This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
Second-round action will continue on the fourth day of the Australian Open, which lands on Wednesday night in the United States. After a quiet start to the tournament, it didn't take long for the newsworthy results to start pouring in, as injuries and upsets have combined to knock off numerous contenders, especially on the men's side. Some North American youngsters would like to add to the upset tally here, while a couple of the bigger names in tennis have surprisingly modest odds in their second-round matches. All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the other best sports betting sites. We offer exclusive sign-up bonuses for some of those sportsbooks, including those that just launched in Ohio.
The men play best-of-five set matches at Grand Slams, while women's matches are best of three just like the remainder of the WTA Tour schedule. A mix of players' previous hard court results, recent form and stylistic matchups are considered below. With the first round completed, we have some fresh data to dissect as we look to pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Brooksby didn't miss being seeded by much, and the 39th-ranked American is especially tricky on hard courts. He's 35-22 on his favorite surface, including a run to the Round of 16 at the US Open in 2021, and this is actually the first Australian Open for the promising 22-year-old. Ruud's no slouch on hard courts himself, as evidenced by his run to the 2022 US Open final, but the No. 2 seed looked vulnerable in the opening round, squeaking by Tomas Machac 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-3. If Ruud fails to raise his level or gets confounded by Brooksby's unconventional style in the first career meeting between the two, this one could turn into a nailbiter.
Still just 20 years old, Fernandez has already made a US Open final. The Canadian lefty can hang with anyone when she's on her game, and Fernandez was sharp in a 7-5, 6-2 first-round win over Garcia's countrywoman Alize Cornet. Garcia's greatest strength is the pressure she puts on opponents by standing in and timing her return, but Fernandez excelled on serve against Cornet, winning 76 percent of second-serve points while facing only one break point. If Fernandez can sustain the improvement on her second serve, which was previously a weakness for the Canadian, Garcia will have trouble gaining the upper hand in their rallies.
Lock It In
Bonzi's a solid player, but he's outclassed by Carreno Busta. The 14th-seeded Spaniard's a mainstay in the second week of this tournament, having made the third round or better each of the past six years. While many of his countrymen prefer clay, Carreno Busta's best performances have come on hard courts, where he has reached the semifinals of the US Open twice, captured an Olympic bronze medal and won his lone Masters 1000 title in Canada last year. Bonzi's ranked just inside the top 50 at No. 48, but he has never cracked the top 40 in his career, nor has the 26-year-old Frenchman been past the second round of a Grand Slam. In other words, Bonzi beats the players he's expected to beat but rarely troubles superior opponents such as Carreno Busta.
Fruhvritova has rocketed into the top 100, and the 17-year-old Czech is just beginning her ascent. At this time last year, she had yet to win a match at a Grand Slam or Masters 1000. Now, Fruhvortiva already has a WTA title under her belt (Chennai) and is coming off a 6-0, 6-4 first-round demolition of Jaimee Fourlis. She faces another Australian in the second round, going from the 160th-ranked Fourlis to the 167th-ranked Birrell. Having already shown she can hold her nerve against a hostile crowd, Fruhvirtova should produce a similar result to her opening-round win.
While it was fair to question how the 17-year-old Fruhvirtova would handle facing a hometown favorite in her second career Grand Slam main draw, there are no such concerns for the 35-year-old Murray, who has made the semifinal or better in 21 of his previous 55 Grand Slam appearances. He looked like vintage Murray in the first round, taking out No. 13 seed Matteo Berrettini in a fifth-set tiebreak. As long as Murray's body holds up a couple days later, he shouldn't have too much trouble with the 159th-ranked Kokkinakis. Like Berrettini, the enigmatic Aussie's a big server, and Murray was locked in as a returner in the first round, overcoming a 70-percent serving performance and 31 aces from Berrettini. Funny enough, the only previous meeting between Murray and Kokkinakis came on Murray's home turf in Great Britain, with Murray sweeping three sets while dropping just six games.
Jabeur reached the final of each of the previous two Grand Slams, giving her a 13-2 record in her last 15 matches at majors. Vondrousova's a former Grand Slam finalist herself, but she hasn't been to another quarterfinal since her Cinderella run to the Roland Garros championship match in 2019. Jabeur retired the first time these two faced off in 2015, but the world No. 2 has captured all three of their subsequent meetings, though this will be the first time these two play on hard courts. If you could find the over/under on drop shots anywhere, pound the over, as both players employ the shot liberally. Jabeur excels at the cat-and-mouse game, and she'll get to play plenty of her favorite brand of tennis in this matchup. While Jabeur was pushed to a third set by Tamara Ziadansek in the first round, she should be viewed as the clear favorite here rather than such a modest one.