Australian Open Day 1 Preview and Picks
Andy Roddick -5000 vs. Jan Hajek +1500
Andy Roddick will begin his 2011 Australian Open looking for a third straight trip to at least the quarterfinals.Â He reached the 2009 semi-finals in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals last year before losing to Marin Cilic.Â Roddick has made it to the semi-finals four times in Melbourne but has yet to reach a final.Â Roddick has been playing well, in his last tournament two weeks ago; he lost in the finals of Brisbane to Robin Soderling.Â Roddick has never faced Jan Hajek. Jan Hajek is no pushover.Â He performed extremely well in last years US Open when he lost a hard-fought five setter to Mardy Fish.Â Hajek, from Czechoslovakia is ranked 96th in the world.Â He has yet to play a match in 2011.Â One or two sets should be competitive but Roddick should roll into the 2nd round.
Pick-Roddick in 3 sets
Gael Monfils -500 vs. Thiemo De Bakker +300
This will be the fourth time Monfils and De Bakker will do battle.Â Monfils holds a 2-1 series record head-to-head.Â Monfils prevailed in straight sets in Rotterdam on indoor hard courts and at the Canada Masters, both played last year.Â De Bakker upset Monfils two years ago in Holland in a Davis Cup match.Â Monfils played very well to the end of 2010 getting to the finals of the Paris Masters.Â Monfils however has yet to play an ATP tournament this year.Â De Bakker has struggled this season; losing in the first- round of both tournaments he has played this year in Brisbane and in Auckland.
Pick-Monfils in 4 sets
Nikolay Davydenko -500 vs. Florian Mayer +300
Nikolay Davydenko holds a 2-1 edge over Florian Mayer.Â They last played last year in Beijing where Davydenko won in three sets.Â Davydenko is 401 this season with his only loss coming to Roger Federer in Doha.Â Davydenko reached the quarterfinals last year in Melbourne where he also lost to Federer.Â Florian Mayer has also had a decent start to 2011 going 5-2.Â He made the quarterfinals in Brisbane and the semifinals in Sydney.Â I expect a tough four-set win for Davydenko in this match.
Pick-Davydenko in 4 sets
Fernando Verdasco -600 vs. Rainer Schuettler +350
The #9 player in the world Fernando Verdasco has won both his matches against veteran Rainer Scuttle.Â Both of these matches were won on a hard court.Â Two years ago Verdasco made a surprising run to the semifinals.Â In Verdascos only match this year he lost to Benjamin Becker in the first-round in Brisbane.Â Schuettle,r also lost his only match of the year, losing in the first-round in Doha. Verdasco is known for his hard work during the off-season.Â The heat in Melbourne should be of no factor to him.Â I expect Verdasco to pull three in three quick sets
Pick-Verdasco in 3 sets
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