2022 Australian Open Tennis Qualifiers Odds, Picks & Best Bets for Day 1 (Jan. 9)
Adam Pretty/Getty Images. Pictured: Jiri Lehecka hits a backhand at the Davis Cup.
- The first grand slam event of 2022 gets under way today with the Australian Open.
- The qualifying round gets things started with players vying for a spot in the main draw.
- Avery Zimmerman gives some of his top picks for the day, below.
The first Grand Slam event of the year is getting underway Sunday via the qualifying round, where players compete for spots in the main draw of the Australian Open. And with that comes a major payday.
Matches will be coming fast and furious in Melbourne, with some excellent opportunities to take advantage of valuable betting angles.
That said, here’s how I’ll be betting the first slam qualifying day of the year.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Jiri Lehecka (-145) vs. Michael Mmoh (+110)
6 p.m. ET
Lehecka, one of the brightest young talents in the game, has a chance to be a real breakout player of 2021.
The 20-year-old had a 29-11 record in 2021 on hard courts, with most of those matches coming at the Challenger level. He concluded the year by taking a set off of Cameron Norrie, who won the Indian Wells Masters in the fall.
Mmoh struggled in 2021, posting a 17-15 record on hard courts and failing to get any consistency throughout the year. He has the talent to be a tour level player, but an inability to maintain his level in big moments has not allowed him to break through. Throughout his career, Mmoh has only saved 57 percent of his break points faced, which is a very poor number.
With the type of power that Lehecka plays with, Mmoh will really need to lock in if he wants to push the Czech. It’s simply not a stylistic matchup that projects well for the American, and with each player only playing one Challenger event in the lead up to these qualifiers, that only favors the man that has played more tennis over the past couple of months.
I’m willing to pay the number on Lehecka.
Pick: Jiri Lehecka (-145) via DraftKings
Marco Trungelliti (-140) vs. Lukas Lacko (+110)
6 p.m. ET
An underrated hard court player, Trungelliti has a habit of producing in slams. In 2021, the Argentine amassed a 9-4 record in majors, including a four-match winning streak at the US Open.
In contrast, Lacko was 0-4 in slam qualifiers throughout the year and hasn’t shown he’ll be able to display the rally tolerance required to go toe to toe with Trungelliti. Though not an imposing player, he has some surprising power that shows on the typically fast courts of summer slams.
In his first event of the year — the Bendigo Challenger — Trungelliti got by Gian Marco Moroni before getting dealt a dominant defeat by Ernesto Escobedo. However, the American Escobedo had an excellent week where he displayed some excellent ball-striking that led to a title. That’s not the type of form that Lacko will be coming in with, but it could have served as a good wake-up call.
This is another position where I’m comfortable paying a solid price for a player with a big edge.
Pick: Marco Trungelliti (-140) via PointsBet
Hugo Grenier (-310) vs. Timofey Skatov (+235)
7:15 p.m. ET
The young Skatov is known for his ability to grind on clay courts, but has the quality to do the same on hard courts when put in the right scenario. A 12-18 career hard-court record doesn’t reflect the player that’s coming to Melbourne, despite his near double bagel loss to Mitchell Krueger at the Traralgon Challenger.
Grenier presents a winnable opportunity to Skatov, as the Frenchman isn’t the type of player that will overpower him or rush him on his strokes. Grenier doesn’t have a high winner rate nor does he come to the net an aggressive amount, so Skatov won’t be put in uncomfortable situations.
Though Grenier is far more experienced and established on hard courts, he doesn’t have a 76-percent chance of getting by Skatov, as these odds indicate.
I’m looking for Skatov to push Grenier, and if the duo get into a battle of a match, the Kazakh has the fitness and the patience to take his time in breaking down the bigger Grenier.
I would place Skatov far closer to +150 than +235, so this is an underdog I can get behind.
Pick: Timofey Skatov (+235) via Caesars