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#2 Roger Federer
One match after really struggling, the Swiss master, Roger Federer, is going to try to make significantly quicker work out of Xavier Malisse on Friday, the fifth day of matches of Australian Open betting action.
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Malisse is certainly up against it in this one, as he really has never had any luck whatsoever against some of the toughest players in the world. The Belgian has played here at the Australian Open a number of times before, and it’s scary to think that this is already his furthest progress in the competition in his Australian Open betting career. He had been knocked out in either the first or second round in six of the seven years that he played here in Sydney. Malisse has looked great from the get go, though, as he toppled Pablo Andujar 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the first round and then made incredibly short work out of #25 Albert Montanes in the second round 6-4, 6-0, 6-1. Malisse and his doubles partner, Jamie Murray have already pulled off an upset on that side of the Aussie Open draw as well. However, this would be the biggest triumph to date for certain for the 30 year old veteran. Trying to keep a clean game is going to be key, and that is something that Malisse has done very, very well so far in this tournament. He only has three unforced errors, and he played a spotless match against Montanes, all of which came via double faults. The service game has been a real problem, as Malisse only has eight total aces against those three double faults, numbers which will get him killed against Federer.
And then there is Federer, who really had to hold on just to make it to the third round here in Sydney. He admitted that he was absolutely terrified to get knocked out in the second round on the Aussie Open by Gilles Simon, but it really nearly happened. After storming to wins of 6-2 and 6-3 in the first two sets, Federer took his foot off the gas pedal and was knocked off 6-4 and 6-4 in the next two sets, setting up the finale in the fifth. It wasn’t an overly difficult set for the Swiss champ, but the mere fact that he needed that fifth set was a shock. Federer also dispatched Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 in a significantly easier opening match of this tournament. Federer has always played well here, especially on Rod Laver Court where he will be playing this afternoon. Over the course of the last seven years, Federer has four championships, a runner up finish, and two semifinal appearances. This would have been the earlier knockout in his career had Simon finished him off in the second round.
We know that these types of numbers are just ridiculous to lay, but we really have no choice but to do so. Federer isn’t losing this match one out of 30 times, but more importantly, Malisse, who has a dreadful record here down under, isn’t winning it one out of 20 times. Federer is our Australian Open pick for Friday.
Australian Open Free Pick: Roger Federer -2850 at BetPhoenix
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