Australian Open: Another Novak Domination?

Novak Djokovic vs Lucas Pouille

The World no.1 in men’s tennis, rightfully and deservingly, is back in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic has been in a rich vein of form since the second half of 2018, and despite some blips here and there, he remains one of the most unstoppable forces in tennis.

If he’s ranking is not enough proof, the Serbian juggernaut has won the last two majors of 2018—beating Kevin Anderson in Wimbledon and taking down Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open.

Djokovic benefitted from Kei Nishikori’s mid-game retirement in the quarter-final. And so with a relatively fresher pair of legs, he is expected to comfortably handle Lucas Pouille who is making his first semi-final appearance in a Grand Slam.

Talking Points

Some unfinished business for the Djoker

Djokovic has some matters to settle in the Australian Open. It is the only Grand Slam tournament wherein he failed to reach the quarterfinals last year, losing in the fourth round to South Korean Chung Hyeon.

Now, Djokovic is through to the last four, and he will look to avoid another upset as he aims for a record-breaking seventh Australian Open title.

Luckily for the 31-year-old, he’s at the peak condition and playing brilliantly, dropping only two sets so far and not more than two in a single match in the competition.

As if he’s not the favourite yet, Djokovic is well rested after playing only two sets and 12 games against Nishikori in the quarters. Exhausted after three of his four previous matches went to five sets, Nishikori opted to retire with an apparent right leg injury.

That should give Djokovic a massive advantage, especially with Pouille playing nine sets and more than 80 games in his last two matches.

If there’s one thing deadlier than an in-form Djokovic, it’s a well-rested version of him.

Pouille ready to make French history

Pouille knows what he’s up against in the semis. The odds are stacked against him, and it would be a momentous upset if he would be able to fend off Djokovic and deny the Serb a milestone win in Melbourne.

Lucas Pouille to face Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Australian Open

France’s Lucas Pouille celebrates after defeating Canada’s Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open

There were only six French players in the modern era to have reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Before Pouille, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the last person to make it to this stage, way back in 2010.

No Frenchmen has ever won the Australian Open men’s singles title in the Open Era.

Pouille will rely on his shotmaking ability and aggressive playing style to trouble Djokovic. So far in the Australian Open, the World no.31 is among the best big hitters with 84 aces. He is no.5 in the list, though only two in the top five remain in the competition—the other one is Stefanos Tsitsipas who is on the other semis against Rafael Nadal.

It remains to be seen if he can keep up the production against the experienced Djokovic, but the fact that Pouille has shown great mental strength in his last two matches should help him put up a fight.

History

The two players meet for the first time, so it will undoubtedly be an interesting match that is almost certain to provide some of the best Australian Open 2019 highlights.

As mentioned, Djokovic is a six-time winner here. He is tied with Roger Federer with the most titles and could get the lone record if he wins his final two games.

The Djoker didn’t make it past the quarter-finals in the last two instalments of the Australian major, though he did win it in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016 before an elbow injury slowed him down.

On the other hand, Pouille is playing his first-ever slam semis. Before this, his best performance in the major was a pair of quarter-final appearances in the Wimbledon and US Open 2016.

Last year, the Frenchmen failed to make it past the first round of the Australian competition, losing to Ruben Bemelmans in four sets.

What are the odds?

Pouille have little to zero chance of winning this match. As what the Australian Open 2019 odds suggest, Djokovic is at 1.07 to win while the 24-year-old Pouille is at a far-off 6.88.

Their meeting is also expected to end in straight sets. Asian Handicap betting at us put Djokovic at -2.50 that pays at 1.55. On the other hand, Pouille is at 2.40 for the +2.50 plus handicap.

With a Djokovic domination likely, it might not be wrong to look at Game Handicap as well. In this market, tennis fans can get Djokovic -8.00 @ 2.04.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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A Bundesliga Certainty: Dortmund are Unbeatable at Home

Borussia Dortmund vs Hannover 96

If you ask me, there’s not a lot of people doubting the result of this match between a perennial giant and a struggling minnow.

Borussia Dortmund still stand tall at the summit of the Bundesliga and are still the favourites to win whatever match they go to. Meanwhile, Hannover have struggled to cope with life back in the German top flight after losing some of their important players during the summer transfer window.

The Bundesliga doesn’t think that there will be any dramatic upsets in store for this Dortmund-Hannover game. However, I would like to remind our dear us fans that the BVB came into a similar sort of match in December 2018.

More than anything, I would remind the casual fans and avid bettors to look at the finer details. The BVB are still the biggest favourites to win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the winning gap between two isn’t as big as many imagined.

Talking Points

Dortmund still stepping on the gas

It’s fun to see Borussia Dortmund thriving at the top of the Bundesliga, but not everything is fun and games for the Lucien Favre-led team as the final week of the winter transfer window approaches.

Bayern Munich are hot on their backs as they haven’t lost a football game since the two sides last met in a very exciting Der Klassiker. A loss for Dortmund from this point on would allow the defending champions to come within striking distance and that prospect would only add unneeded pressure in this impressive Dortmund side.

It’s fortunate for them then that they have been winning their games as of late. RB Leipzig gave a Marco Reus-less BVB side a tough challenge in their first Bundesliga game of the year. However, a fantastic individual effort from Axel Witsel helped propel the team past the Red Bulls and extend their lead at the top.

This year’s Dortmund team definitely have the players needed to succeed. Witsel has a reliable colleague in the middle of the park in Thomas Delaney. Dan-Axel Zagadou and Jadon Sancho are leading the team’s youth movement, and Paco Alcacer is still a goal machine with 12 under his belt and can take over for the still-injured Reus.

Everything should go swimmingly for Die Borussen as long as they play their usual game. While every football team is susceptible to collapses like any other team, the expectations on this team to succeed is very high.

Signal Iduna Park is always a tough visit for any side, but Hannover are ready to upset the Bundesliga leaders

Hannover’s Ihlas Bebou and team mates look dejected

While Dortmund are flying over the rest of the competition, Hannover are only hoping that some of the hosts’ good form trickle down to them.

They impressed a lot of neutral fans with the way they stayed up last season. Players like Salif Sane and Felix Klaus were important in their strong start to the 2017/18 campaign that helped them make it to this point.

However, both Sane and Klaus were the most notable departures over the summer, and the absence of Sane’s defensive prowess has exposed many of the team’s weaknesses. They are in the centre of many Bundesliga 2019 news stories about relegation favourites.

Andre Breitenreiter needs to find a way to get the points his team needs to catch up to Stuttgart and start their escape from the relegation struggle. He must find a way to reignite Niclas Fullkrug’s scoring that hounded Bundesliga defences last year. The rest of the defence must also find a way to stop Dortmund’s extremely talented XI.

They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They have the best chance to pull off an upset here.

History

Hannover can definitely pull off a shocker against the league leaders: they have pulled off a fantastic early-season result by holding the league leaders to a goalless draw in September 2018. They are one of the four teams that managed to steal a point from Dortmund, and that is something they can be proud about.

However, Dortmund have been virtually undefeated save their lone loss to Dusseldorf just last month. Moreover, four of their last six head-to-head clashes have ended in Dortmund’s favour. Some would consider the prospect of Hannover winning over Dortmund Sisyphean at this point.

Betting Tip

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Borussia Dortmund vs Hannover 96 Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.39
January 26, 22:30 (GMT+8)

I know that Dortmund would be able to crush Hannover 96. After all, they are playing at the Signal Iduna Park, and the Yellow Wall will always create an oppressing atmosphere as hospitality for their guests. I don’t think a team that hasn’t won in nine games in all competitions would be able to concentrate against that.

However, I do think that they are kind of offensively crippled without Reus. Dortmund should still win by two goals without any problem, but Hannover should be able to at least limit the score to 2-0 with a defensive mentality.

The Asian Handicap and First Half Correct Score markets have very intriguing Dortmund vs Hannover betting odds for punters who are looking to win big.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Leckie delighted with impact on return

Mathew Leckie praised Australia's medical staff for getting him fit for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup, after scoring the winning penalty that earned victory against Uzbekistan.

The winger missed the Socceroos' three Group B matches with a hamstring injury, but coach Graham Arnold had remained confident he would be able to feature during the tournament.

He was named on the bench for the Round of 16 clash in Al Ain and was introduced on the hour mark.

Leckie was able to get through not just to the end of normal time but also extra time, and then delivered the goods when he had a chance to score a penalty.

After Mat Ryan had made two saves during the shootout, Leckie's spot-kick took the Socceroos through with a 4-2 scoreline to set up a quarter-final clash with hosts the United Arab Emirates.

The 27-year-old, who had torn his hamstring while playing for German club Hertha Berlin before the tournament, said after the game: "(It means) everything. For me to just be playing today, it's super-special.

"We've worked super-hard, me and Phil Coles and the rest of the physio staff. They've done everything they can to get me back and today was also a question mark, maybe for the quarter-finals if we made it.

"But 24/7 we've been working hard to get me right and I felt good today. So obviously I played the last 30 and then extra time … the tank was a bit empty but it's always difficult going into games."

The winger said his penalty had been the best he'd ever taken, including in training.

Australia are 7/1 to win the Asian Cup.

The Socceroos are 5/2 to reach the final.

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Babbel slams Wanderers mistakes

Another late collapse by Western Sydney Wanderers left coach Markus Babbel declaring his team "can't defend", as they lost 4-3 to Melbourne City.

Wanderers slumped to a club-record sixth defeat in a row at AAMI Park, despite having led with six minutes to go.

Babbel's side had Keanu Baccus sent off on 66 minutes for a second bookable offence when they were 3-2 up.

They held out for a while but ultimately continued a worrying trend of falling to late goals as Ritchie De Laet equalised and Bart Schenkeveld headed home a 94th-minute winner.

Wanderers succumbed to an 86th-minute goal in losing 2-1 to Melbourne Victory in Round 11 and conceded twice in the last eight minutes to suffer a 3-2 defeat to Wellington.

They've scored three goals in consecutive games, but both times come away empty-handed, having shipped three goals in the final 11 minutes in their previous match against leaders Perth Glory.

Speaking after the City loss, which left his side with just nine points from 15 games, Babbel said: "We can't defend, it's very simple. If you watch all the games where we concede, it's too easy.

"When you concede four goals it's difficult. We scored three goals, we had great opportunities to finish the game but we couldn't score…and we lose."

Baccus' misplaced pass inside the opening minute was seized upon by De Laet as Wanderers made the worst possible start.

Babbel said: "We're always making mistakes, we can't concentrate over 90 minutes. A lot of the time we're not seeing the danger, we're not good in challenges and we're losing our 50/50 balls because we're not strong enough."

Western Sydney are 25/1 to finish in the A-League top six.

Wanderers are 5/1 to finish bottom of the league.

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Mario heads to Marseille

Marseille have boosted their hopes of sealing a Champions League place by signing Mario Balotelli on a six-month deal.

The 28-year-old has joined on a free transfer from Ligue 1 rivals Nice and after completing his medical, has signed a contract until the end of the season.

Following a difficult period after leaving Manchester City in 2013, Balotelli has rediscovered his form in France, netting 43 goals in all competitions in his first two seasons.

However, uncertainty over his future in the summer led to a delay in him returning to Les Aiglons for pre-season and he arrives at the Stade Velodrome having not played since the first week of December.

Coach Rudi Garcia says the 28-year-old is eligible to face Lille at home on Friday but has cast doubt on whether his new striker will feature.

Balotelli says he wants to play and admits he is looking forward to starting a fresh chapter in his career.

"I'm looking forward to playing with Marseille," he said. "OM is a great club, and their fans are very passionate. I was hoping to come here.

"I can't wait to score my first goal but the most important thing is the team. My goal is to score a lot of goals and assist my teammates.

"I hope the supporters will support us on Friday. The team and I will do the utmost."

Marseille currently sit seventh in Ligue 1, six points behind Lyon in the final Champions League place.

A win over second place Lille is available at 23/20, with the draw 12/5 and Les Dogues available at 23/10.

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Emery planning for different United

Arsenal boss Unai Emery expects a different test from Manchester United when the pair meet on Friday in the FA Cup.

The duo played out a 2-2 draw in the Premier League at the start of December, a game in which the Gunners held sway for most of the match, only to be ground down by the Red Devils.

Since then it has been all change at Old Trafford, with Jose Mourinho leaving the club and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being installed until the end of the season.

The Norwegian has won all seven of his games in charge and the expansive manner in which he has set up his team has been in stark contrast to Mourinho.

A victory at the Emirates would further boost calls for him to get the job permanently and the Red Devils are 7/4 to win, with the draw 5/2 and the Gunners 7/5.

Emery himself seems to have weathered a storm and will have been pleased by his side's showing in Saturday's 2-0 win over Chelsea.

Winning the FA Cup would certainly buy him credit with the fans and the Gunners are 12/1 to lift the trophy.

The Spaniard knows they will need to repeat that performance to get the better of United, a team he admits are a different animal in comparison to last month's meeting.

"It's a different team," he said. "It's the same players but they're playing with a big performance now. I was watching their last matches and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous.

"For us, it's good because it's a very big test for us in this competition."

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Poch cool on transfer plans

The difficult nature of the transfer market is again limiting Tottenham's options according to Mauricio Pochettino.

Last summer saw Spurs become the first club to fail to sign a single player since the window was introduced and they have again been quiet this month.

With Harry Kane and Dele Alli expected to be out for three months through and Son Heung-min away at the Asian Cup with South Korea, Pochettino appears to have his hands tied going into Thursday's EFL Cup clash with Chelsea, a game they are 5/1 to win, with the draw 31/10 and the Blues 8/13.

Spurs take a 1-0 lead to Stamford Bridge thanks to Kane's penalty in the opening tie and have received a boost ahead of the game with the news that Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama are all back in training.

It remains to be seen if any of the trio feature on Thursday and supporters have urged the club to add to their stocks this month in order to maintain their top four hopes.

Winning the EFL Cup, which Spurs are 3/1 to do, would certainly appease certain sections of the support and Pochettino has suggested that might have to be the solution, with any new arrivals unlikely before the deadline.

The Argentine insists the club are scouring the market but is adamant that they will only sign the right players if they become available.

"It's going to be difficult, as I told you in the past," he told reporters. "If it was difficult in the summer, because in the end we had the squad full – we didn't have space to sign players because we didn't sell players – now of course it's difficult too.

"Of course we're Tottenham and to find the right profile to help us I think is going to be difficult. But we're trying, we're trying to deliver something."

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FA Cup Arsenal vs Manchester United: Clash of the Round

Arsenal vs Manchester United

What a way to start this weekend’s FA Cup Fourth Round! Two of the Premier League’s royalty come together in a fight to the death at the Emirates.

FA Cup Arsenal vs Manchester United is a dream tie for the neutrals. When these two were drawn out of the hat together, there were gasps of anticipation from both sets of fans. There were also smiles from every other club in the country, knowing that one of the Cup favourites are about to fall at the second hurdle.

The Arsenal vs Manchester United betting odds show us just what a great game we’re in for on Friday night, with the Gunners marginal favourites at 2.52, the Red Devils are at 2.68 and 3.20 the draw. They are on level points in the league at fifth and sixth place with 44 points, and both arrive at the Emirates on the back of a crucial win.

So pull up a chair and enjoy the Clash of the Round!

Talking points

The winner of this huge game could be a decent bet to go all the way in this year’s competition, with us odds pitching Manchester United at 8.50 and Arsenal at 12.00 to lift the famous trophy next May; a feat they have already achieved 25 times between them.

Aaron’s okay for the Gunners

The big European transfer news of the window so far has been Aaron Ramsay’s impending move to Juventus, but that won’t shake the Welsh wizard’s determination to help the Gunners in his remaining months in North London. And he would love to go out with a trophy.

FA Cup Arsenal vs Manchester United: Laurent Koscielny has made the Gunners’s defence solid at the back

Laurent Koscielny celebrates after victory against Chelsea

Unai Emery’s team needs him to keep his standards high. After going 22 games unbeaten in all competitions, the Gunners have faltered somewhat. But they roared back to form in a big derby win over Chelsea which hauled Emery’s team right back in the hunt for a top-four place. Arsenal look a better defensive unit with Laurent Koscielny back in the fold, and he capped a superb performance against Chelsea with a goal.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has 14 league goals, hot on the heels of Liverpool’s Mo Salah, and he’s building up a formidable partnership with eight-goal Alexandre Lacazette. But Ramsey remains a pivotal part of the team, linking defence and attack as he so ably showed against Chelsea.

Red Devils are smiling again

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s positive impact on morale at Old Trafford has been well documented, but the way that has translated immediately into results is impressive. There is only one game they wouldn’t have expected to win, away to Spurs, and they came away with three points thanks to an unbelievable display from keeper David de Gea.

Let’s see how far they’ve come in such a short span of time. A win, or even a draw, on Friday, would add weight to the argument that Ole has the magic touch required.

Marcus Rashford is one of those players benefitting from his new regime at Old Trafford, netting the winner in a 2-1 victory over Brighton which made it seven wins from seven for Solskjaer. Rashford has scored five goals in six league games under the guidance of the baby-faced assassin. He’s playing with the freedom and vitality of the Manchester United sides Ole used to grace… and the fans love it.

Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez is in line for a starting place against his former club, still with a lot to prove to Manchester United fans. But the game is likely to be too early for Arsenal’s former Red Devil Henrikh Mkhitaryan, on his way back from injury.

History

Arsenal are the FA Cup kings, of course, with 13 wins to their name, but Manchester United are just one behind. Next on the list are Chelsea and Spurs with eight, so this is the Big Two of English cup football for sure, the Gunners winning their last FA Cup in 2017 and the Red Devils a year earlier.

Both teams made it through to the third round with comfortable wins over lower league opposition, Arsenal beating Blackpool 3-0 while Manchester United overcame Reading 2-0.

United have had the better of the head-to-heads since 1993, winning 30 of the 62 games with Arsenal triumphing in 17, and there have been 15 draws.

The recent Arsenal vs Manchester United results have been kinder to the Manchester side too. The Gunners have won only one of the last six meetings but did have the better of a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in December, near the end of Jose Mourinho’s reign.

The Gunners have won their last three at home while United won the last three away. Something is going to give.

Betting tip

??
Arsenal vs Manchester United 2-3 goals @1.91
January 26, 03:55 (GMT+8)

This is a great game, hard to call and one to enjoy. So I’m going to sit on the fence! Any of the three results are very much on.

I don’t see a bore-draw with Ole in charge of the Red Devils, and both teams will hope to avoid a replay. I suspect and hope we might see a thriller with the victors winning by the odd goal in three.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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City come back to beat 10-man Wanderers

On-loan Ritchie De Laet scored twice as Melbourne City came from behind to beat Western Sydney Wanderers 4-3 at AAMI Park.

The former Belgium international put City ahead in the opening minute, while his second goal got them back on terms with six minutes left.

City grabbed victory four minutes into injury time when Bart Schenkeveld scored his first goal for the club with a powerful header from a corner.

The home side had trailed 3-2 with half an hour to go, but the sending-off of Wanderers youngster Keanu Baccus proved crucial.

Warren Joyce's side were able to take advantage to secure a win that puts them within six points of leaders Perth Glory.

Western Sydney suffered a sixth consecutive loss and are now 13 points off the Finals Series places having played a game more than sixth-placed Adelaide.

They were punished for some sloppy defending inside the first few seconds when De Laet was able to collect a pass intended for Wanderers keeper Nick Suman and open the scoring.

Markus Babbel's team equalised on 28 minutes as Jaushua Sotirio went down under challenge in the area and Roly Bonevacia slotted the resulting spot-kick past keeper Eugene Galekovic, scoring for a third consecutive match.

City restored their advantage with a superb goal from Luke Brattan, who nutmegged former City attacker Nick Fitzgerald and then hit a powerful shot into the top corner.

The visitors started the second half well and had overturned that lead within 10 minutes of the restart.

Jordan O'Doherty's cross was headed home by teenage defender Tass Mourdoukoutas for his maiden A-League goal, then Sotirio's curling finish into the top corner soon made it 3-2.

Baccus picked up his second yellow card of the night soon after, going over the top of the ball in a challenge on Schenkeveld.

De Laet, on loan from Aston Villa and continuing to play as a makeshift striker in the absence of Bruno Fornaroli, struck past Suman to equalise before Schenkeveld earned the victory.

Melbourne City are 6/1 to win the Grand Final.

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Australian Open: All Eyes on Karolina Pliskova!

Karolina Pliskova vs Naomi Osaka

After Karolina Pliskova’s controversial victory over Serena Williams in the quarter-finals, all the focus will be on the Czech star when she takes on Naomi Osaka in the semis of the Australian Open.

Williams was expected to dominate the competition in the land down under, and after winning against World No.1 Simona Halep, the general consensus was “Williams is on her way to a record-tying 24th major title.”

However, Pliskova ended that dream and what could have been an incredible story for the tennis world to relish.

Of course, that is not to take anything away from Pliskova, but with the way she won against Serena, the only way for her to fully redeem herself is with a convincing win against Osaka.

Talking Points

Pliskova: Lucky or a result of incredible focus?

The 26-year-old Pliskova worked hard to get to this point. She beat Camila Giorgi in the Round of 32 and immediately made easy work of another tournament contender in Garbine Muguruza the following game.

However, all of that was forgotten after her three-set thriller with Williams that ended in surprising fashion.

As mentioned, the quarterfinal meeting between Pliskova and Williams went the distance, with the former winning the first set and the latter taking the second.

Williams was about to win in the final frame, up by 5-1 and serving for match point. In a cruel twist of fate, the 37-year-old American superstar was called for a foot-fault during her serve. She then appeared to hurt her left ankle, paving the way for Pliskova to pull off a massive turnaround.

Without the questionable call for foot-fault, Williams would have probably won. Besides, Pliskova already looked defeated when the seven-time Australian Open winner surged to a massive lead.

Serena Williams suffered an ankle injury during her match against Karolina Pliskova in Australian Open

Serena Williams looking disappointed after her defeat to Karoline Pliskova

Nonetheless, the focus that Pliskova displayed shouldn’t be undermined. There’s luck for sure, but winning six straight points against an experienced and proven winner like Serena is no easy feat.

It should also be noted that the 26-year-old Czech was clinical in the first set and won 81 percent of her serves while making just five unforced errors.

It remains to be seen if Pliskova will have the same luck against Osaka. But if she sticks to her style of play, keeps her shots simple and retains the same composure, then she could be in for another upset.

No redemption for Osaka

Tennis fans around the world were already looking forward to a rematch between Williams and Osaka. The two were embroiled in the shocking 2018 US Open final that saw Osaka’s dream night end in tears—no thanks to Serena’s outburst and fight with the umpire.

It would have been a chance for Osaka to prove her mettle against Williams once again. However, that would have to wait after the latest set of Australian Open 2019 results.

Nevertheless, whoever her opponent is, the fourth-seeded Osaka will still be a tough nut to crack.

Osaka is the last top five player in the women’s competition, and she hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. She has been a model of consistency and has been a lot more confident, as proven by her come-from-behind victories over Hsieh Su-Wei (Round of 32) and Anastasija Sevastova (Round of 16).

The Japanese star is also on course to become the first WTA star to win back-to-back major titles since Jennifer Capriati in 2001, and that should give her extra motivation.

History

Pliskova and Osaka have met three times before, with the Czech star ahead 2-1. They last played against each other in the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Japan last September 2018.

Despite the strong support that Osaka got during that contest, Pliskova came out on top with a straight-set win.

They also faced each other in the Indian Wells in 2018, though it was Osaka who got the win back then.

Pliskova won her first ever meeting with Osaka in the professional level in 2016, though that ended with the young Japanese retiring in the third set.

What are the odds?

Naomi Osaka is the favourite to win against Karolona Pliskova in Australian Open semifinals

Naomi Osaka celebrates after her match match against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina

Osaka, unsurprisingly, is the overwhelming favourite to win based on the Australian Open 2019 odds at us.

The Japanese star is at Money Line odds 1.80 to come out on top, though Pliskova isn’t too far behind at odds of 2.04.

Their fight is expected to go the distance, as Asian Handicap odds give Pliskova a plus-handicap +1.50 that pays at 1.40. On the other hand, the 21-year-old Osaka is at 2.78 for a -1.50 handicap.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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