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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Australian Open Tennis Day 12 Picks 2018 (January 26th)

Day 11 was the last in the Australian Open with multiple Singles matches scheduled and the remaining three days are set for one men's Semi Final, the woman's Final and then the men's Final.

It was a tough day in the office for Kyle Edmund who ran out of energy in his defeat to Marin Cilic, but the British player should not be too down on himself. The Australian Open should have given him a lot of belief that he can go on and fulfil the potential many have long seen in him and at 23 years old this is the time for Edmund to make his move.

I would not be surprised if he is deciding to pull out of the Great Britain Davis Cup tie in Spain next weekend as Edmund looks to evaluate how the last month has played out for him. He can then return to the Tour later in February before the back to back big Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami as Edmund looks to push his career forward.

All credit has to be given to Cilic for the way he handled himself in a Semi Final where all the expectation was on his shoulders. A multiple time Grand Slam Finalist will be feeling good about his chances to win another Slam to add to the US Open, and Cilic also has a chance to show he is completely over the Wimbledon Final last year which saw him suffer with an injury that held him ut for a couple of months afterwards.

On Day 11 the women's Final was also set as Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep moved past Elise Mertens and Angelique Kerber. The Halep-Kerber match had some dramatic swings with both players able to save match points and it is the second time in this event that Halep has needed to play multiple games beyond 6-6 in a final set decider.

The Romanian will need all the rest possible over the next couple of days before another tough battle, while both Halep and Wozniacki are going to have to handle the nerves as they look for a maiden Grand Slam which would underline their status as the World Number 1. That Ranking is also on the line and the first major winner of the season will deserve that tag.

The Kerber defeat was frustrating as it meant my last outright pick in the women's draw exited the tournament one step away from the Final. However the German needs to be given a lot of credit for her performances in Australia this past month and Kerber looks to be back to her best which will make her a threat to win any of the three remaining Slams this season.

Of course the biggest worry for the top women's players is the impending return of Serena Williams who will go into any event she enters as a big favourite to win it. Serena has won titles off big lay offs throughout her career and that sense of aura around her still exists for any player that will face up to her across the net.

On Day 12 the men's Final will be decided and my picks is below.

Roger Federer - 6.5 games v Hyeon Chung: The old faces the new in the Australian Open Semi Final on Day 12 at the tournament, although Roger Federer has shown little sign of losing his grip at the very top of men's tennis. One of the leading contenders to lead the next generation of male players at the top of the sport faces him in the Semi Final as Hyeon Chung looks to take out another former Australian Open Champion.

After beating Novak Djokovic in the Fourth Round, Chung will take aim at the defending Champion and the confidence has to be flowing through the body of the South Korean player. Beating Djokovic and Alexander Zverev during the tournament will have given Chung a shot in the arm, but I don't think many will argue when saying that facing Federer is another step up in terms of a challenge for the youngster.

Djokovic is coming off a long injury lay off and had chances to turn around a couple of sets in the defeat to Chung, while Zverev has not made the kind of impact at a Grand Slam that his general tennis suggests he should have. Even then Zverev dominated the first three sets against Chung before falling away and there is no way that Federer would do that in barring something unforeseen, like an injury mid-match, occurring.

It has been a really good defence of the Australian Open title so far for Federer who has yet to drop a set. That stat is perhaps a little fortunate when you see how well Tomas Berdych played in the first set against Federer in the Quarter Final a couple of days ago, but there is also little doubt that Federer is playing at a very high level which is going to put pressure on Chung.

There is a lot to like about Chung and the way he plays- the comparison to Novak Djokovic is apt, but I also remember the first time Djokovic played a rock solid Federer in a best of five set match. That came in the Davis Cup and Federer dominated before next playing Djokovic here in Melbourne back in 2007 and crushing a young challenger in a match where some thought it could be very close.

Federer has been serving well enough to put plenty of pressure on Chung who simply is a player still developing and who doesn't look after the serve nearly as well. The defensive skills have to be respected, but Federer won't go away like Zverev and is playing at a higher level than Djokovic at this stage of their careers.

I would expect Federer to have the majority of break points in this one and I think the confidence and belief in his game means the Swiss superstar won't be ruffled by Chung's defensive skills. I expect Chung to have some really good moments too to highlight the potential he has, but ultimately I would expect Federer to make his way into yet another Australian Open Final and I can see the scoreboard perhaps looking tough on Chung.

Federer should be able to wear down his opponent as he produces a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win to make his way through to the Sunday Final against Marin Cilic.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 6.5 Games @ 2.15 Boyle Sports (2 Units)

Australian Open Update: 34-38, - 6.50 Units (143 Units Staked, - 4.41% Yield)

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