Joker Chasing Last Laugh

Image courtesy of abc.net.au
Can Djokovic make it to a fifth Australian Open Final? Image courtesy of abc.net.au

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Djokovic v Wawrinka


Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Friday January 30 – 6:45pm (AEST)

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Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka battle it out for a spot in the Australian Open final.

After winning three straight Australian Open titles, Novak Djokovic was a noticeable absentee in last year’s final. The Serbian was knocked out by eventual winner Stanislas Wawrinka, and revenge will be the motive when he faces the Swiss tonight. Djokovic’s run to the semi-finals couldn’t be more clinical. The 27-year-old is yet to drop a set in his five lead-up matches, however his opponents haven’t possessed the class the fourth seed has. The Joker’s straight sets quarter-final win over big serving Canadian Milos Raonic was as dominating as you would expect from the World No. 1, and if he can stretch his unbeaten run, he’ll fancy his chances to brush aside Andy Murray in the final - yet again.     

Heading into the tournament, many critics doubted ‘Stan the Man’ would reach the lofty heights he achieved last year, but the 29-year-old has continued the form that saw him go all the way in 2014. The World no. 4 has dropped just one set in his five lead up matches and demolished rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori to book a semi-final spot. The Swiss marvel has again depended on his blistering backhand this tournament, the same style of play that saw him edge Djokovic in last year’s semi-final. Wawrinka remains just two wins away from registering back-to-back Australian Open titles, and another major to his name would bridge the gap on fellow countryman Roger Federer in the ATP rankings.

Like usual, it’s hard to get any value when Djokovic is playing, however punters sense a second consecutive upset is on the cards. Although the Serbian is the short-priced favourite, a handful of big bets have been put on Wawrinka to progress, including one of $2500 at $4.50.  

 

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