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Australian Open Men's Day Four Tips: Molcan to get the better of clay-courter Andujar

Round two action continues at the Australian Open on day four and after picking up a third straight men’s singles winner, Dan Weston returns to preview Thursday’s schedule…

“We know that the veteran Spaniard, Andujar, hasn’t got much of a taste for anything away from clay and his numbers on hard courts have been consistently poor year on year.”

Griekspoor shows why he’s one to watch

Tallon Griekspoor easily covered the +5.5 game handicap for us against Pablo Carreno-Busta, and in a match which could have gone either way, was slightly unfortunate not to get the win as well, eventually losing 6-4 in the deciding set by being broken to stay in the match. I’d suggest the Dutchman is a player to keep an eye on for pre-match value on hard courts as Spring progresses.

Our next-best prevailed also, with Miomir Kecmanovic winning three tight straight sets against Paul, and there weren’t any huge shocks on day three with the likes of Rafa Nadal, Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini progressing without any major drama. Probably the biggest surprise was Hubert Hurkacz being ousted by Adrian Mannarino, although the Frenchman is pretty competitive on fairly quick hard courts.

Enigmatic Kyrgios could well prove tricky for Medvedev

As we try and extend our unbeaten men’s record to four matches in Melbourne, we are faced with a very tricky day four card with there being an absurd number of mismatches. Many favourites are priced around 1.3030/100 or below and seem pretty justified to have that market pricing, although one intriguing match with a heavy pre-match favourite features tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev who faces Nick Kyrgios.

We know two things about Kyrgios. One, he hasn’t played much of late, and two, the difference between his best and worst level is one of the biggest on tour. At his best, he could really test Medvedev tomorrow, but at his worst, he could get demolished. However, if you are looking for a big priced winner on Thursday, the 7.413/2 about the enigmatic Australian could well be the best long-shot option.

Murray a short-priced favourite to beat Daniel

Andy Murray will be hoping to get another win with the Scotsman being a huge favourite despite being potentially fatigued after a long week in Sydney last week and then an arduous five-setter against Nikoloz Basilashvili on Tuesday. In theory at least, the qualifier Taro Daniel shouldn’t provide much of a test, but the 1.271/4 about Murray doesn’t appeal.

An interesting match-up as well looks to be the clash between the in-form Maxime Cressy and Tomas Machac. I’m surprised the market looks to have got this about right by making Cressy the 1.664/6 favourite here, and I thought he’d be shorter with recency bias at the forefront. Machac is a very talented young player with a good record at Challenger level on hard courts, and could very possibly get the win here in what looks likely to be a fairly serve-orientated encounter.

Molcan with more evidence of being a better hard courter

It’s not a confident lean at all, but for our pick tomorrow I’m going with Alex Molcan over Pablo Andujar. We know that the veteran Spaniard, Andujar, hasn’t got much of a taste for anything away from clay and his numbers on hard courts have been consistently poor year on year.

Opponent Molcan has at least shown an aptitude for hard courts in Challengers- he’s running at 105% combined service/return points won in the last 12 months on hard court at that level – and I think he should have too much for Andujar tomorrow.

The 1.695/7 about Molcan is my tentative recommendation.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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