Vinny’s Australian Open Men’s Preview – Ofner vs Kokkinakis

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On paper, I have Sebastian Ofner and Thanasi Kokkinakis really close to 50-50, maybe with Kokkinakis being a small favorite. Unfortunately for the Australian though, the match won’t be played on a spreadsheet. After reaching the semifinal in Adelaide last year and winning the title there in 2022, Kokkinakis lost to Dusan Lajovic this time around. The week before, he also got beaten by compatriot Rinky Hijikata in straight sets. In his last two tournaments of 2023, the Kokk had to retire mid-match and it still doesn’t seem like he’s anywhere close to his top fitness. After his loss to Lajovic, he was scheduled to compete at the Kooyong Classic exhibition, but had to pull out again.

On the other hand, we got a player in Ofner who has improved a lot over the last couple of months. Marton Fucsovics, Alexander Bublik, Dominic Thiem, Christopher O’Connell (twice), Mackenzie McDonald, Jan-Lennard Struff and Roberto Bautista Agut all fell to the Austrian since October. Ofner is holding serve at 89% this year, resulting in a third tour-level semifinal appearance in Hong Kong last week. Losing in the second round of Auckland might even be a positive for him as he has a few more days to recover and start the first major of the year at full strength. I would be overly surprised if we saw his opponent in that condition and while Kokkinakis will get a bit of extra motivation through the supportive home crowd, that won’t have an impact on his body. I’d play Ofner all the way down to 1.67 in this spot.

Suggested Bets:
1.25u on Sebastian Ofner ML at 1.80 (-125) with bet365

Over 18s Only (21+ in some jurisdictions). 1 unit = 1% of bankroll. These are my bets that I am making. Please enjoy your betting responsibly. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, and do not chase a loss.