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Australian Open Odds, Predictions, Previews | Casper Ruud & Diego Schwartzman in Trouble (January 18)

Australian Open Odds, Predictions, Previews | Casper Ruud & Diego Schwartzman in Trouble (January 18) article feature image

William West/Getty. Pictured: Casper Ruud.

  • Casper Ruud and Diego Schwartzman take the court at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down each player's matches.
  • Read on for his odds analysis and pick.

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Wednesday at the Australian Open brings more second round matches as the weather looks to be finally clearing up.

We should have smooth proceedings for the first time in the tournament, but don't count on that.

I'll be looking at two matches that feature dangerous Americans that will pose difficult tests to their opponents.

Read on for my picks and predictions.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Australian Open matches.

Australian Open Predictions & Previews

Casper Ruud (-265) vs. Jenson Brooksby (+210)

8:30 p.m. ET

Don't look now, but Jenson Brooksby is beginning to find his form once again. The crafty American shook off some rust in his first set of the season over in Auckland before ripping through his next five, eventually losing to the world-class Cam Norrie in the semis.

He followed that up with an impressive victory over Australian Chris O'Connell in enemy territory in a match where the home favorite brought a fantastic level.

Now, it's time for Brooksby to put this level to the test against World No. 3 Casper Ruud.

Brooskby has already picked up one win over a top 10 opponent in his career, which came last season against Stefanos Tsitsipas. While he's lost six others, he's at least made some noise in most of those matches. He led Carlos Alcaraz by a double break at one point in their match last year at the US Open, took two sets off Alexander Zverev, took a memorable set off of Novak Djokovic and made Daniil Medvedev work hard in a tight first set last year in Miami.

The bottom line here is that while the win-loss record may not be pretty, Brooksby has shown up for big matches. I suspect this will be another with the way he's played to open up the 2023 season.

Ruud has looked a bit hung over from his trip to the US Open final last season. He fell flat on his face in the ATP Finals  and went 1-2 in the lead-up to the Australian Open with a rather embarrassing loss to Laslo Djere in Auckland. Even here in Melbourne, it was something of a struggle for Ruud to get past Tomas Machac in the first round.

I don't things will go particularly swimmingly here for Ruud. While he may wind up winning this one as the more talented of the two, I can't confidently say he'll wipe the floor with a player this motivated and who is in better form.

Brooksby's serve also seems to have improved a bit over the offseason and everything is pointing to a tight second-round encounter.

Pick: Brooksby +4.5 games (-115 via PointsBet)

JJ Wolf (-175) vs. Diego Schwartzman (+145)

9 p.m. ET

Diego Schwartzman has left his best tennis in the past. For years now, he's tried to find his form off of a clay court to no avail. He's now 10-8 on hard courts over the last two years, which is a far cry from the very solid level we saw from the Argentine just a couple of seasons ago.

Schwartzman entered this tournament on an eight-match losing streak and was handed a gift in the form of Oleksii Krutykh, a player who had never competed on a Grand Slam stage and who donated error after error.

He was very fortunate to make it through that one in four sets and had to fend off a ridiculous 14 break points to get there.  He looks to be on shaky ground, and it's not helping matters that he's still dealing with a leg issue which forced him to retire in Auckland in his match against Brooksby.

On the other side of things you have American JJ Wolf, whose monster game should make life difficult on a slightly hobbled Schwartzman. He has been serving very well and should be able to do damage on the weak serve of the Argentine, and with that I think he can come away with a decisive victory here.

Schwartzman's past couple of years really haven't left much to be inspired by, and I think we will continue to see his steady decline.

Pick: Wolf -3.5 games (-110 via DraftKings)

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