Skip to main content

Australian Open previews

Just a few hours now until the Australian Open begins. My regular previews have been going since 2000, and have found a new home - this year I am writing for The TOTE and theshark.com.au.

Snippets from women's preview:

1. Wozniacki – will be a token no.1 until she breaks that Slam duck. Trying to bring more aggression into her game but still not a patch on the free-swingers like Serena or Kvitova. Had treatment on her left wrist in loss to close buddy A.Radwanska in Sydney, and that injury can be nasty if full blown, even if it only affects her on the backhand side. Draw says Jankovic R4, Clijsters/Li QF, Azarenka/Aggie Rad SF. Odds to win the title show just how much of a token no.1 she is.

2. Kvitova – exciting leftie who is seen as the heir to the no.1 mantle: she has already won a Slam and won the end-of-year WTA Championship. Looked in fine touch at the Hopman Cup, beating Wozniacki and Bartoli despite carrying a little extra condition. That works for her on the power game side but I’m a little concerned about it if Melbourne has a hot spell and she meets a couple of retrievers who won’t stop running. QF here last year, beaten by Zvonareva. Very nice draw – Stosur/Bartoli QF, perhaps Serena/Sharapova in the semi. Worthy favourite.

Read the complete article here

Snippets from men's preview:

There’s nothing like the Aussie Open on the tennis calendar. So early in the season that players are either still hurting from last season or they’ve been busting a gut at a boot camp during the northern winter. This event has a reputation for shock finalists (Clement, Schuettler, Baghdatis, Gonzalez, Tsonga since 2000 plus Tommy Johansson winning in 2002) but at the moment, the top four are almost impenetrable at the biggest events on the tour. Even Murray, supposedly the weaker of the quartet, reached the semis at all four Slam events last season. Let’s run down the field.

1.Djokovic – took the world before him last year, winning three of the four Slam events. Ended the season quite sore and tired, so whether he is in the shape of last January is contentious. Looked good in Abu Dhabi but hasn’t played an event since. Certainly a better player than back then, and he now carries the weight of heavy expectations. Value at 2.25? I doubt it but record in 2011 v Rafa 6-0, v Federer 5-1 (French Open), v Murray 2-1 (loss via retirement).

2.Nadal – injured here last year when losing in the QF to Ferrer. Ended 2011 with a Davis Cup win for Spain, just days after not caring at all at the Tour finale in London. Weird as it seems, he may be flying in under the radar here. If fit (always some concern over his knees and shoulder), he’s right in it. Has drawn the softest quarter, only Berdych to worry about before the semis. Should not be the outsider of the four.

Read the complete article here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Preview de la Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 2020

The European flat racing season comes to its natural conclusion in this messed up hell of a year. The queen of the turf, Enable, goes for an historic third win but it has been wet and cold all week in Paris, making it a tough old slog in deep ground. There won't be much of a crowd there to 'bring the house down' if she wins, in front of no more than 1000 paying spectators, but the racing world will be tuning in across the globe. ===============================================
Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe ParisLongchamp, 1605 local, 1505 BST, 0005 Monday Sydney time.  2400m, Group 1 Weight-for-Age, (no geldings)  Approx €3m.  Expected Going - Heavy.  1.Persian King - 4yo, Kingman/Pretty Please - Andre Fabre - Pierre Charles Boudot Star French colt stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time. Won the French 2000 Guineas (Poulains) on heavy ground but ran fourth (only time in his career finishing worse than second) in the Jacques Le Marois, almost nine lengths behind P…

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

The Melbourne Cup preview 2019

We're back again for the greatest race on turf, the world's richest staying race and the only race in the world which creates a public holiday for millions of locals.




Once again a fine international field has been assembled and it's worth a deep look at the race. So get a cuppa and find a comfortable seat to plough your way through my preview!

--------------------------------

The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
Broadcasters - Network 10 (AUS), Racing.com (worldwide), SkySportsRacing (UK)


1. Cross Counter
Trainer - Charlie Appleby (one previous Cup win)
Jockey - William Buick
Breeding - Teofilo - Waitress
Drawn 5, Weight 57.5kg

Last year's impressive winner who doesn't get the 3yo weight advantage this time. Won first up at Meydan in March but has run fourth, third, fourth in the big set weights staying races in England and Ireland, never quite making it as the next big staying star. While running close behind Stradivar…