 6-4, 6-4, in the first round of Wimbledon in 2019. For Gauff, the future is extremely bright, but Williams isn’t done and would like nothing better than to extract some revenge in the top opening match in either field.
No. 1 Ashleigh Barty -900 vs. Lesia Tsurenko +600
These two have split two career matches with Tsurenko winning their most recent meeting in Brisbane in 2018. However, since that time, Barty has taken her game to an entirely new level. Could the World No. 1 get upset by the wily, 30-year-old Tsurenko? It’s a must-see match for sure.
No. 2 Karolina Pliskova -550 vs. Kristina Mladenovic +425
Pliskova and Mladenovic have split four career meetings while alternating wins and losses along the way. Mladenovic won the last meetings in straight sets in Dubai in 2017, but Pliskova is looking to make the grand slam breakthrough and she’s looking good after winning it all in Brisbane last week.
No. 3 Naomi Osaka -730 vs. Marie Bouzkova +515
These two have never played, but I think there’s little to no chance the defending Aussie Open champion gets upset here, seeing as how Osaka enters this year’s first grand slam event fresh off a run to the finals in Brisbane.
No. 4 Simona Halep -240 vs. Jennifer Brady +200
Halep got past Brady in three tough sets in their only head-to-head meeting in Canada last year and she reached the finals here in 2018. The explosive Halep should be focused from the outset here against the dangerous, but clearly lesser talented Brady.
No. 8 Serena Williams -2000 vs. Anastasia Potapova +1250
These two have never met, but I feel for Anastasia Potapova because I sense a huge beat-down coming in this one as Williams focuses on tying Margaret Court for the all-time lead in grand slam victories. Williams won it all in Auckland last week to claim her first title in three years.
No. 4 Daniil Medvedev -1500 vs. Frances Tiafoe +1000
These two have met only once with Medvedev claiming a 6-2, 7-5 win in Washington last year. When these two met as juniors, Tiafoe did get the win, so he should have some confidence in what I believe will be the most exciting opening round matchup on the men’s side.
No. 1 Rafael Nadal -10000 vs. Hugo Dellien +4000
While these two players have never met and Rafael Nadal hasn’t won an Aussie Open title since 2009, the only thing that could keep Rafa from routing the 26-year-old Dellien is a natural disaster of epic proportions.
No. 2 Novak Djokovic -5000 vs. Jan-Lennard Struff +2500
The reigning champ has taken on Struff twice in his career and has never dropped a set, including last year’s dominating Round of 16 win in the French Open. The Djoker wins in straight sets and without many theatrics.
No. 3 Roger Federer -3000 vs. Steve Johnson +1500
Federer has faced the former NCAA all-time great twice in his career and Johnson has never managed to take a set off the legend. With Federer looking to get back the title he won here in 2017 and 2018, I don’t think Johnson has any chance whatsoever for the upset, but seeing Federer on court is always a must for even the most casual fan.
No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas -5000 vs. Salvatore Caruso +2500
While these two have never met, this opening round match is must-see TV simply because the 21-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas looks like one of the top up-and-coming young stars that could end the reign of the Big Three.